Sergey Kovalev vs Eleider Alvarez II Odds, Tips & Top Bets
- Bet Alvarez over Kovalev by any method at -167 with 888Sport.
- Bet Alvarez by KO, TKO or DQ at +140 with Karamba.
Kovalev-Alvarez II Betting Tips
Kovalev’s Career in a Free Fall
Alvarez (24-0, 13 KOs) shockingly knocked out Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) in the seventh round last year of a back-and-forth fight to rip Kovalev’s WBO light heavyweight title away from the 35-year-old Russian as well as call into question the legitimacy of Kovalev as a perennial light heavyweight power.
Where Kovalev was once one of the most feared fighters in all of boxing, consecutive losses to Andre Ward--especially the eighth round stoppage in 2017--greatly diminished the idea that Kovalev was still truly one of the best 175-pound fighters in the world.
While Kovalev’s knockout wins over fringe contenders Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and Igor Mikhalkin at least put Kovalev back into the driver’s seat in the race to reestablish a once proud legacy, the knockout loss to Alvarez, 34, seemed to indicate Kovalev was finished as a top-flight boxer.
Kovalev’s Biggest Problem
The problem isn’t that he lost to Alvarez, so much as it is he lost by knockout to a fighter not really known as a power puncher. Moreover, Alvarez landed early and often in the bout, though by the time of the knockout, Kovalev had at least pulled ahead on the judges’ scorecards.
But a 34-year-old fighter who has never been a champion doesn’t usually beat a 35-year-old two-time champ as highly regarded as Kovalev unless something has gone awry.
Indeed, that’s why Kovalev, -600, was such a huge favorite over Alvarez, +400, in the first fight, and maybe even why Alvarez is such a slight underdog against Kovalev in the rematch despite having clearly walloped Kovalev the first time around.
While Alvarez should be commended for his late-blooming excellence in a sport not often kind to those so close to their mid-30s, the guidance for betting the rematch simply boils down to whether one believes Kovalev can come anywhere close to getting his groove back.
The most reasonable answer is that he cannot.
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Best Bets for Alvarez-Kovalev II
The only passable reason to back Kovalev against Alvarez in the rematch is if you think the first fight was just a fluke.
The problem with that thinking is that Alvarez landed clean punches during the first few rounds over and over again, something that doesn’t happen inside of a professional boxing ring by chance.
It’s much more likely that Kovalev is done as a premier fighter.
Back Alvarez by any method at -167. The Columbian-born fighter just looks to have Kovalev’s number at this stage of the two men’s careers, and he appears both the better boxer and the one with the fresher legs.
Moreover, Kovalev’s outside-of-boxing life has been embittered in turmoil over the last year. He switched trainers again, something he seems to have done after every loss, which indicates he’s accustomed to blaming others for his deficiencies.
More importantly, Kovalev was arrested and charged with felony assault last summer and is reportedly facing up to four years in prison. How much mental energy has he even devoted to training for the fight? Probably not nearly enough.
Taking Alvarez by KO, TKO or DQ at +140 with Karamba looks too appealing to pass up, too. Kovalev’s head is probably elsewhere and he has a history of checking out of fights he’s on his way to losing anyway. Kovalev looks great when he can bully people, but when he can’t he quits.
If you just have to take a big risk in hopes of a big return, back Alvarez in rounds 7-9 at +600 with 888Sport. Both of Kovalev’s stoppage losses fit in that box, and history repeats itself in boxing too often to dismiss the strategy outright.
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