This coming weekend in a contest that is largely going under the radar, a light heavyweight rematch of significant importance takes place between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev.
Having faced off in a fascinating contest first time out opinion was split as to who should have walked away victorious. Kovalev dominated early with a knockdown in his favour before Ward took over in the second half of the fight.
In the opening rounds of the fight those who stated that Kovalev’s natural size and power would prevail appeared correct with Kovalev flooring the American and clearly hurting him. Kovalev was, however, unable to finish off Ward whilst he had him hurt and has gone on to regret not pushing his advantage home.
Ward adjusted to the style in front of him and worked the body well up close. He stifled Kovalev’s offensive prowess and claimed the win and in doing so became a two-weight world champion.
Following the fight, social media was in uproar with dispute as fans debated the fight. Many feel that Kovalev did enough to hold onto his titles but then others such as myself believe that Ward won enough of the rounds to claim the win.
A rematch was sorely needed to end the debate once and for all and this weekend hopefully we will see a conclusive decision one way or the other.
in terms of breaking down the fight itself, there are two main bodies of thought. Firstly that Kovalev will learn from his mistakes of the first fight and claim the win this time around. Secondly, that Ward now goes into the fight knowing that he has what it takes to frustrate Kovalev and will pick up where he left off last time
Delving deeper into the first assertion Kovalev is going to be so determined to put the record straight after suffering his first loss as a professional last time out. Kovalev had built a reputation as a ferocious beast of a fighter who destroys opponents and he knows that such a fear factor will be badly damaged if he suffers a second loss to Ward.
Kovalev is going to come forward with bad intentions behind every punch and particularly early on will be extremely dangerous. He will know that he needs to seize on any opportunity that he creates and is expected to be more aggressive than last time.
Now looking at the second theory favouring Ward it seems logical to suggest that Ward will simply look to continue to fight in the way that he did in the second half of the fight last time. He knows that Kovalev can hurt him so he will be careful but at the same time he knows that he can dig deep and infuriate Kovalev.
Ward is an old school fighter who likes to work up close landing his own shots whilst in turn making his opponent miss with clever body positioning, His physical strength is very underrated and in all honesty, he is a rare talent that has been so terribly unappreciated over the years.
In terms of predicting the outcome of the fight it is once again an extremely hard task but one that once more I come to the conclusion of Andre Ward walking away with his arm raised in victory with a points win.
Ward’s ability to adjust to the style in front of him makes him an extremely difficult fighter to beat. It has to be remembered that he is a man who hasn’t lost a fight since he was 12 years old. He knows how to win against all sorts of opponents and he will go into the rematch with greater confidence than the first.
This has all the makings of another intriguing contest but it has to be stated that the promotional job done on the fight has been dreadful. There is nowhere near the level of media coverage and excitement that should be present for a matching of two of the best out there.
For all of Ward’s talent, he has failed to turn his fights into major events and therefore lacks the recognition and status that his skill deserves.He will be hoping that victory this weekend will see his stock rise.
For the winner perhaps a unification fight awaits. Adonis Stevenson is the WBC champion and would naturally be a target for the winner this weekend. Stevenson is a dangerous fighter but one who has seen his reputation falter after a seeming unwillingness to face the likes of Kovalev.
As always in this extremely confusing sport we aren’t sure exactly what goes on behind closed doors and why Stevenson has not faced Kovalev but hopefully, the chance to unify all the titles with the winner of Ward and Kovalev will prove too good to turn down.
Such talk is for another day as first of all we have the little matter of the Ward and Kovalev rematch to settle first. In all reality, it would not be a shock to see either man win but Ward has to be the favourite with a points victory looking most likely.