Kovalev vs Ward II :Preview and Prediction

With 2017 being one of the best years for boxing in a long time we are about to be treated to another fantastic matchup , no I’m not talking about Paul Smith vs Tyron Zeuge, I’m talking about Andre Ward vs Sergy Kovalev II .

Since Andre Ward’s  contriversial points win in November to take the Russians titles  , Kovalev and his team have been on the offensive in the build up to this one. When i first seen some of the comments Kovalev was making i thought “He’s trying psych Ward out” but now i genuinely believe he is out to really hurt Ward .

Sergey Kovalev “I don’t have a prediction. I just have one goal to beat Andre Ward and beat all the s— from him because he doesn’t deserve the belt and the status of a champion. I want to put him back in his place.”

Now to a mere man like myself, I would be fucking shitting myself to go in the ring with Kovalev after seeing this , but Andre Ward is no normal man. Ever since the first fight Kovalev vigorously disputed the cards, and for me he has let that turn to hate , there have even been allegations of racist comments toward Ward which i won’t go into . This hatred can go one of two ways for Kovalev, the hate might bring out a performance like Frazier/Ali I, if that hate can be focussed there is every chance he could become a killing machine when doubled with his frightening power , or we could see the hate manifest like it did when Tyson took on Holyfeild and result in Ward picking him off and humiliating the big Russian.

Andre Ward is the superstar that never was , a man who gets nowhere near the credit he is due . Ward’s life has everything a great story needs, from a very hard upbringing with drug addict parents, to Olympian ,to now one of the best P4P fighters in the world ,so why isn’t he a household name ? . Well to be fair Ward looks like a difficult person to deal with,he is also very paranoid about the media ,with good cause . This makes Ward a bit of a hit or a miss with fans . Ward again as he did in the first fight has done very little to promote this grudge match ,which leaves all the soundbites for Sergy Kovalev to fill , which in turn wins the Russian more fans but leaves Ward like a forgotten man, well until fight night at least . All Wards personality comes out in the ring, he really is a master at taking your strength away from you , for him to just pick you off . Watching Andre Ward in the ring isn’t like watching any ordinery boxer. Ward turns the fight into a game chess, where every move must be thought out well in advance .

Andre Ward on fight “I think the first fight was a great fight. I think there was a lot of drama in the first fight, more drama than I wanted,” said Ward. “I think it was a tremendous fight and I believe, round two is going to be a tremendous fight.”

Prediction :

This fight boils down to Aggression/Power vs Skill/Ringcraft , Can Kovalev set out to hurt Ward without being exploited ? , I really don’t think so . Nobody has ever solved the equation of how beat Ward but i doubt its with brute force and anger , chances are Ward will take Kovalev’s aggression and ill temper and use it against him . Kovalev has fantastic power which sent Ward to the canvas in the first fight, he has that one punch power and a fantastic jab, so he has every chance of beating Ward. Who’s my pick ? ….i will say Andre Ward on points, i just feel Ward knows what to expect this time and will look to nullify Kovalev early , i also still have doubts about Kovalev’s gas tank .

Steven Donnell

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Ward V Kovalev …A modern day Hagler v Leonard 

Well now that everyone calmed down from the Ward/Kovalev fight what can we really say to review and recap on what i thought was a great fight which has divided the boxing comunity down the middle .
From the off i will just say i thought Andre Ward DID DO ENOUGH to win the fight after a very tricky start , which saw him have to get up from the canvas and dig deep to find that skill he has that virtually saw him take Sergey Kovalev’s strengths away from him,but if the descision went the other way i could have seen why ,it really was that close  .

The old cliche ‘styles make fights’ works both ways,this one was not a classic by any stretch of the imagination but my god it was so intriguing, i was mesmerised by it .Sitting there and watching Kovalev give Ward ,a master at spoiling, so much trouble from the first round where he shook Ward with a jab which threw Wards head back,and from that point you could see Ward’s respect for Kovalev’s bone crushing power. That jab in the first seemed to put Ward off his gameplan which lead to Kovalev sending Ward to the floor, after Ward had mistimed a one,two  . For me the most important round of the fight was the third, here Ward put a stop to the rot and had clearly took in Vigil Hunter’s advice about putting the knockdown to the back of his mind and start implementing his own gameplan. Ward got off a few of his own on this round which for me gave him in the edge, Infact I gave ward the next three rounds but I could totally understand anyone who might have gone the other way,it truly was a fight where it depends on what you like .

From the middle,until the end of the fight,I have a problem and maybe a little criticism toward Kovalev and his corner. Although I had Ward up at this point, I thought Kovalev was just pacing himself for a big finish but no I think from the sixth there was real signs Kovalev was feeling the pace and wards stiff jabs to the  body where certainly taking there toll  but more than that Kovalev seemed to let Ward take control of the fight, he let Ward back in and his his corner didn’t advise him to start cutting the ring off and force Ward to exchange ,instead Kovalev just followed allowing Ward out of tricky situations far to easily . As Ward won more and more of the  battles Kovalev ,the power house seemed to shrink in stature,he needed advice on how to change it up the way Ward was getting frm Hunter and to be honest he never got it ,now don’t get me wrong he was still doing a good job but you could certainly see doubt set into the big Russian .

Now in my “Big fight preview” I had said I had my doubts about Kovalev’s gas tank and round about the tenth (a round I gave to Kovalev) something seemed to be missing from Kovalev’s punches,also when Ward was getting him in the clinches, Ward seemed to have more strength than Kovalev ,who gave as good as he got in the earlier rounds in the clinch but by the end it seemed Ward had the power not Kovalev .

All in all what a fight it was and really it was to close to pick a definitive winner,it really reminded me of  Hagler/Leanord for picking a winner it’s so subjective to each person. This must go to the rematch and I for one would love them to do it all again, it was a great day for the sport, two guys at there best pushing each other to places neither had been before, and who knows, if Kovalev makes a few tweaks to his gameplan there’s no reason why he wouldn’t  win and set up a trilogy 

Dino @DJayboxingblog

Kovalev/Ward Tune Ups Done, Who’s More Prepared ?

So with both Kovalev and Ward having there tune up fights before they both have there super fight ,what can we take from there preparation so far . 

A few weeks ago we had Kovalev vs Chilemba in Russia ,now anyone who has seen Chilemba fight before knows he’s a very awkward customer and near impossible to look good against also he has never been stopped inside the 12 rounds ,so for a tune up for Ward this was a great match up. Now let’s start with the positives from this fight. The Krusher started slow but more than dominated the fight and adapted very well to Chilemba tieing him up . Having Chilemba on the canvas in the seventh and God only knows how he never went down in the eighth Kovalev showed his power is true and that he will find a way to land in quite an entertaining bout . Now on to some negative points from this fight. I gave Chilemba a couple of the earlier rounds as he was landing the cleaner shots and really keeping Kovalev  at bay ,either using his jab well To keep Kovalev  away or tieing him up before he could get in range to land his big power shots , although Kovalev figured out Chilemba I get the feeling Ward will cause him all sorts of problems in this same way, Ward is a master at spoiling a different class from Chilemba. There where other worrying signs for Kovalev as he seemed to gas from the ninth onward ,now his camp had said he had a virus and to many media commitments before hand but this is still a worry, does he have the engine for Ward ? ……I’m not so sure

More recently Andre Ward took his tune up against Alexander Brand , now there is no way of buttering this up, this was a shocking fight …utter dross ,I’m sitting on my honeymoon trying to watch it and gave up ,really that bad. Now when you fight much lesser openents there is always the chance they can drag you down to there level and we almost had a clash of heads which could have put the super fight with Kovalev  fight in turmoil,also from the little I had seen from Brand he throws from awkward angles so Ward played it cautious, far to cautious if you ask me. Ward did have a shut out which shows how dominant he was and toward the end of the fight he did look to up it for the KO but just didn’t have the power. What I would say is Brand landed a couple of hooks,the kinda punch if Kovalev  catches him with he will be out but if I’m totally honest I wouldn’t judge Ward skill and ability on any part of this fight .

So what can we take from these two fights ? Well really not to much if your looking to see who edges the fight in November , no matter what we seen from Ward against Brand we all know he’s a top class elite boxer but as far as preparations go for November it is 1-0 Kovalev, The Krusher took a better oponent better suited to preparing him for Ward but really this one is still to close to call and I’m still backing Ward at this point but I’m gonna be keeping a close eye on both training camps,an old cliché but  I honestly think this fight could boil down to who is best prepared going into the ring   .

Dino @DJayBoxingBlog