Sergey Kovalev regained his WBO light-heavyweight title with a dominant win over Eleider Alvarez in Texas on Saturday.
Kovalev (33-3-1) was too good for Alvarez in a rematch of their fight from August, when the Colombian claimed the title.
The feared puncher was up on the scorecards when Alvarez knocked him down three times for a knockout win to capture the WBO title.
This time around, the Russian banger was in top from the outset and secured a unanimous decision win, the judges scoring it 120-108, 116-112 and 116-112 in Kovalev's favor.
It marked the third time Kovalev has won the title as he ended the unbeaten record of Alvarez (24-1).
“I have no excuses,” Alvarez said. “I knew he would be the favorite if it went to a decision. He won the fight.”
Kovalev landed the cleaner shots in the opening two rounds before Alvarez started to slowly work his way back into the fight.
A couple of good body shots had Kovalev on top in the fourth round before an action-packed sixth, which saw Alvarez land a big right hand before Kovalev finished strongly, hitting his opponent with an uppercut.
Alvarez lifted his intensity in the seventh round but it was Kovalev dominating, seeing out what was a comprehensive victory.
"I don't see myself as a loser tonight, but I do give him credit, especially in that 12th round. I think that he went out and proved that he wanted to win," Alvarez said.
Kovalev's performance left very little demand for a trilogy fight - but Alvarez is still a formidable opponent for what is now a loaded division with world champions like Dmitry Bivol, Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Artur Beterbiev. WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez is also planning to move up to the light heavyweight ranks - and there are contenders like Marcus Browne and Badou Jack.