By: Hans Themistode
Whenever a fighter tells both the fans and media that he has changed they are mostly hollow words.
For Sergey Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) however they were the absolute truth as he turned in one of the very best performances of his career as he defeated Eleider Alvarez (24-1, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision tonight. The scorecards read 120-108 and two scores of 116-112 all in favor of Kovalev who recaptured the WBO Light Heavyweight title that he had lost to Alvarez just last year.
The match started off with Kovalev boxing well from the outside and tagging Alvarez with hard shots. There was a bit of a deja vu feeling as Kovalev was just as dominant in their first meeting before Alvarez managed to hurt and stop him. This time around Kovalev was able to put together a full performance throughout the course of 12 rounds.
At no point did Kovalev try to stop Alvarez. Instead he used his superior boxing abilities to win a tactical fight. The problems that Kovalev has seemingly had in the past with his gas tank was not evident in this fight as he closed the bout strong. Alvarez had very few moments of success as he spent much of the contest coming forward but not throwing many punches.
Kovalev through 816 punches to only 369 for Alvarez. He also out landed him by over 100 punches, 213 to 111. It was a dominant showing for Kovalev who managed to pick up the victory and claim his status as a champion once again.
For those that wrote off the Krusher and dismissed his chances at winning were sorely mistaken. It seems as though he still has plenty left in the tank and is still a major force in the division.
Richard Commey (28-2, 25 KOs) absolutely destroyed Isa Chaniev (13-2, 6 KOs) by second round knockout to secure his first world title claiming the vacant IBF Lightweight title.
From the opening bell both men came out throwing heavy leather. It was Commey who managed to land the harder punches throughout the round but not without taking a few massive hits of his own. It was a back and forth round that could have went to either man until Commey landed a monster shot that sent Chaniev to the canvas. Although he managed to get back to his feet he seemed unstable and in major trouble. Chaniev was able to make through the round and was hoping to reset and turn things around in the second round. Commey however wouldn’t allow his man to get himself in to the fight.
As the second frame of the contest started he jumped all over Chaniev and was able to land another knockdown. Once again Chaniev showed major heart in getting back to his feet but from their Commey went in for the kill as he landed several hard shots upstairs which forced the referee to step in and stop the contest before Chaniev was able to sustain anymore punishment.
For Commey this win meant everything to him. After failing to bring home the title against former champion Robert Easter Jr in 2016 he was able to win the biggest fight of his career. After the fight Commey was extremely grateful and overjoyed with his performance tonight.
“This means everything to me. It means everything for my career.” Said Commey during his post fight interview.
Although Commey is officially a champion and will celebrate his dominate win tonight there is a huge elephant in the room. That elephant is named Vasyl Lomachenko. It comes to no ones surprise that Lomachenko was scheduled to face the winner of this bout. Now that Commey has come away with the victory he will now face arguably the number one fighter on the pound-for-pound list. Commey was asked about Lomachenko after the fight but only wanted to focus on his major victory here tonight.
“At this moment I just want to enjoy this belt and see what happens but at the moment I’m happy that I won this title and I want to enjoy my belt.”
Commey was dominant tonight but so was reigning WBO champion Oscar Valdez (25-0, 20 KOs) as he returned from a lengthy break to defend his title against Carmine Tommasone (19-1, 5 KOs).
Valdez showed little ring rust in his return from almost a year out of action as he was recovering from a broken jaw. Tommasone did his best to keep the aggressive Valdez off him as he popped out a stiff jab all night. Valdez did a terrific job of cutting off the ring and hitting Tommasone with hard shots. In round four Valdez landed a right hand that sent his opponent down to the canvas. Tommasone beat the count and made it back to his feet but was again knocked down in the round, this time courtesy of a body shot. Tommasone found a way to get through the round and actually boxed well in the fifth round.
The sixth round however was a completely different story as Tommasone once again found himself looking up at the lights as the champion knocked him down. Tommasone showcased his heart tonight as he continued to stand up and fight. The seventh round is where the champion closed the show as he landed a right upper cut that put his man on the canvas for the fourth and final time. After the fight Valdez made it clear that he wanted to move on too much bigger fights ahead.
“Let’s move on, I want bigger and better things.” Said Valdez.
As for his once broken jaw Valdez assured everyone that the jaw wouldn’t be an issue. “ I know that the jaw is 100 percent ready for whoever.” Valdez has fought a murderous row of competition in his career. This fight was essentially a tune up. We can all expect him to take on a tougher assignment in his next bout.
We may have had three world champions on this card but we could all be witnessing the making of a future champion in Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs). The 2018 ESPN prospect of the year scored yet another highlight reel knockout victory over veteran Diego Magdaleno (31-3, 13 KOs).
At no point in this contest was this a competitive fight as Lopez dominated from start to finish. The difference in hand speed and power was glaring as Lopez hit Magdaleno with shot after shot. Round after round Lopez dished out a vicious beating. Magdaleno deserves all the credit in the world for withstanding the punishment for as long as he did.
In round six Lopez came out very aggressive with the intentions of ending the night early. A left hook sent Magdaleno crumpling to the canvas. He some how picked himself up off the floor and continued to fight valiantly. Round seven saw Lopez close the show as he unleashed two vicious left hands that sent Magdaleno straight to the canvas. The referee put a halt to the savage beating and ended the match.
Every contest that took place tonight was terrific but it was Teofimo Lopez who stole the show.