Former super middleweight and light heavyweight world champion Andre Ward believes Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 52-1-2 (35) will have too much firepower for Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev 34-3-1 (29) despite moving up two weight classes to make the fight.
Middleweight champion Alvarez, 29, will challenge the 36-year-old WBO light heavyweight champion on November 2.
Ward, who retired with an undefeated record of 32-0 (16) two years ago, holds a pair of victories over Kovalev in his last two professional fights – a one-point win and an eighth-round stoppage.
“There’s a lot of variables, but right now I’m leaning towards Canelo Alvarez,” Ward said to Max on Boxing.
“Sergey Kovalev is no longer the Krusher. He’s simply Sergey Kovalev. He by himself is still a dangerous guy. He’s still tough, but it’s only for the first half of the fight.
“If Canelo Alvarez doesn’t go overboard and try and put on an enormous amount of weight and mass, I think he’s going to wear Kovalev down. Everybody knows Kovalev cannot take it to the body nor does he know how to defend himself when someone comes inside.”
Mexico’s Alvarez is coming off a close but clear-cut 12-round decision win over Daniel Jacobs in Las Vegas in May.
Last month Kovalev stopped previously undefeated Brit Anthony Yarde in 11 rounds in Chelyabinsk, Russia in what was his 16th straight world title fight.
“I can see Canelo stopping Sergey Kovalev late, somewhere around the 11th or 12th round, because Kovalev is in his mid-30s,” Ward continued.
“This is a cash-out fight for him. I’m sure he’s going to try to win, but he’s not the Krusher anymore. It’s as simple as that. He’s had tough fights. He’s had a tough lifestyle outside the ring. I’m leaning towards Canelo for a late round stoppage.”