Eleider Alvarez versus Michael Seals was a listless, terrible fight for most of its seven rounds. The two capable punchers were wary of each other’s power, making for awkward exchanges with neither man committed to their offense. But for 10 seconds in the seventh, Alvarez reminded everyone why he’s perhaps the most dangerous light-heavyweight today with a one-shot, devastating knockout.
Alvarez, who’s been out of the ring for 11 months with assorted injuries, uncorked a whipping overhand right over Seals’ left jab. Seals’ entire body froze, broken only by his head smashing into Alvarez’s shoulder and the bottom rope before hitting the canvas. The concussive punch left a senseless Seals babbling to the ref as he was counted out.
“I was out of the ring for 11 months,” Alvarez said in his post-fight interview. “I wanted to come back as the fighter who beat Kovalev, and that’s what we prepared for with this fight.”
The win is Alvarez’s first since dropping a lopsided decision to Sergey Kovalev in their 2019 rematch. Alvarez is now posed to face contender Joe Smith, who soundly defeated Jesse Hart last week, or former WBO super-middleweight titleholder Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, should the latter’s contract issues with Top Rank get amicably resolved.