By Luke Furman
Light heavyweight contender Eleider Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs) is smiling from ear to ear after finalizing a deal to fight WBO world champion Sergey Kovalev (32-2, 28 KOs) on a date in July.
Alvarez has been the mandatory challenger to WBC champion Adonis Stevenson since 2015, but for one reason or another they were never able to get together in the ring. Stevenson is coming back on May 19 against Badou Jack in Montreal.
Alvarez's manager, Stephane Lepine, told TVA Sports - "This is a fight that began two years ago and all of the decisions have been taken to bring Eleider towards this championship fight. It didn't happen the way we thought, but the strides taken in the past two years has helped us in the process. Stevenson was not interested in doing anything, but there other champions who want to fight the best."
Marc Ramsay, the trainer of Alvarez, is confident that his fighter can get the job done.
"We always go for the win. If there is not a way to win in our head, we cannot accept the fight," said Ramsay.
"Kovalev is a big challenge, but we believe that we can cause a surprise. With Kovalev, he will try to impose his physical strength and striking. It will be interesting to see how he will negotiate with the long reach of Eleider."
Alvarez has studied the tapes of Kovalev and believes that he's beatable. Kovalev is two fights removed from suffering back to back defeats at the hands of Andre Ward.
"I have always tried to remain positive despite the delays," said Alvarez. "My manager Stéphane Lépine asked me to be patient and trusted him a few times. I listened and the results are positive today. It's a good challenge for me. I carefully observed the past fights of Kovalev and I am convinced that I can adapt to his fighting style to snatch his title."