Written by: WillyDWaffle
We all love the sport of boxing for the blood, guts and sweet science it brings but, what’s the sport of boxing without drama and a legit grudge between two fighters? This Saturday, we have that here with the anticipated light-heavyweight championship rematch between Andre Ward versus Sergey Kovalev. The first fight in November, many thought the judges scored the fight for the wrong man, Andre Ward.
The controversial 114-113 scorecard on all three judges, not only left Kovalev’s camp heated but also, left many boxing fans puzzled and confused. I scored the fight a draw in a very close fight but, could see the fight being scored for either fighter. Both fighters are known for doing there talking in the ring and not outside. This time around, there have been insults coming from both fighters, their trainer and even there promoters. You even have the storyline of Kovalev’s trainer John David Jackson, allegedly going to Ward camp to offer his services.
Ward now has been given the name “Son of Judges” from fans who believe he lost the fight and was given the win by judges. Ward is having a difficult time getting his due in the sport of boxing. After beating Kovalev for the light-heavyweight titles, cleaning out the supermiddleweight division five years ago and still remaining undefeated, you have some who question, is Ward pound 4 pound the best boxer today? Ward doesn’t have the prettiest style in boxing but, since turning pro in 2004, all he has been doing is getting his hand raised at the end of the fight.
Ward mentioned going into the first fight with Kovalev, it would be the most important fight of his career. It looks like this still applies going into the rematch but also it’s Kovalev’s most important fight of his career. Kovalev is 34 and if he ended his career today, you can say he overachieved in the sport of boxing. It wasn’t until 4 years ago around this time, when Kovalev went into the backyard of the United Kingdom’s own Nathan Cleverly and stopped him in 4 rounds. At that moment, that when not only I took notice but, the rest of the boxing world that there’s a new guy on the block at light-heavyweight. Since then, Kovalev has been on a tear beating down the likes of future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins and pummeling Jean Pascal two times. Most fans would say WBC titlist Adonis Stevenson has been avoiding Kovalev like the plaugue. Andre Ward was the guy who had to step up, fight Kovalev and give him something no one has ever given him, his first loss.
Kovalev actually impressed me in the fight with his ring IQ and showed us he’s a better boxer than most give him credit for. I found it very interesting Kovalev wasn’t effected by Ward’s punches and yet, he still remained passive and didn’t let his hands go after hurting Ward. Kovalev stated that, he overtrained for the first meeting which was the main reason he slowed down in the later parts of the fights. Prior to fighting Ward, Kovalev ran through every fighter he got in the ring with. Once they felt his power, they became discouraged but that wasn’t the case with Ward. He screwed up big time after dropping Ward and not trying to finish him. After that moment, there was just too much respect he gave to Ward, giving Ward time to recoup and adjust. No ifs, and or but, this time around, Kovalev has to let his hands go in this rematch.
Ward has felt Kovalev power and taken his best shots so what is there to be concerned of going into this fight? For Ward to even get up after being dropped by that huge right hand of Kovalev in the second round and win the fight should all tell us something. You can’t teach heart and courage in the sport of boxing. Everyone knows what Ward is going to bring in the rematch the question is, what will Kovalev bring differently? What will he do if he get Ward hurt again? If the fight gets to the inside what will Kovalev do?
Overall, I just have to go with Ward in the rematch. He had problems with Kovalev early on but, what all great fighters are able to do when facing adversity, they “adapt”. Ward was able to fight his fight in the second half of the first encounter, Kovalev had no answer for Ward’s style of clinching and body shots. Ward has visible slowed down since his supermiddleweight days but, he remains to be clever, elusive and comes second to no boxer when it comes to using his ring I.Q. It would be nice to see Kovalev win and have a third fight with Ward. I just can’t see that happening against someone who refuses to lose and wants to solidify his spot as one of the “great ones” when it’s all said and done.