A Mexican superstar who sits on the throne as boxing’s biggest name, ‘
Canelo’ also maintained his statesman-like approach, sending joyful kisses to his child in the crowd, despite rumours of a rift with promoter Oscar De La Hoya.
All the while, Kovalev sat quietly a few feet away, playing the role of a disciplined champion, and it was left to promoter Kathy Duva to take centre-stage as she dished out Matryoshka dolls which signified some of her fighter’s greatest victories.
Buy KSI vs Logan Paul 2 now! Book KSI vs Logan Paul 2 online
A charm offensive perhaps, similar to when Andy Ruiz Jr hoodwinked the boxing world, which briefly stopped turning when he inflicted a shock defeat on Anthony Joshua in June. Duva perhaps has already etched an image of a fallen Alvarez on the last remaining doll?
Neither man uttered anything of note when they stepped to the mic as Alvarez reeled off his customary list to thank, even acknowledging the courage of his opponent.
A barbed question was aimed at the combustible Kovalev, asking if he was offended by Alvarez’s decision to select him out of all the 175lb champions to scalp. Kovalev simply smiled, insisting he was happy, preferring to keep his true thoughts to himself as time ticked towards when he could unload his hurtful arsenal.
It was left to Buddy McGirt, his veteran trainer, who has witnessed the realisation of momentous victories and agonising losses, to deliver a well-timed parting shot