By Keith Idec
ATLANTIC CITY – Sergey Kovalev couldn’t attend a post-fight press conference late Saturday night because he was taken to a local hospital for observation.
Kovalev made sure, though, to assure his fans that he is OK after suffering three knockdowns and a brutal seventh-round knockout against Eleider Alvarez at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Etess Arena.
“I am on my way to the hospital to check my head, check my body,” Kovalev said during a video posted to his Instagram account from Atlantic City Regional Medical Center. “I feel OK. Thank you, everyone. Thank you very much to all the fans around the world for your support. I love you, and I’m fine.”
The 35-year-old Kovalev was ahead on all three scorecards – 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56 – when Alvarez landed a crushing right hand to the side of Kovalev’s head that knocked down Kovalev in the seventh round. Colombia’s Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) knocked down Kovalev twice more in the seventh round, which forced referee David Fields to stop their scheduled 12-round WBO light heavyweight title fight at 2:45 of the seventh round.
Russia’s Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) was consistently listed as a 7-1 favorite entering their HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event.
Unlike Kovalev’s controversial TKO defeat to Andre Ward in their rematch in June 2017, there was nothing debatable about this devastating defeat. His second loss to Ward was questionable because Ward landed multiple low blows before referee Tony Weeks ended their second fight in the eighth round at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Alvarez is contractually committed to an immediate rematch with Kovalev. Kathy Duva, whose company promotes Kovalev, stated during the post-fight press conference that she’s not sure when the rematch will take place.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing