Eleider Álvarez

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Eleider Álvarez
Statistics
Real nameEléyder Álvarez Baytar
Nickname(s)Storm
Weight(s)Light-heavyweight
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Reach75 12 in (192 cm)
NationalityColombian
Born (1984-04-08) April 8, 1984 (age 34)
Apartadó, Colombia[1]
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights24
Wins24
Wins by KO12
Losses0

Eléyder Álvarez Baytar (born April 8, 1984 in Apartadó, Colombia[2]) is a Colombian professional boxer who has held the WBO light-heavyweight title since August 2018. As an amateur he won a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games in the light-heavyweight division.

As of August 2018, Álvarez is ranked as the world's best active light-heavyweight by The Ring Magazine and Boxrec, second by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.[3][4][5]

Amateur career[edit]

Álvarez won the 2006 South America Games against Hamilton Ventura.[6]

At the PanAms 2007 he beat southpaw Julio Castillo 10:8 and upset Cuban favorite Yusiel Napoles in the final by KO in round 3. He was trailing 4:6.[7]

At the 2007 World Championships he lost to African champion Ramadan Yasser.

At the first Olympic qualifying tournament for the Americas in Trinidad he was beaten by 18-year-old Cuban Julio César la Cruz 0:8. At the second Olympic qualifying tournament for the Americas in Guatemala he squeaked by the same opponent with an 8:8 countback win, then beat old foe Julio Castillo 4:0 and Azea Austinama to win his Olympic ticket. In the final he also defeated fellow qualifier Julius Jackson.[8]

At the 2008 Pan American Championships[9] in Ecuador he won gold.

Based on his qualifying results he was given a first round bye in the 2008 Olympics, but after a 5-5 tie at the end of his second round bout with Britain's Tony Jeffries (eventual bronze medalist), Álvarez lost on countback.

Professional career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Álvarez made his debut at the age of 25 on August 28, 2009 against Jesse Sanders (14-6-2, 13 KOs) at the Montreal Casino. Sanders was a late replacement for Kareem Chartrand. Joachim Alcine and David Lemieux also appeared on the card in separate bouts. Álvarez won the fight via knockout in round 1. This was Sanders' last professional bout. Álvarez fought twice more in 2009 at the Montreal Casino, closing the year with a record of (3-0, 2 KOs). Álvarez did not fight in 2010 and returned to the ring in April 2011 knocking Ernesto Zamora out after knocking him down 3 times. Álvarez fought for his first title, the vacant WBO NABO light heavyweight title in just his sixth professional fight against Emiliano Cayetano (21-3, 12 KOs) at the Bell Centre in Montreal on December 10, 2011. Cayetano was knocked down three times in round 1, before the fight was stopped at 2 minutes, 33 seconds.[10] In April 2012, he knocked out Rayco Saunders before defending his WBO NABO title against future world title challenger Shawn Hawk (23-1-1, 17 KOs) at the Bell Centre on June 8. Álvarez knocked Hawk down in round 12 and won via wide scorecards of 119-108,119-108, 118-109. This was the first time Álvarez was taken the 12 round distance in his professional career.[11][12] Álvarez was due to defend his WBO NABO title against veteran boxer Edison Miranda on December 14, 2012 at the Bell Centre, however Miranda dropped out of the fight and instead Álvarez fought Danny McIntosh, who he knocked out in 8 rounds of the scheduled 10. Álvarez knocked McIntosh down twice in round 8, with the finishing shot being a right hand.[13][14]

In February 2013, Promoter Yvon Michel confirmed that Álvarez would returning to the Bell Centre on the undercard of Adonis Stevenson vs. Darnell Boone II on March 22.[15] Veteran boxer Nicholson Poulard (19-3, 9 KOs) was announced as his opponent and it was announced that the WBA NABA light heavyweight title would be at stake. Poulard, known for being the brother of former world champion Jean Pascal, was on a 6-fight win streak going into the bout.[16] Álvarez stopped Poulard in round 3 with a single combination. Poulard collapsed to the canvas though he managed to get up on his feet, it was not enough to convince referee Marlon Wright, who waved off the fight at the 2:08 mark in the third.[17] On March 25, Álvarez's manager Greg Leon stated it was likely he fight Allan Green (32-4, 22 KOs) on the Lucian Bute vs. Jean Pascal undercard on May 25 in a WBA eliminator at the Bell Centre in Montreal.[18] On June 12, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson announced his company, SMS Promotions would promote a card at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on July 5 live on ESPN Friday Night Fights. Álvarez vs. Green was to headline the card.[19] The fight was to be fought at a 180-pound catchweight, however Green weighed 186 pounds. Álvarez came in much lighter at 178 pounds. For the fight to go ahead, Green had to pay Álvarez 20% of his purse, which worked out to be $3,000.[20] Green withdrew from the bout the next morning claiming he had food poisoning.[21] Álvarez eventually fought his toughest fight against Edison Miranda (35-8, 30 KO's) on the Stevenson-Cloud undercard on September 28 at the Bell Centre. The bout the scheduled for 10 rounds.[22] After controlling the fight from the start, Álvarez dropped Miranda after landing a right hand. Miranda beat the count and with Álvarez trying to finish the fight, Miranda made it to end of the round. The fight went the distance with Álvarez winning 95-94, 99-90, 97-92 on the judges' scorecards.[23]

In January 2014, Álvarez defeated then-unbeaten Canadian boxer Andrew Gardiner via unanimous decision, then returned to the ring in May, going the distance for the third consecutive time, this time against Alexander Johnson. Álvarez was originally due to fight South African contender Thomas Oosthuizen for the vacant WBC Silver light heavyweight title in January instead of Gardiner. The WBA declined to sanction the bout.[24] A week before the bout, Oosthuizen was pulled from the bout and reportedly dropped by his promotional team Golden Gloves. Their website stated Oosthuizen had been involved in a motorcycle accident and injured. It was also reported he was 12 pounds over the light heavyweight limit at the time.[25][26][27] After being lightly linked to a fight with Dmitry Sukhotsky (21-2, 16 KOs) in July, it was announced it August that Álvarez would fight on Golden Gloves promoted card, headlined by British boxer Martin Murray at the Salle des Étoiles in Monte Carlo on October 25, 2014. He challenged Ryno Liebenberg (16-0, 11 KOs) for his WBC Silver title.[28][29] Álvarez won the belt scoring a round 7 stoppage. Álvarez used the first 2 rounds to test Liebenberg's shots. In round 4, Álvarez started landed more shots clean. Under the WBC rules of open scoring, the judges scorecards read 39-37 (twice - for Álvarez) and 38-38 after 4 rounds. Liebenberg was cut due to an accidental headbutt and then deducted a point under the WBC regulations. When the fight resumed, Álvarez landed a right uppercut, however Liebenberg survived the round. The cut over Liebenberg's left eye re-opened in round 7 and after advice from the ringside physician, referee Frank Garza stopped the fight at 1 minute, 54 seconds, giving Ávarez the win.[30]

On May 11, 2015 Álvarez was added to the Erislandy Lara vs. Delvin Rodriguez card on June 12 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois. This would mark Álvarez's US debut and was to be broadcast on Spike TV.[31] On June 8, Groupe Yvon Michel announced that Álvarez, along with stablemates Artur Beterbiev and Oscar Rivas had signed with powerful American adviser Al Haymon.[32] Álvarez fought Anatoliy Dudchenko (19-3, 13 KOs) and knocked him out in 2 rounds after landing a hard combination.[33] On July 15, in Montreal, at the press conference of Lucian Bute vs. Andrea Di Luisa, it was confirmed that Álvarez would fight unbeaten Paraguayan Isidro Ranoni Prieto (24-0-3, 20 KOs). Prieto was ranked #6 by the WBO. The fight would take place on August 15 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.[34] Álvarez won the bout via unanimous decision with all three judges' scoring the bout 117-111 in his favor. After the fight, Álvarez stated, "I was prepared to go 12 rounds. "I didn't want to, I wanted the knockout, but I was ready for a 12-round fight and happy to get the win." There was talks that Álvarez would potentially fight Isaac Chilemba next in a WBC eliminator.[35]

The teams of Álvarez and Chilemba started talks on August 26, 2015 and within a month agreed the terms for their fight, avoiding purse bids.[36][37] The fight was then announced to take place at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Quebec on November 28 on the undercard of newly crowned IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale's first title defence against Lucian Bute.[38][39] In a close bout, Álvarez defeated Chilemba via majority decision to become the WBC mandatory challenger. One judge scored the bout 114-114, whilst the remaining two judges awarded Álvarez 118-110 and 115-113. Had Chilemba won the final round, the bout would have ended a draw. According to ComputBox stats, Álvarez landed 147 of 544 punches thrown (27%) and Chilemba landed 151 of his 598 thrown (25%). Álvarez believed he was the clear winning having only lost 2 rounds. Chilemba took most of the early rounds and it was not until the later rounds where Chilemba weathered the storm. Chilemba stated that Álvarez, who had mostly fought out of Canada, received a "hometown decision."[40][41]

Álvarez fought twice in 2016. Initially, he was scheduled to fight former Lineal world champion Chad Dawson in July, however an injury caused Dawson to pull out with only 10 days before the fight.[42] Instead, New Zealand southpaw Robert Berridge (27-4-1, 21 KOs) stepped in to fight Álvarez in a 10-round bout on July 29 at the Videotron Centre.[43] Álvarez, the heavy favourite against the late replacement performed defensively in winning a lop-sided decision. Considering Berridge took the bout on short notice as a replacement for Dawson, he went the distance and gave a good accounting of himself. Berridge took a huge swelling and beating to the right side of his face, and could not penetrate the defensive wall of Álvarez. The scorecards read 99-90, 98-92, 98-92.[44] Álvarez returned to the ring on December 10, headlining his own card at the Montreal Casino in Quebec against Polish boxer Norbert Dąbrowski (19-5-1, 7 KOs). Dąbrowski came into the bout having never been stopped.[45][46] Álvarez was unable to stop Dąbrowki, who proved to be a tough opponent, however won a wide unanimous decision with the scores of 97-93, 98-92, 99-91.[47]

On December 6, 2016 prior to defeating Dąbrowki, a bout with former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (32-3-1, 25 KOs) was in the works to take place on February 25, 2017 in Quebec. Promoter Yvon Michel explained the reason for the bout was due to the fallout of the potential rematch between Bute and Jean Pascal.[48][49] Álvarez knocked out Bute in round 5 to remain the mandatory challenger for the WBC title. Both fighters had their moments in the first four rounds, but it was a right hand which buzzed Bute. He was then immediately dropped with another right hand. Marlon B. Wright, who refereed his last bout, stopped the fight at 2:22 of round 5. An accidental clash of heads at the end of round 2 opened a cut on Bute's nose and Álvarez was cut on his forehead. Bute suffered his 4th loss over his last 7 fights.[50][51]

Álvarez vs. Pascal[edit]

On April 15, 2017, it was announced that Álvarez would defend the WBC Silver light heavyweight title against Haitian Jean Pascal on the undercard of Adonis Stevenson's world title defense against Fonfara at the Centre Bell in Montreal, Canada on June 3, 2017. Álvarez was due to fight Stevenson next for the WBC world title, but took money to step aside.[52][53] The event was scheduled to be shown live on Showtime and was confirmed on April 21.[54] Álvarez outboxed Pascal, winning a majority decision after 12 rounds. One judge scored the fight 114-114, whilst the other two scored it 117-111 and 116-112 in favour of Álvarez. Pascal suffered his third defeat in five fights. Álvarez controlled the fight with his superior jab, accuracy and general ring work. Pascal felt he had done enough to get the win and wanted a rematch with Álvarez.[55][56]

Issues with WBC[edit]

After Badou Jack (21-1-3, 13 KOs) defeated Nathan Cleverly in August 2017, to win the WBA 'Regular' light heavyweight title, he began to call out WBC champion Adonis Stevenson, knowing that Stevenson had a mandatory challenger. Stevenson shrugged it off, claiming he was ready for anyone.[57] On September 8, 2017 mutual promoter Yvon Michel disclosed that there was serious ongoing negotiations between Stevenson and Álvarez to fight before the end on 2017. He revealed the fight would take place in Quebec.[58] In September, Michel said that he had a difficult time finalizing a date and venue for the fight, which meant the fight could get pushed to the end of January 2018. He also responded to claims of Jack wanting to fight Stevenson, saying it would only be possible if it were a unification.[59] Michel confirmed the fight would take place on Showtime in January 2018. Michel spoke to Showtime about not going head to head locally with David Lemieux's next fight, which would take place on December 16 on HBO.[60] On November 8, there was rumours stating that Stevenson would once again pay Álvarez a step-aside fee, in order to fight Badou Jack. Álvarez spoke to TVA Sports saying, "I do not think I'm going to fight Stevenson. I do expect to receive that (step-aside offer), and then I will analyze it with my team."[61] On December 1, it was reported that GYM had offered Álvarez a step-aside deal which would give him 'a multi-fight agreement with six-figure guarantee per fight', with Stevenson being part of deal as well.[62] On December 6, the WBC announced that they would investigate into Stevenson's title reign and lack of mandatories.[63] A week later, the WBC stated they would allow Stevenson to avoid Álvarez once again in order to fight Jack. The WBC went on to state they would order Álvarez to fight Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Gvozdyk (14-0, 12 KOs) for the interim title.[64] Álvarez withdrew from the fight before the purse bid was scheduled on January 12.[65] On April 11, news broke out from Álvarez's manager, Stephane Lepine that a deal was yet to be reached with Álvarez to be properly compensated. Yvon Michel admitted he was working on a deal to keep Álvarez happy and this was the same reason as to why tickets had not yet gone on sale for the Stevenson-Jack fight, which was a month away.[66]

WBO light heavyweight champion[edit]

Álvarez vs. Kovalev[edit]

On April 18, 2018 it was announced that a deal had been reached for Álvarez to challenge Sergey Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs) for the WBO light heavyweight title on HBO. Kovalev was originally scheduled to fight contender Marcus Browne in the summer of 2018, however due to having been arrested for domestic violence, Kovalev's promoter, Kathy Duva of Main Events got in contact with Álvarez's manager Lepine about a potential fight. Due to Álvarez fighting Kovalev, this meant the announcement of Stevenson vs. Jack would be imminent.[67][68] It was announced the fight would take place on August 4 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[69] In front of a sold out crowd of sold-out crowd of 5,642 at the Estess Aena, Álvarez won the fight via TKO in round 7 to claim the WBO title. Kovalev was knocked down three times in round 7 before the fight was stopped. The official time of stoppage was 2 minutes and 45 seconds. For the first six rounds, Kovalev was in control using his jab and landing his right hand.At the end on round 6, he was leading on the scorecards 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56. Álvarez bided his time waiting to the midpoint of the contest before opening up. He explained that part of the gameplan was to wait for Kovalev to tire. Álvarez first dropped Kovalev with a clean right hand to the head. Kovalev got up, but looked unsteady. Instead of trying to finish the round, he stayed open allowing Álvarez to land jabs and a perfectly timed uppercut. Kovalev was dropped again with a combination of punches. After beating the count again, Álvarez charged forward landing another left-right combination, putting Kovalev down again. Referee David Fields stopped the fight.[70][71]

After the fight, Duva confirmed there was a rematch clause in the contract, however was unsure if the rematch would take place straight away. Kovalev was taken to hospital as precaution, thanked his fans for their support and hinted retirement. Through a translator, Álvarez said, "Words cannot describe how I feel. I want to thank God and all my fans in Canada and Colombia. This was all for them. It was a two-punch combination [for the final knockdown] that I have been throwing my whole career, and we worked on it in camp. I have always practiced that in camp, and we thought it would work in this camp." CompuBox Stats showed that Kovalev landed 91 punches of 339 thrown (27%) and Álvarez landed 73 of his 251 thrown (29%).[72][73] The fight averaged 731,000 viewers and peaked at 813,000 viewers.[74]

Álvarez vs. Kovalev II[edit]

On August 25, Kovalev said he would exercise the rematch clause. According to the contract, the fight would have had to take place by February 2019.[75] Early talks indicated the rematch would take place in December 2018. A stumbling block appeared when HBO confirmed they were not fully committed to airing a rematch between the two fighters.[76] Duva stated at any point competing networks could bid on the bout, but all HBO would need to do was match the highest bid to broadcast the fight.[77] In September 2018, Duva stated the bout would likely take place towards the end of January 2019 on the East Coast, as it would be a good distance for Canadian fans to drive to.[78] On September 14, it was announced that ESPN would broadcast the rematch.[79] A week later it was announced the fight would take place on February 2, 2019 at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, best known for being the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility.[80]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
24 fights 24 wins 0 losses
By knockout 12 0
By decision 12 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
25 N/A N/A Russia Sergey Kovalev N/A – (12) Feb 2, 2019 United States Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, Texas, U.S. Defending WBO light-heavyweight title
24 Win 24–0 Russia Sergey Kovalev TKO 7 (12), 2:45 Aug 4, 2018 United States Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Won WBO and IBA light-heavyweight titles
23 Win 23–0 Canada Jean Pascal MD 12 Jun 3, 2017 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Retained WBC Silver light-heavyweight title
22 Win 22–0 Romania Lucian Bute TKO 5 (12), 2:22 Feb 24, 2017 Canada Videotron Centre, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada Retained WBC Silver light-heavyweight title
21 Win 21–0 Poland Norbert Dąbrowski UD 10 Dec 10, 2016 Canada Montreal Casino, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
20 Win 20–0 New Zealand Robert Berridge UD 10 Jul 29, 2016 Canada Videotron Centre, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
19 Win 19–0 Malawi Isaac Chilemba MD 12 Nov 28, 2015 Canada Videotron Centre, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada Retained WBC Silver light-heavyweight title
18 Win 18–0 Paraguay Isidro Ranoni Prieto UD 12 Aug 15, 2015 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Retained WBC Silver light-heavyweight title
17 Win 17–0 Ukraine Anatoliy Dudchenko TKO 2 (10), 1:05 Jun 12, 2015 United States UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
16 Win 16–0 South Africa Ryno Liebenberg TKO 7 (12), 1:52 Oct 25, 2014 Monaco Salle des Etoiles, Monte Carlo, Monaco Won WBC Silver light-heavyweight title
15 Win 15–0 United States Alexander Johnson UD 10 May 24, 2014 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
14 Win 14–0 Canada Andrew Gardiner UD 10 Jan 18, 2014 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
13 Win 13–0 Colombia Edison Miranda UD 10 Sep 28, 2013 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
12 Win 12–0 Canada Nicholson Poulard TKO 3 (12), 2:08 Mar 22, 2013 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Retained WBO–NABO light-heavyweight title;
Won WBANABA light-heavyweight title
11 Win 11–0 United Kingdom Danny McIntosh KO 8 (10), 2:02 Dec 14, 2012 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Retained WBO–NABO light-heavyweight title
10 Win 10–0 Hungary Daniel Regi TKO 2 (8), 2:20 Oct 12, 2012 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
9 Win 9–0 United States Shawn Hawk UD 12 Jun 8, 2012 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Retained WBO–NABO light-heavyweight title
8 Win 8–0 United States Rayco Saunders UD 8 Apr 20, 2012 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
7 Win 7–0 Dominican Republic Emiliano Cayetano KO 1 (12), 2:33 Dec 10, 2011 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Won vacant WBONABO light-heavyweight title
6 Win 6–0 Canada Michael Walchuk RTD 6 (10), 3:00 Oct 20, 2011 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
5 Win 5–0 Canada David Whittom UD 4 May 21, 2011 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
4 Win 4–0 Mexico Ernesto Zamora TKO 3 (4), 1:38 Apr 8, 2011 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3 Win 3–0 Mexico Alvaro Enriquez UD 4 Nov 7, 2009 Canada Montreal Casino, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2 Win 2–0 Canada Willard Lewis TKO 2 (4), 1:40 Oct 3, 2009 Canada Montreal Casino, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
1 Win 1–0 United States Jesse Sanders KO 1 (4), 2:03 Aug 28, 2009 Canada Montreal Casino, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Andrzej Fonfara
WBONABO
light-heavyweight champion

December 10, 2011 – January 2014
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Thomas Williams Jr.
Preceded by
Nicholson Poulard
WBANABA
light-heavyweight champion

March 22, 2013 – May 2014
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Artur Beterbiev
Preceded by
Ryno Liebenberg
WBC Silver
light-heavyweight champion

October 25, 2014 – August 4, 2018
Vacant
Minor world boxing titles
Preceded by
Sergey Kovalev
IBA light-heavyweight champion
August 4, 2018 – present
Incumbent
Major world boxing titles
Preceded by
Sergey Kovalev
WBO light-heavyweight champion
August 4, 2018 – present
Incumbent