Eleider Alvarez scored a 7th round knockout to win the WBO crown.
Eleider Alvarez has been waiting for his chance to substantiate his contender status. Most of the sanctioning bodies governing the sport of boxing had placed the Colombian fighter high in their pecking order, but a title shot still eluded him because the payoff was unclear. Why risk it all against a unknown commodity with lesser draw appeal?
Adonis Stevenson, the Montreal-based light heavy champ holding the WBC strap evaded him on two occasions, with promoter Yvon Michel figured out a benefit package as compensation for Eleider Alvarez's deferment of the inevitable. Enter Sergey Kovalev, whom many consider the most dangerous light heavyweight since Roy Jones Jr. No one predicted he would drop his WBO belt to Alvarez, much less fall prey to an overhand right before the final bell. But he did, in a matter of 7 rounds after suffering a knockdown, and a cut in the 6th.
The WBO title fight was part of a televised HBO Boxing card, also featuring another light heavy tilt between rising powerhouse Dmitry Bivol and Isaac Chilemba of Malawi. Unfortunately the undercard bout was less scintillating than the Kovalev-Alvarez affair. Bivol cruised to a decision victory in a fight many have prematurely labelled a "snoozefest."
Bivol is never-the-less an interest matchup for either fighter in the main event. Kovalev could plot his resurgence with a fight against the 27-year old, whereas Eleider Alvarez could see his reign perfectly consolidated with another notch on his belt. Where does WBC Light Heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson factor in all of this? No one seems to know or care.