On Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will attempt a massive jump in weight to take on the larger, heavy-hitting Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight title. The fight is Canelo’s attempt to win gold in a fourth weight class and his debut at light heavyweight, having topped out previously at super middleweight where he defeated Rocky Fielding.
Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) is no Fielding. Kovalev is in the late stages of his career but still brings serious power to the ring. And Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KOs) will be at a size and strength disadvantage no matter how much he bulks up to move from his true home at 160 pounds to the 175-pound light heavyweight division. There’s a historical precedent for this kind of big jump in weight to chase glory and gold. If the Las Vegas odds are any indicator, Canelo is expected to follow in the footsteps of some of those all-time greats in accomplishing his goal while putting himself at great risk.
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Let’s take a look at three times fighters made a jump and scored legendary wins.
Roy Jones Jr. vs. John Ruiz — March 1, 2003
Aside from a single career stumble when he’d hit Montell Griffin after a knockdown, resulting in a disqualification loss, Roy Jones Jr. had been the picture of perfection in the ring when he decided to make the jump to heavyweight. Jones had won titles at middleweight and super middleweight before a lengthy reign at light heavyweight that included a stint as the undisputed champion. As his fi