WEEKEND BOXING REWIND
Kovalev reinvents himself to reclaim title
It was a night of redemption for Sergey Kovalev, as the light heavyweight claimed the World Boxing Organization belt for the third time in his career by defeating Eleider Alvarez by unanimous decision (120-108, 116-112 x2) Saturday in Frisco. SportsMap.com scored the bout 117-111 for Kovalev.
The fight was the first for Kovalev under new trainer Buddy McGirt. From the outset Kovalev (33-3, 28 KO) looked like a completely different fighter from each of his previous career fights. Instead of his usual all pressure style, the heavy handed Russian seemed happy to box with Alvarez (24-1, 12 KO,) landing three and four shot combinations, and getting out of the pocket and back to safety. Alvarez looked puzzled by Kovalev's new tactic throughout the fight. Kovalev outlanded Alvarez in 11 of 12 rounds finishing with 213 landed punches to Alvarez's 111.
The win sets up plenty of interesting potential fights for Kovalev, including the possibility of a unification bout with WBA light-heavyweight champion and fellow Russian countryman Dmitry Bivol. But Kovalev will need to get another win prior to any fight: he is due in court in March on felony assault charges.
LOPEZ PASSES TEST AGAINST MAGDALENO
Diego Magdaleno was supposed to be a big step in in competition for super-lightweight prospect Teofimo Lopez. After the bout ended, it looked like Lopez could have stepped higher. Lopez (12-0, 10 KO) battered Magdaleno throughout the fight before closing the show with a brutal knockout in the seventh round.
The fight was marred by poor officiating and poor work from Magdaleno's corner. Magdaleno (31-2,13 KO) should have never been allowed to leave his corner for round seven; he had been bloodied and badly beaten and appeared to have no chance to stage a comeback. But Magdaleno's corner allowed him to continue and the 32-year old veteran was quickly knocked out after a pair of hooks dropped him to the canvas for good. Magdaleno's corner took exception to Lopez's celebration. Lopez completed a backflip in the center of the ring and home run swing celebration while Magdaleno continued to lay motionless on the canvas.
VALDEZ SHAKES OFF RING RUST IN KO OF TOMMASONE
Featherweight titleist Oscar Valdez made his return to the ring after an 11th month injury layoff, knocking out the overmatched Carmine Tommasone. Valdez (25-0, 20 KO) appeared to be rusty early in the fight, missing badly on looping hook attempts. But Valdez found a home for the power shots by round three, knocking down Tommasone (19-1, 5 KO) three times en route to a knockout victory.
Tommasone looked like a worthy opponent early in the fight, causing Valdez's early troubles with landing power shots. But once Valdez figured Tommasone out the fight was virtually over. Tommasone had no power behind his punches and pressed the issue, overpowering the featherfisted Tommasone.
The night wasn't all bad for Tommasone. Despite being knocked out just minutes prior, the 34 year old Italian national dropped to one knee and proposed to his girlfriend during the post fight interview. She said yes, moving Tommasone's record to 1-1 on the evening.