This Saturday, February 2nd on the eve of Super Bowl LIII (53), Top Rank Boxing offers up what promises to be a tasty buffet of fights, live from the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, TX. While all eyes will undoubtedly be glued to the Los Angeles Rams vs. the New England Patriots football game on Sunday, the day prior will shine light on boxing, from the headquarters and training facilities of “America’s Team”, the Dallas Cowboys. ESPN will have its multitude of viewing options and platforms on full display, showcasing undercard, featured and main event bouts.
This event is headlined by a WBO light heavyweight championship rematch between defending champion, Elieder Alvarez (24-0, 12 KO’s) and former unified belt holder, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KO’s). This is an immediate rematch of one of 2018’s bigger upsets, a 7th round KO for the Columbian, Alvarez. The fight itself was fan friendly and Kovalev held an edge on all the cards at the time of stoppage. Noted for his devastating power, Kovalev hit Alvarez with everything in round 4 of their first bout, to no avail. Alvarez has since admitted the Russian is one of the harder punchers he’s ever faced, nonetheless, he showed no effects, weathered the storm and crushed the “Krusher” three rounds later. Kovalev feels he had Alvarez where he wanted him and the reigning champion just got lucky. Sergey’s enlisted the aid of Hall of Famer and noted trainer, Buddy McGirt, to get his focus back on the basics, fundamentals and not as fixated on knockouts.
Something has to give here, but the suspicion is Kovalev hasn’t quite been the same since his rematch loss to Andre Ward, which makes him ripe for the taking (again) by a tough, ballsy, ultra-combative sort like Alvarez.
The breathtaking Teofimo Lopez (11-0, 9 KO’s) will be squaring off with Diego Magdaleno (31-2, 13 KO’s) in the co-main event. 2017’s “Prospect of the Year” and 2018’s “Knockout of the Year” award winner, Lopez is looking to do what he does; takeover, steal the show and make easy work of Magdaleno. No reason to think he won’t. The light heavyweight title rematch and the expected Lopez beat down will be shown on ESPN+ (11PM CST).
As if that wasn’t enough, ESPN and ESPN Deportes will air not one but two world title fights (9PM CST). Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19 KO’s) will end an almost year long layoff in defense of his WBO featherweight crown, when he throws hands with Carmine Tommasone (19-0, 5 KO’s). Also, Richard Commey (27-2, 24 KO’s) and Isa Chaniev (13-1, 6 KO’s) duke it out for vacant IBF lightweight laurels.