By Luke Furman
Former world champion Sergey Kovalev will be looking for revenge.
Last Saturday in Atlantic City, the Russian fighter suffered his third career defeat when he was knocked out in the seventh round by undefeated Eleider Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs), who captured the WBO world title with the victory.
Alvarez dropped Kovalev with a hard right hand in the seventh round and then sent him down two more times for the knockout victory.
Two years ago, Kovalev ruled the entire division with the IBF, WBA, WBO titles around his waist.
He then suffered back to back defeats to Andre Ward between 2016 and 2017.
Kovalev rebuilt his career, and captured the WBO belt, with two dominant knockout wins.
Now at 35-years-old, he's back in the same position that he found himself at the end of 2016 - on a mission to rebuild and reclaim his titles.
There is a rematch clause that Kovalev can exercise - and HBO already has a date of December 8 reserved - which could be for Kovalev-Alvarez II or Alvarez making his defense against someone else, like a unification with WBA champion Dmitry Bivol or a voluntary defense of the belt.
Originally the December date was being targeted for a unification between Kovalev and Bivol - but the unexpected outcome in last Saturday's fight has thrown a huge wrench into those plans.
Kovalev is already making plans to get right back in the mix.
"I'm in a difficult situation and I'm grateful that [all of my fans] supported me. Now I can confidently say that I'm not going to finish my career," Kovalev said.
"Right now I will take some time to rest and in a couple of months I will prepare for the next fight with renewed energy. I think that it will be rematch with Alvarez. I will not make any excuses [for what happened last Saturday], it happened as it happened."
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org