RENO, Nevada – The first fighter to beat Sergey Kovalev thinks Canelo Alvarez has gone about moving up to the light heavyweight division the wrong way.
Andre Ward, who moved up from super middleweight three bouts before boxing Kovalev in November 2016, suspects Alvarez might’ve added too much muscle mass for his light heavyweight debut. The 5-feet-8 Alvarez weighed in at a career-high 174½ pounds Friday for his 12-round, 175-pound showdown with Kovalev on Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena (DAZN).
The 6-feet Kovalev, a light heavyweight throughout his 10-year pro career, had to come back to the scale before officially weighing 175 pounds Friday at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Ward worried about adding muscle prior to his first fight versus Kovalev, an extremely competitive clash Ward won by the same margin, 114-113, on all three scorecards at T-Mobile Arena. He hopes Alvarez hasn’t made the same mistake.
“Here’s the concern about Canelo,” Ward told a group of reporters recently. “I’m hearing Canelo talk a lot about bulking and building. Wrong thing to do. And he gassed at his regular weight. So, I made that mistake in the first fight with Kovalev. Putting on too much mass, thinking that I had to look the part, instead of being myself. The second fight, I went back to my roots. I said, ‘I’m gonna look the way I look. I’m not gonna worry about that. My weight’s gonna fall where it’s gonna fall.’
“And I was a lot faster, a lot stronger. I got my spring back. So, I think Canelo’s making a mistake. He looks real wide. He’s already a thick dude, but he looks real wide and thick. I don’t think that’s a good idea. So, if he comes in there, like that, he’s probably gonna get hit more than he normally does.”
Mexico’s Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) said this week that he won’t weigh more than 180 pounds when he enters the ring Saturday night. Alvarez added that he expects Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) to weigh at least 190 pounds once the opening bell rings.
Russia’s Kovalev stated that he anticipates having a weight advantage of seven to 10 pounds when their fight starts.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.