Middleweight prospect Meiirim Nursultanov (8-0, 7 KOs), who shares trainer Abror Tursunpulatov with Kovalev, made Jonathan Batista (17-15, 10 KOs), 33, of the Dominican Republic, quit after the second round.
"Words can not describe how I feel", Alvarez said through a translator. Kovalev is simply not the same fighter he was. Main Events' Kathy Duva, whose company promotes Kovalev, told BoxingScene.com early Sunday morning that she'll give Kovalev some time to rest and think about when he'll want to attempt to regain his WBO light heavyweight title. I feel OK. Thank you everyone, thank you very much to all the fans around the world for your support.
The 34-year-old Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) was down on all three scorecards - 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56 - when he landed a right hand to the side of Kovalev's head that knocked Kovalev to the canvas in the seventh round. Sergey was dominating and Alvarez came back and stopped him.
When it was clear that, despite pressing the issue, Alvarez would again not get a shot at Stevenson, who was planning to fight Badou Jack in May, Yvon Michel, promoter of Stevenson and Alvarez, was able to quickly make a deal with Duva after Browne was dumped from the card.
Eleider Alvarez, of Colombia, connects a punch to Sergey Kovalev, of Russian Federation, during the seventh round of their 175-pound boxing bout Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, in Atlantic City, N.J. alvarez won by knockout in the seventh round. "He's hungry for this fight and for a victory", Kovalev said of Alvarez.
The result derails plans for a light heavyweight unification bout between Kovalev and Dmitry Bivol, who retained his World Boxing Association belt with a unanimous decision over Isaac Chilemba on the same card. "I can't stop smiling right now because [on Saturday], the whole world will know who Eleider Alvarez is".
Kovalev seemed dominant in the seventh, until the second half of the round, when one quick right hand dropped the champion.
Alvarez initially floored Kovalev with a big, straight right in the seventh. After all, Alvarez was amid a 13-month layoff because Stevenson hasn't faced him despite being Alvarez his mandatory challenger for some sanctioning organization or another - starting back in 2015 (!) - a reminder that, when convenient for the wallets of the powerful, nobody is really forced to do anything by these fraudulent outfits. Once again, Kovalev got back up to continue the fight, but he probably would have been better off staying down. "His punches were not as hard as they were in the beginning of the fight".
"I am ready for all the best fighters in my division", Alvarez said.
But Kovalev collected himself and started throwing mean punches, seemingly taking over in the middle rounds with volume.
Scores of 120-108, 120-108 and 116-112 went in favour of the incumbent, whose strong performance in the first six rounds helped him to weather a late rally from the Malawian.
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