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Buddy McGirt: “Sergey Kovalev vs Canelo Alvarez is the best fighting the best”

Sergey Kovalev and Buddy McGirt. Photo credit: Sergey Kovalev via Twitter (@KrusherKovalev)

The trainer of WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev 34-3-1 (29) says he is excited for the opportunity for his fighter to face middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 52-1-2 (35), calling it a throwback fight.

Buddy McGirt praised Alvarez for taking the fight while admitting he had no idea why the 160-pounder would want such a stiff challenge in his 175-pound debut.

“I was excited, because in boxing the best are supposed to fight the best; not the best fighting the easiest guy for the most money,” McGirt said to SecondsOut.

“That’s the school I came from. The best fight the best, and I respect Canelo for moving up to fight him. It’s going to be a great night of boxing. They’re going to have a different train of thought on November 2nd.”

The key to victory, says McGirt, is to not just be the bigger man but the better man in the ring.

“The key is to be the better man that night. Not the stronger man, but the better man. Being smart. What we have to do is make him think twice about coming in and going to the body,” McGirt continued.

“We’re going to hit him everywhere between his neck and his waist. I’m not worrying about his head. We’re going to hit him everywhere on his body for the first five or six rounds.

“I know he’s going to try and outbox him.”

“I know he’s going to mix his attack up. Anybody that says anything else is crazy, but we’ve got to be ready for both. That’s the key. We’ve got to be ready for both. We’ve got to make him uncomfortable in both situations.”

McGirt, who took over the coaching reigns from John David Jackson after Kovalev’s knockout loss to Eleider Alvarez last year, guided the 36-year-old Russian to victory over Alvarez in an immediate rematch and cornered him in his most recent win over Anthony Yarde.

Despite Kovalev’s reputation as a difficult fighter to work with, McGirt says their working relationship has been trouble free thus far.

“To be honest, I’ve never had any problems with him. As a matter of fact, when he came to me before the second [Eleider] Alvarez fight, he took full responsibility for his loss,” McGirt said.

“He didn’t blame nobody. He said, ‘I messed up, Buddy. I take the blame.’ So you’ve got to respect a man for that.

“So I said, ‘Listen, if I ask you for A are you going to give me B or are you going to give me A?’ He said, ‘I’m going to give you A.’ Bam, no problem. We’re just going to continue to do what we do, and then on fight night make the adjustments that we have to make.”