The main event of The Star’s world title bout trifecta lived up to its billing on Saturday.
Sergey Kovalev exacted revenge on Eleider Alvarez with a unanimous decision to regain his WBO light heavyweight world title in front of 4,877 at The Ford Center at The Star.
In the first fight Alvarez was trailing on all three scorecards when he turned things around to knock Kovalev down three times in the 7th round for an upset victory to take Kovalev’s 175-pound world title on Aug. 4 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
This time was a different story.
While close throughout, Kovalev was simply more consistent with his pressure and landed more power shots to improve to 33-3-1 (28 KOs). This was Alvarez’s first defeat, dropping him to 24-1 (12 KOs).
“I have no excuses,” Alvarez said. “I thought I put on a good performance. I just didn’t get the result. I don’t see myself as a loser tonight.”
LOPEZ BACKS UP HIS WORD THAT HE’D STEAL SHOW
Teofimo Lopez told the world that he was going to steal the show during the pre-fight press conference on Thursday, and backed up those words with his KO of former two-time world title challenger Diego Magdaleno in the 7th round to win the NABF, NABA, and USBA world titles.
“I hurt him early, and once my dad told me to stop carrying him, it was over,” he said.
Lopez, forever the showman, improved to 12-0 with 10 KOs. The Brooklyn native was ESPN’s 2018 Prospect of the Year.
Lopez did his customary backflip in the center of the ring then starred down a defeated Magdaleno (31-3, 13 KOs) as he laid on the canvas. That didn’t sit well with Magdaleno’s corner as one of his camp members tried to go after Lopez, but was held back. Another one of Magdaleno’s cornermen was kicked out of the ring, post-fight.
“Teofimo Lopez, whether you like him or hate him, you are still going to watch him. It’s business, and it’s what I’m doing now, it’s entertainment.”
VALDEZ WINS WITH KO; HIS OPPONENT PROPOSES TO GIRLFRIEND IN RING AFTER FIGHT
WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez is baaaaccckkk.
The Nogales, Mexico native put on a show in front of a heavy contingent of Mexico fans by knocking out Italy’s Carmine Tommasone with a ferocious right hook to the jaw to retain his belt.
This was Valdez’s first fight since breaking his jaw while beating Scott Quigg in March, 2018.
“To be honest I don’t even think about the jaw,” he said. “The jaw is 100 percent ready for whoever. I’m happy just to be here in the ring. This is my passion. This is what I love to do. The sky’s the limit.”
Valdez improved to 25-0 with 20 KOs.
Though Tommasone suffered his first loss of his career (19-1, 5 KOs), he didn’t have too terrible of a night as he proposed to his girlfriend in the ring after the fight.
She said yes.
PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT?
The first fight of the ESPN+ portion of the promotion turned into a decisive mismatch with Richard Commey (Accra, Ghana) knocking out Russia’s Isa Chaniev with a 2nd round KO to claim the vacant IBF Lightweight World Title.
Commey (28-2, 25 KOs) punished Chaniev early in the first round, securing an early knockout with a clean right hand before absolutely destroying him in the second with a devastating KO.
What’s next for Commey: a date with Vasily Lomachenko, quite possibly the top-overall fighter in the world today, on April 12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to unify belts.