EXCLUSIVE: Evander Holyfield airs views on Sergey Kovalev controversy

Canelo Sergey Kovalev

📸 Amanda Westcott

Boxing great Evander Holyfield is the latest person to voice his opinion on the outcome between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev.

Canelo defeated Kovalev with a vicious stoppage in round 11 to win the WBO light heavyweight strap, and in doing so, joined an exclusive list of Mexican greats to win four world titles in as many weight classes.

With his win, the 29-year-old has now risen to No.1 in WBN’s pound for pound rankings list with Vasyl Lomachenko and Naoya Inoue just behind in second and third, respectively.

Holyfield shared his relief that Canelo secured the win inside the distance as his scorecard was different from two of the judges at ringside.

Canelo ‘was losing the Fight’

“My opinion is that I thought he was losing the fight, and somebody told me they had him winning on the cards, that’s why I’m glad he knocked him out so there was no controversy,” ‘The Real Deal’ exclusively told World Boxing News.

“At ringside, I said he was just getting outpointed, he threw the harder shots, but he was only throwing those punches once in a while. I was kinda disappointed in the other guy too because the other guy never threw a good right hand he just kept jabbing.

“He didn’t throw nothing I’d seen that he could knock anyone out with. You’re boxing but in other words, if I just let you keep taking big shots then you are going to knock me out. The fact of the matter is it’s not going to make me cautious if I’m going to hit you because you aren’t going to hit me and that’s what he did – he got knocked out.”

Did Kovalev have a winning mentality?

Kovalev has recently spoken for the first time since relinquishing the WBO crown and admitted it was ‘impossible’ for him to win because of his struggles to make weight.

Not only was a rehydration clause in place, the Russian had no rest after entering back-to-back camps following his win over Anthony Yarde in August.

Despite many believing Kovalev looked drained, Holyfield believes there were 12 million other reasons as to why Kovalev lacked the power to take out Canelo.

“It didn’t look like that to me (Kovalev looking weak). It’s kinda sad but big fights, you got a guy making $35m and another guy making $12m but he isn’t used to that kind of money.

“To him, ‘woah, I’ve never made that much money in my life, why do I care?’ It’s sad you can choose money over the win. I like winning. I’d rather win, I ain’t losing, the purses? I don’t care I want to win.

“I think when you win your persona will make you catch up to anybody. Ever since I was heavyweight champion of the world, people respect the fact you’re a great fighter and always in shape, that’s one of the biggest compliments that I can have,” he added.

Read more from Evander Holyfield’s exclusive interview with WBN HERE.