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Saturday night’s light heavyweight title fight is a classic battle of speed versus power.

Reigning middleweight and super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is stepping up two divisions to challenge Sergey Kovalev, the hard-hitting Russian who has held the WBO belt since February.

Alvarez is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world according to BoxRec, and has won 10 of his last 11 fights, the only exception being a contentious draw against Gennady Golovkin in September 2017.

He beat Golovkin on points in the rematch and has since also seen off Rocky Fielding and Daniel Jacobs, becoming a three-weight world champion in the process.

Canelo is perhaps the world’s best technical boxer and a fantastic body puncher, which could be the key to this fight.

It’s no coincidence that the 29-year-old chose to call out Kovalev over Dmitry Bivol or Artur Beterbiev, the other two current light heavyweight champions.

Kovalev is still a huge name, a dangerous puncher and a natural light heavyweight who will dwarf Alvarez on Saturday night.

He is, however, coming off a war with Anthony Yarde in August in which he was very nearly stopped in the eighth round before battling back to win in the 11th.

Kovalev lost in the seventh round to Eleider Alvarez in August 2018 and was beaten twice by Andre Ward – a former super-middleweight – in November 2016 and June 2017.

It was a series of body shots that ended the second fight with Ward, and his vulnerability in that area was again clear in his fight against Yarde.

Canelo is intelligent enough to spot that weakness and good enough to exploit it.

He’ll surely look to play the long game on Saturday night, staying out of trouble and working the body early on before going for the finish as Kovalev tires.

The 36-year-old is a gritty fighter and a difficult one to stop, but Alvarez has enough power to do serious damage and should earn the victory inside 12 rounds.

Alvarez to win by KO, TKO or disqualification

Alvarez to win in rounds 10-12

#BetYourWay: Alvarez to win and no knockdowns

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