Canelo vs Kovalev catchweight: What will it be?
Don't be surprised if Team Canelo imposes a catchweight for light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev when the fighters meet in November.
Canelo vs Kovalev is close to being signed as the camps hammer out contractual details. Perhaps the catchweight limit is the last item to be discussed?
Kovalev's WBO Light Heavyweight Title will be at-stake and the division's weight limit is 175 lbs. Canelo, of course, as the middleweight champion (160 lb limit), would be moving up two divisions to face Sergey so a catchweight stipulation is likely.
So, what's the deal and what is a catchweight anyway?
A term used in boxing and mixed martial arts, a catchweight (or catch-weight) is the weight limit for a fight that falls below the traditional limits for the weight class the fight is to be held.
Typically, if the A-side fighter (in this case, Canelo) is moving up in weight he'll use his leverage, as the bigger draw, to negotiate a catchweight if his team believes it'll work to his advantage.
A catchweight gives the naturally larger fighter something else to worry about in training. Kovalev will not only have to prepare for Canelo's speed and body punching, he'll have to suck more weight than usual. Essentially, Kovalev will have two opponents - Canelo and the scale.
For the larger fighter, catchweights can disrupt the flow of his normal training regimen and shift the focus from his opponent to the making weight.
So, what will the Canelo vs Kovalev catchweight be?
Leonard vs Lalonde 1988
When middleweight star Sugar Ray Leonard fought then WBC Light Heavyweight champion Donny Lalonde, the former imposed a 168 lb limit and the pair fought for Lalonde's light heavyweight belt and the vacant WBC Super Middleweight Title.
An emaciated Laonde was forced to come in at least 4½ pounds lighter than was the case in his previous bout and a whopping 7 pounds under than the light heavyweight limit. Leonard, of course, claimed versions of the light heavyweight and super middleweight titles that evening by KOing Donny in 9.
Back to Canelo vs Kovalev...
What will the catchweight be?
Answer: As low as Canelo's team wants it.
Look for it to be more than the super middleweight limit of 168 pounds; Otherwise, it wouldn't be a light heavyweight affair. Leonard got away with the 168 pound catchweight stipulation because the WBC also agreed to put its vacant (inaugural) super middleweight belt on the line. As a result, it was contractually agreed titles for two weight classes would be at-stake, forcing the heavier Lalonde to meet the 168 pound limit.
Would Team Alvarez demand a catchweight as low as 168½ pounds for Kovalev? It would be a egregious is they did.
My guess is the catchweight will be roughly 170 pounds. It's a full pounds over the super middleweight limit and would force Sergey, who weighed 174 for his bout last month, to drop an additional four pounds; Not easy for an already-lean, well-conditioned, 36 year old world class athlete whose lightest professional fighting weight is 173; And that was seven years ago (2012).
What catchweight do you think will be agreed to?