If Sergey Kovalev is overly concerned about being able to beat Canelo Alvarez on the scorecards in Las Vegas, he apparently has no intention of publicizing it the way Daniel Jacobs did before his fight against Alvarez.
The WBO light heavyweight champion downplayed Alvarez’s history of being involved in controversial decisions in Las Vegas during an interview with BoxingScene.com. Russia’s Kovalev contends he can’t worry about how judges will score their 12-round, 175-pound championship match November 2 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“Right now, my goal is to get a victory,” said Kovalev, who lost a controversial unanimous decision to Andre Ward in November 2016 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “But it’s not my job to account for who got the victory after each round. That’s not my job. I’m going to Vegas to do my job, fighting. And what will happen will happen. We will see. But people who will see this fight, they will know who will win, even if the judges make mistakes. … I do my job and everything I do is for me and for boxing fans.”
Judges for the Alvarez-Kovalev have not yet been approved by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Brooklyn’s Jacobs was very vocal about the selection of judges and being treated fairly on the scorecards before he and Alvarez engaged in a middleweight title unification match May 4 at T-Mobile Arena.
Mexico’s Alvarez beat Jacobs by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder, but that result wasn’t considered controversial. Judges Glenn Feldman (116-112), Dave Moretti (115-113) and Steve Weisfeld (115-113) each scored that fight for Alvarez.
Three previous Alvarez fights in Las Vegas produced questionable outcomes.
Alvarez beat Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara by split decision in their July 2014 bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Three years later, his first fight against Gennadiy Golovkin resulted in a dubious draw at T-Mobile Arena. Judge Adalaide Byrd infamously scored 10 of 12 rounds for Alvarez (118-110), even though that fight was much more competitive than that.
Alvarez won their rematch by majority decision a year ago. That 12-round fight was even more competitive than their initial encounter, but Alvarez’s victory also was the subject of great debate.
Five year earlier, Floyd Mayweather Jr. clearly beat Alvarez, but judge CJ Ross strangely scored that bout even (114-114). Mayweather still won a majority decision because Moretti (116-112) and Craig Metcalfe (117-111) both scored that fight for Mayweather.
Kovalev paid particular attention to the two Alvarez-Golovkin fights because he remembers watching them spar in 2012 in Big Bear Lake, California.
“When they met in the ring, I didn’t know who would get a victory,” Kovalev said. “But I saw their two fights. They were great fights. My opinion is the first fight was won by Gennadiy, and the second fight was won by Canelo.”
Odds-makers have installed the 29-year-old Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) as a 4-1 favorite over the 36-year-old Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs), even though Alvarez will move up two weight classes for their 175-pound title fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.