Was Kovalev v Alvarez Fixed?
Starting with just the rumors of a Kovalev v Alvarez fight, many in the boxing world were taken off guard. Few, if anyone, had dreamed up this bout. Not to mention, with three middleweight champions available, it was not necessary for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KO’s) to leave his 160lbs stronghold. Yet, in the name of chasing history, Alvarez penned a bout with then-WBO world light heavyweight champion Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KO’s).
Despite moving up in weight, the odds saw Alvarez as the favorite to win the bout. The leading theory saw Canelo beating up the Krusher’s body in route to a mid to late round stoppage. Once in the ring however, Alvarez experienced substantial difficulty reaching his taller, longer foes torso. Even more distressing, Kovalev chose to utilize a safety first pitty-pat style of offense. The result was a dreadfully dull and generally uneventful main event that was frequently booed by the crowd at hand.
The only noteworthy aspect of the fight whatsoever was the unexpected knockout that Canelo scored in the eleventh round. Having stunned him with a stiff left hand, Alvarez finished the Krusher with a devastating right hook. Even though the final punches landed flush, there is a small army people who think the fight was fixed.
CANELO CONSPIRACIES AND CRITICISMS
When it comes to Canelo Alvarez, a good amount of hating should always be expected. As the current ‘cash cow’ of boxing, a healthy amount of nay-saying will forever be present. This is more law of sociology than a staple of boxing. Beyond his elevated status, yet partially related, many don’t care for the special treatment that Canelo receives.
It’s been long-established that Alvarez is frequently gifted with beneficial scorecards divergent from what was witnessed in the ring. Along with that, countless fans dislike his constantly saddling his opponents with some sort of out-of-the-way stipulation.
For his fight with Kovalev, there was a re-hydration clause was in place. Although, both teams remained silent on the matter due to a gag order. Then there are those who still believe that Alvarez is a cheater as a result of his falling two separate drug tests in 2018. The test flagged clenbuterol in his system. Ultimately, the entire matter was pawned off on tainted meat eaten from a street vendor. Then, after a mild six-month suspension, Alvarez was back in the clear.
FIGHTERS THAT FELT CANELO WAS FAKING THE FUNK
For all these reasons, it’s easy to see why some fans would come up with new conspiracy theories. However, after the conclusion of Kovalev v Alvarez, even some very notable fighters publicly stated the same thinking.
First there was Andre Berto who chimed in on the matter. Granted, Berto did not flat out accuse anyone of throwing the fight. However, he did comment on how overly glib Kovalev was after suffering the knockout loss. “The Ripper” Badou Jack (22-2-3, 13 KO’s) and Austin “No Doubt” Trout (31-5-1, 17 KO’s) were far more direct with their thoughts.
When interviewed directly after the bout, Jack expressed how he thought the fight was both boring and appeared to be fixed. After what has largely been described as a sparring session, Badou viewed the knockout with very suspicious eyes.
Along with Jack, former super welterweight champion Austin Trout also felt as if the fix was in. From his Twitter account, Trout posted “DIVEBAR!!!!” with the #CaneloKovalev attached. While he did not say anything else first hand, Trout did retweet numerous posts from other people all claiming that the fight was a sham.
In the end, if something wasn’t on the level, it’s very unlikely that we’ll hear about it. At least, no time soon! Yet, it can’t be denied that the Kovalev v Alvarez prizefight was nowhere near as successful or memorable, for good reasons, that it was supposed to be. The main event was ridiculed for being punked by the UFC, the fight was tedious, and a large score of fans think it was fixed.
Definitely not the impression, or historic event, that Team Alvarez and Kovalev were trying to present. It’ll be very interesting to see who both fighters return to the ring against and when.
By: Bakari Simpson