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Can Kovalev get his revenge?
Sergey Kovalev, once known as perhaps the scariest man in boxing, is on the verge of losing his career—or at being relegated to B-fighter status. He was unexpectedly knocked out in his last fight vs. Eleider Alvarez for his light heavyweight title, and he’s fallen in defeat three of the last five times he’s stepped into the ring. But he gets another chance to impress on Saturday night, and you can stream the Kovalev vs. Alvarez rematch for free on ESPN+.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch the second Kovalev vs. Alvarez bout.
Sergey Kovalev vs. Eleider Alvarez
- When: 7pm ET on Saturday, Feb. 2
- Where: Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas
- Streaming: ESPN+ (free with one-week free trial)
Kovalev vs. Alvarez live stream: How to watch for free
One of the big features for ESPN+, the OTT service the sports channel giant established last year, is the ability to watch plenty of boxing. It’s the home of Top Rank, one of the biggest promoters in the sport, and it’s already put its biggest stars, including Terence Crawford and Vasiliy Lomachenko, on the streaming service to draw interest and subscriptions.
Saturday’s fight won’t be any different. While part of the card will be seen on the main ESPN TV channel, the two biggest bouts of the night will be exclusively broadcast on ESPN+. The ESPN broadcast begins at 10pm ET and features a featherweight title fight between Oscar Valdez and Carmine Tomassone and a lightweight title bout between Richard Commey and Isa Chaniev. Those fights will also be on ESPN+.
At midnight ET, the broadcast will return exclusively to ESPN+, and it will feature Teofimo Lopez battling Diego Magdaleno in the co-feature fight. Then, Kovalev will seek his revenge vs. Alvarez in the main event.
Here’s the arguably the most important thing you need to know about ESPN+: It comes with a one-week trial, which means you can watch Kovalev vs. Alvarez. After that, it costs a reasonable $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year—and you can cancel any time.
ESPN+ operates as an extension of the WatchESPN app and the main ESPN site and unlocks original programming and a ton of live sports. The ESPN+ exclusive content is designated by the “E+” logo in the corner of the preview tile.
The WatchESPN app is available on Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Google Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and iOS and Android devices. Aside from boxing, you can stream NHL games, along with thousands of college sports broadcasts, domestic and international soccer matches, and the entire catalog of 30 for 30 documentaries.
Sergey Kovalev vs. Eleider Alvarez: Why it matters
Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 knockouts) had an impressive run near the top of the 175-pound light heavyweight division from 2013-16. Then, he ran into Andre Ward, the preeminent light heavyweight of the era and a future Hall of Famer. He lost the first fight by a close unanimous decision, though many believed Kovalev actually won. Then, Kovalev was knocked out with a devastating body shot in the Ward rematch.
But he was expected to beat Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) last August. True to form, Kovalev was out-working and out-boxing Alvarez through the first six rounds of their fight. And then the seventh round happened: Alvarez knocked him down three times before the fight was stopped.
It was a stunning reversal, and it showed Kovalev, at the age of 35, might really be on the downside of his career. His solution? Hire yet another new trainer. Considering Kovalev has had tumultuous relationships with trainers in the past, this is another attempt to avoid overtraining and then running out of energy in the middle of the fight.
“I don’t need a coach to give me instructions, or tell me what I should do,” Kovalev told Hannibal Boxing. “I need a coach who stops me (and says) ‘Hey, relax, go home.’ You know, to save energy for a fight. All my life I got from the hard work in the gym, but I forgot I’m already 35. It’s a different recovery. You know I need longer time for recovery. If it was three or four years ago, after a hard workout, I awake the next morning and start work out (again). Right now I need to take a rest. Right now I need to (listen) to my body.”
Alvarez, meanwhile, will try to pound Kovalev’s body into submission.
There’s also been troubling news recently about Kovalev. It was learned earlier this month that he had been charged felony assault for allegedly punching a woman last June. He’s pleaded not guilty. According to TMZ, the woman is also suing Kovalev for $8 million.
Kovalev vs. Alvarez live stream schedule
- Eleider Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev (exclusive to ESPN+)
- Oscar Valdez vs. Carmine Tommasone (exclusive to ESPN+)
- Richard Commey vs. Isa Chaniev
- Patrick Day vs. Ismail Iliev
- Bakhram Murtazaliev vs. Elvin Ayala
- Enriko Gogokhia vs. Vitor Jones Freitas
- Jason Sanchez vs. Daniel Olea
- Janibek Alimkhanuly vs. Steven Martinez
New to cord-cutting? Here are our picks for the best movie streaming sites of 2018 and free live TV apps and channels. If you’re looking for a specific channel, here’s how to watch HBO, Showtime, Starz, Sundance TV, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, Willow, AMC, FX, Fox News, Freeform, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, FS1, TBS, TNT, Tennis Channel, Golf Channel, Syfy, HGTV, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Bravo, Lifetime, Discovery, PBS, the CW, BBC, CSPAN, NBA TV, MTV, Comedy Central, Food Network, TLC, HLN, A&E, Animal Planet, National Geographic, the Weather Channel, the History Channel, and NFL RedZone without cable, as well as free movies on YouTube. If you’re on the move, here’s how to watch Fox Sports Go and live stream NBC Sports.
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Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.