first_imgATLANTIC CITY, NJ (AP): Eleider Alvarez rocked Sergey Kovalev with a right that dropped the Russian on his rear. He never let up in his first shot at the title. After three years of waiting for a light heavyweight title fight, Alvarez left Kovalev crumpled on the canvas, enveloped by a victory celebration. He dropped Kovalev three times in a brutal seventh round and won the 175-pound championship by knockout at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Saturday night. Alvarez ran his record to 24-0 (12 KOs) and sprinted around the ring as Kovalev stumbled back to his corner. Alvarez got the KO at 2:45 in the seventh as the sellout crowd of 5,642 at Etess Arena went wild for boxing’s newest champion. “I knew it was my chance and I wanted to take it right now,” Alvarez said. Alvarez won the WBO light heavyweight title and ended Kovalev’s latest reign atop the division. Alvarez, who once had surgery on his right hand, found the power in that hand to level Kovalev with a right and send him to the canvas. Alvarez, a Colombian, pounced and pounded away at Kovalev when he beat the 10 count and knocked him down two more times before referee David Fields ended the fight. “It was a two (punch) combo that I have been throwing my whole career and we worked on it in camp,” Alvarez said. “I have always practised that in camp and we thought it would work in this camp.” Dmitry Bivol unanimously outpointed Isaac Chilemba to retain the WBA version of the 175-pound title. There had been hopes to match Kovalev (32-3-1) against Bivol in a unification bout, perhaps later this year. Alvarez caught Kovalev, who hasn’t been the same since consecutive defeats to Andre Ward, and put those plans on ice. His third knockdown left Kovalev on all fours, and he sat motionless on the canvas as Alvarez took a victory leap into his corner. Kovalev was taken to a hospital. Alvarez had used wins over Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute to earn a title shot he believed was years in the making. “I wanted to show that I could stay strong and do good things,” Alvarez said. “His punches were not as hard as they were in the beginning of the fight.”last_img