New Jersey, August 5: Eleider Alvarez defeated Sergey Kovalev by technical knockout in the seventh round in Atlantic City on Saturday (August 4) to halt the Russian's recent revival.
Kovalev had defeated Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and Igor Mikhalkin in the last 10 months as he sought to restore his reputation following two bruising defeats to Andre Ward, which had been the first of his career.
But the 35-year-old 'Krusher' gave up the WBO Light Heavyweight title and slumped to a 32-3-1 record by succumbing to the unbeaten Colombian (24-0-0).
Alvarez initially floored Kovalev with a big, straight right in the seventh.
And although the Russian managed to get to his feet and beat the count, a brutal left hook and then a right returned him to the mat and confirmed his demise.
Earlier in the night, Dmitry Bivol won a unanimous, 12-round decision over Isaac Chilemba to retain his WBA Light Heavyweight belt.
Scores of 120-108, 120-108 and 116-112 went in favour of the incumbent, whose strong performance in the first six rounds helped him to weather a late rally from the Malawian.
A unification bout will now be expected between Alvarez and Bivol.