Eleider Alvarez pulled off a surprise win in Atlantic City on Saturday night, knocking out Sergey Kovalev to claim the WBO light heavyweight title.
The Colombian gave as good as he got over the first six rounds before landing a huge right hook in the seventh that sent the Russian to the canvas. He got up only to be floored again and then went down for a third and final time shortly after to give Alvarez a sensational win.
Kovalev was the heavy favourite and started well, taking the first round following some tidy jabs and good work to the body, but Alvarez gamely fought back in the next round.
Kovalev’s power seemed to be doing the trick in the third as the champion outworked Alvarez with some more body shots, but the unbeaten Colombian remained dangerous, landing some good shots on the counter.
The Russian was looking strong, edging the next three rounds and seemingly getting on top until Alvarez exploded into life in round seven with his fight deciding salvo.
Eleider Alvarez just put Sergey Kovalev down 3x on way to stoppage in round 7… big upset.. new champion pic.twitter.com/cCrmkQi6s4
— Joey Oddessa 🇨🇷 (@MMAOdds) August 5, 2018
In the evening’s other big fight, Dmitry Bivol outpointed South African challenger Isaac Chilemba to retain his WBA light heavyweight title.
The 27-year old Russian secured his 14th win out of 14 (11 KOs) as the judges scored the bout 120-108, 120-108 and 116-112 in his favour.
A spirited challenger, Chilemba came in for some heavy punishment from Bivol early on but failed to trouble the champion over 12 rounds.
— WBA Boxing (@WBABoxing) August 5, 2018
Bivol appeared to ease off in later rounds, but remained fully in control of the fight as he took the easy win to set up a potential future fight with Alvarez.