Eleider Álvarez

Weightclass: Light Heavyweight

  • 24wins

  • 0losses

  • 0draws

  • 12kos

AGE:
34
Birthplace:
Apartado, Colombia
Height:
6'0"
reach:
75.5"
Managers:
Stephane Lepine
Trainers:
Marc Ramsay

Eleider "Storm" Álvarez

At the age of 34, Eleider is a nine-year pro. The WBO light heavyweight world champion, he was an amateur standout before his debut who represented his native Colombia at the 2008 Olympic Games.

He has been promoted for his entire career by Montreal-based Groupe Yvon Michel, and recently signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank.

Eleider was the WBC’s No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger at light heavyweight since November, 2015, when he won a WBC final eliminator, but never had an opportunity to fight for the WBC title.

He finally got a chance to fight for a world title in his last fight on August 4 in Atlantic City, and made the most of it – Eleider won the WBO light heavyweight title with an upset seventh-round knockout against defending champion Sergey Kovalev.

ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: A “Storm” came ashore and laid waste to Sergey Kovalev.

Trailing on all three scorecards, Eleider “Storm” Alvarez, not known for his punching power, went wild on Kovalev in the seventh round, knocking him down three times and stopping him to take his light heavyweight world title before a sold-out crowd of 5,642 at the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Kovalev was in control of the fight through six rounds and leading 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56. But everything changed dramatically in the seventh round, when Alvarez badly hurt and dropped Kovalev with a clean right hand to the head.

Kovalev got up quickly, but he was unsteady, and Alvarez rocked him with a jab and an uppercut. Moments later, Alvarez unleashed a combination, Kovalev hit the deck again, and the fight appeared over.

Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) made it to his feet, but he was out of it. When Alvarez blasted him with another left-right combination, he went down again, and [the] referee immediately waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 45 seconds.

The fight got off to a slow start, with each man probing for an opening. Kovalev tried to land his powerful right hand, and Alvarez worked off the jab. Kovalev continued to stalk the quicker Alvarez, who moved quite a bit side to side to stay out of Kovalev’s power range. But Kovalev did slip in a solid left hand to the head followed by a left to the body.

Kovalev had a big fourth round, landing several powerful combinations and hard jabs that rattled Alvarez and slowed him. While Alvarez was taking punches, he was also animated and talking to Kovalev during the round. Kovalev continued to press the action, and Alvarez emerged from the sixth round with a cut under his left eye that was apparently caused by an accidental head-butt.

Then Alvarez landed the big right hand in the seventh round that was the beginning of the end. [End Rafael item]

In his post-fight interview, Eleider said through an interpreter, “Words cannot describe how I feel. I want to thank God and all my fans in Canada and Colombia – this was all for them. It was a two-punch combination that I have been throwing my whole career, and we worked on it in camp. I have always practiced that in camp, and we thought it would work in this camp.

“As fight went on, I wanted to show that I could stay strong and do good things. His punches were not as hard as they were in the beginning of the fight.”

In an earlier interview, Eleider said, “My style is a classic boxer. Whenever I have to be aggressive, I am aggressive. When it’s time to move, I move. It all depends on the battle as it presents itself. I believe I have a lot of qualities as a boxer – I’m strong, and I hit pretty hard, too.”

In an earlier interview, trainer Marc Ramsay said, “I’ve been Alvarez’ trainer for his whole professional career. He is a very, very, very disciplined kid who has all his focus on boxing. When he’s in Canada, he doesn’t socialize that much. He’s very focused on what he’s doing. As an example of that, every purse that he receives, he sends back home. He’s here on a mission – to make a living for his family.

“He’s very easy to work with. Every little detail, he will work on it and work on it, and you see the improvement from fight to fight.

“He’s always, always, always in the gym. He’s a boxer-puncher. When you compete and have good rhythm, as he had as an amateur fighter, it’s because you have a lot of ability. But he’s also a very good puncher – he was known all around the world as a good puncher. He won the Pan American games and knocked the Cuban out in the finals – even with the big gloves and headgear, he was able to knock people out.

“When you look at him in the ring, you can find a little Trinidad in him.

“Eleider was drafted by the Colombian national team very young, and he never quit the national team until after the Olympics in 2008.

“Before the Olympics, he went to Chicago to the World Championships. I went over there with somebody from the company to get some good boxers and we put our eyes on him. We signed Eleider after the Olympics.”

Regarding his nickname, Eleider said, “My trainer, Marc Ramsay, met me at the 2007 World Games in Chicago. The first round I fought, I lost 8 to 1. When they told me that I lost that round 8 to 1, I went out there to kill – I gave it everything I had, I threw a fury of punches! Marc Ramsay saw that fight and he told me that I looked like a storm throwing punches, and that’s where I got the nickname.” [note: Eleider came back to win a 25-18 decision in the fight]

AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Eleider said through an interpreter, “I was born in Puerto Girón, a little suburb of Apartado, and grew up in Turbo, Antioquia. I have two sisters. My father is disabled – they operated on his lower back, on his spinal cord. My mother passed away in 1999 when I was 14 years old. I’ve got a lot of cousins, but I’m the only boxer in my family.

“I started boxing at 10 years old, but I only trained for a year. I started boxing again at 14 after my mom passed away. The reason I started again is because the loss of my mom was devastating to me. I wanted to embrace her and honor her, and she always wanted me to box.

“I had about 150 amateur fights. I only lost about 16. I was on the Colombian national team for about five years. Some of my teammates were Darleys Perez, Jonathan Romero, and Oscar Rivas – those are the ones that turned pro. We all lived in a training camp at a hotel when we were on the team.

“I speak Spanish and French, and just a little bit of English.”…

AMATEUR HIGHLIGHTS:

2008 COLOMBIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS – Buenaventura, Colombia, 178 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in the semifinals (his first fight) on 11-26-08 he won a 5-1 decision against Roamer Angulo; in the finals on 11-28-08 he won a 13-0 decision against José Luis Ramos

2008 OLYMPICS – Beijing, People’s Republic of China, 178 pounds: in his first fight on 8-14-08 he had a 5-5 draw, but lost the tiebreaker against Tony Jeffries of Great Britain…

2008 BATALLA DE CARABOBO – Valencia, Venezuela, 178 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in his first fight on 6-21-08 he stopped Simon Blanco of Venezuela in the 1st round; in the semifinals on 6-23-08 he defeated Jeison Monroy of Colombia (no result reported); in the finals on 6-24-08 he won a 15-10 decision against Yordanis Despaigne of Cuba…

2008 AMERICAN OLYMPIC QUALIFIER – Guatemala City, Guatemala, 178 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in his first fight on 4-25-08 he had an 8-8 draw, but won the tiebreaker against Julio Cesar de la Cruz of Cuba; in the quarterfinals on 4-27-08 he won a 4-0 decision against Julio Castillo of Ecuador; in the semifinals on 4-29-08 he won an 8-3 decision against Azea Augustama of Haiti; in the finals on 4-30-08 he won a 5-0 decision against Julius Jackson of the Virgin Islands…

2008 AMERICAN OLYMPIC QUALIFIER – Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, 178 pounds: in his first fight on 3-13-08 he lost a 9-0 decision against Julio Cesar de la Cruz of Cuba…

2007 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – Chicago, Illinois, 178 pounds: in his first fight on 10-28-07 he won a 25-18 decision against Mehdi Ghorbani of Iran; in his second fight on 10-31-07 he was stopped against Ramadan Yasser Abdelghaffer of Egypt in the 4th round…

2007 PAN AMERICAN GAMES – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 178 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in the quarterfinals (his first fight) on 7-22-07 he won a 13-4 decision against Waulfredo Rivero of Venezuela; in the semifinals on 7-24-07 he won a 10-8 decision against Julio Castillo of Ecuador; in the finals on 7-27-07 he stopped Yusiel Napoles of Cuba in the 3rd round…

2007 GIRALDO CORDOVA CARDIN MEMORIAL – Santa Clara, Cuba, 178 pounds – BRONZE MEDALIST: in the semifinals (his first fight) on 5-27-07 he was stopped against Yuniel Dorticos of Cuba in the 3rd round…

2007 BOLIVARIAN ALTERNATIVE GAMES – San Juan de los Morros, Venezuela, 178 pounds – SILVER MEDALIST: in the quarterfinals (his first fight) on 5-4-07 he won a 15-6 decision against Alcivar Ayovi of Ecuador; in the semifinals on 5-7-07 he won a 16-14 decision against Ronald González of Venezuela; in the finals on 5-9-07 he lost by walkover against Luis González of Venezuela…

2007 PAN AMERICAN GAMES QUALIFIER – Barquismeto, Venezuela, 178 pounds – SILVER MEDALIST: in the quarterfinals on 2-5-07 he stopped Shawn Terry Cox of Barbados in the 3rd round; in the semifinals on 2-6-07 he won a 19-17 decision against Wualfredo Rivero of Venezuela; in the finals on 2-8-07 he lost a 17-11 decision against Yusiel Napoles of Cuba…

2006 CENTRAL AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN GAMES – Cartagena, Colombia, 178 pounds: in the quarterfinals (his first fight) on 7-22-06 he lost a 13-9 decision against Yusiel Napoles of Cuba…

2005 BATALLA DE CARABOBO – Valencia, Venezuela, 178 pounds – BRONZE MEDALIST: in the quarterfinals (his first fight) on 6-20-05 he won a 12-8 decision against Argenis Núñez of Dominican Republic; in the semifinals on 6-22-05 he lost a 16-7 decision against Wualfredo Rivero of Venezuela…

2002 WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS – Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, 147 pounds: in his first fight on 9-15-02 he lost a 15-4 decision against Nikolajs Grisunins of Latvia…

STRENGTHS: Has good skills and movement…has good punching power…is experienced against very good opposition…had a strong amateur background…

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 24 fights…161 total rounds…7 world championship rounds…

AVERAGE LENGTH OF BOUTS: 6.7 rounds…

KNOCKOUT PERCENTAGE: 50 %…

DISTANCE FIGHTS: 12 rounds – 4 (4-0)…10 rounds – 5 (5-0)…

fight history

  • 2018

    WON WBOLH WORLD TITLE – in his last fight on 8-4-18 in Atlantic City, NJ, he won by knockout (7th round) against defending champion Sergey Kovalev (32-3-1): the bout headlined at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and drew a capacity crowd of 5,642; Kovalev built an early lead on the scorecards; he pressed forward and out-worked Eleider, who was cut under his left eye by a clash of heads in the 6th round and after six rounds, Kovalev led by scores of 59-55, 59-55, 58-56; but Eleider scored three devastating knockdowns in the 7th round – the first with a right hand, the second and third with left-right combinations – and the referee stopped the fight without a count at 2:45…

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  • 2017

    4TH WBC SILVER LH TITLE DEFENSE – on 6-3-17 in Montréal, QUE, he won a 12 round majority decision against 34-year-old former WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (31-4-1): the bout headlined at the Bell Centre, and Eleider dominated most of the fight; he consistently out-boxed and out-worked Pascal, and landed the harder punches; scored 117-111, 116-112, 114-114…

    3RD WBC SILVER LH TITLE DEFENSE, WBC LH WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR – on 2-24-17 in Québec City, QUE, he won by TKO (5th round) against 36-year-old left-handed former IBF super middleweight world champion Lucian Bute (32-4): the scheduled 12-rounder headlined at Centre Videotron and drew a crowd of 7,842; both fighters were cut by a clash of heads in the 2nd round, Bute on the bridge of his nose and Eleider at his hairline; the early rounds were close – Bute kept Eleider off-balance with movement, out-boxed him, and scored with sharp combinations; but Eleider scored a knockdown with two right hands in the 5th round, and Bute was counted out at 2:22; after four rounds, the fight was scored 39-37, 39-37 Bute, 38-38…

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  • 2016

    on 12-10-16 in Montréal he won a 10 round unanimous decision against left-handed Norbert Dabrowski (19-5-1): the bout headlined at at Casino Montréal; Dabrowski gave a determined effort and had a few rallies, but Eleider dominated most of the fight – he consistently out-boxed Dabrowski, outworked him, and landed the sharper punches; scored 98-92, 99-91, 97-93…

    On 7-19-16 in Québec City he won a 10 round unanimous decision against left-handed late substitute Robert Berridge (27-4-1): the bout was one of the co-features with the Adonis Stevenson vs. Thomas Williams Jr. main event, and Eleider dominated the fight; he out-boxed and out-worked Berridge, rocked him several times, and bloodied his mouth in the 9th round; scored 98-92, 98-92, 99-90…

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