Kovalev-Alvarez Fight Might Not Be as Close as Some Think

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 1:34 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 31, 2018 1:34 PM UTC

Sergey Kovalev's WBO light heavyweight crown will be at stake against unbeaten Eleider Alvarez on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Let's analyze the matchup.

<h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/boxing/eleider-alvarez-vs-sergey-kovalev-3527767/odds/" title="Live Alvarez-Kovalev Odds">Eleider Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Saturday, 11 p.m. ET (HBO)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free Boxing Pick: Kovalev -400</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4584&amp;book=BetOnline" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">BetOnline</a>​​​​​​​</h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3527767, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,238,19,169,180], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Sergey Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs) defends his WBO light heavyweight title against Eleider Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs) and it appears to be a somewhat competitive fight on paper. It is relatively close on the <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/boxing/" title="Live Boxing Odds">boxing odds board</a> despite Kovalev hovering around the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world. But is it really that close and is there value to be found?</p><p>[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"https://www.youtube.com/embed/tI01DhplW8Q", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]</p><p>Oddsmakers see Kovalev as the rightful favorite at -500 with Alvarez sitting at a respectable +350. There are a few reasons for this considering that Alvarez is both undefeated and won a majority decision against former champion Jean Pascal last June. Those who saw the fight saw Alvarez dominate Pascal with a throttling jab and were blown away that one judge scored it even. It was a completely one-sided performance that Alvarez won by a wide margin. However, while respectable, Pascal was a shell of his former self. Also, Alvarez hasn’t really defeated anybody of note while they were at the top of their game. Both Lucian Bute and Edison Miranda were well past their primes.</p><p>Stepping into the ring with Kovalev, who was once recognized as a top 3 pound-for-pound fighter prior to his consecutive losses to Andre Ward, will be a completely different experience. Since losing to Ward, Kovalev has scored back-to-back knockout wins as he looks to reclaim the titles he lost against Ward in 2016. Alvarez will do his best to give Kovalev a rough go – and he may be successful in spots – but <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/" title="Free Sports Picks">don’t expect him to win this fight</a>.</p><p>Kovalev is an underrated boxer who often has his technique overlooked because of his punching power. But he proved in the Bernard Hopkins fight that he’s fully capable of boxing when necessary and has a bag of tricks for his opponents as well. He does an exceptional job of setting traps and making opponents pay for a lazy jab. Against Alvarez, he’ll look to neutralize the jab and go to the body in order to take some steam out of his opponent’s mobility as the fight progresses. This will be important considering that Alvarez hasn’t fought in a year.</p><p>There are some concerns regarding Kovalev’s cardio, which has been problematic down the stretch in other fights, but the expectation is that Kovalev sets the pace early and secures a stoppage in a mid to late round. Alvarez will ultimately be another head for Kovalev to add to his collection. He doesn’t have a lot of value as the betting favorite, but <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4584&amp;book=BetOnline" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">BetOnline</a> currently has him at -400, which can be something to bet as long as you have the cash. Prop bets are available for Alvarez, but if you can find a prop with a mid to late stoppage, take it. Either that or the "under."</p>
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