“I’m going to finish his career” stated a very bitter Sergey Kovalev early on in the build up of this anticipated rematch, and a statement which has laid the foundations to what part two of this blockbuster series is mostly about.
The principle of the rematch is to clarify who truly is the best boxer at light heavyweight and arguably the best fighter on the planet at this present time.
Part one had the same objective, but despite the first episode having the drama and appeal, it ended with a cliff hanger. Ward may have won, but many weren’t satisfied with the ending.
But there is more to part two as the two fighter’s personalities have sparked plenty more Interest into an already alluring rematch. The anger and bitterness of Kovalev’s loss has taken centre stage during the build up of the fight, and fuel has been added to this even further as a usually placid Andre Ward reacting to Sergey’s harsh words.
“It’s his turn to touch the canvas now” said an ever-more frustrated Andre Ward as Kovalev’s small victory in the first bout, making Ward’s gloves touch the canvas, is something he has had to answer for time again instead of celebrating a remarkable victory.
“It is amazing to me that people will talk about the knockdown and then just stop there.”
Ward clearly feels his victory is very unjustified. That, plus a bombardment of disrespecting quotes from ‘Krusher’ has revealed a different side to Ward.
“He is for me a paper champion”, “I lost my belts by a wrong decision, There will be other judges who don’t make mistakes.”
Kovalev still pleads his case as being robbed back in November 2016 and making June 17th a vengeance mission; a grudge match.
The one thing the whole of the boxing world can agree upon from their first fight is that the fighters under the spotlight are two of the very best boxers on the planet. When looking at the first fight in depth, it truly was a fight performed at the highest level.
Andre Ward; the tactician, the ring IQ, the intelligence in his game. The ability to even fool Kovalev into expecting a body punch to suddenly land a heavy jab onto the chin of the Russian. Winning over judges by landing appealing punches to both head and body whilst avoiding danger with cute movement and a tight defence.
Sergey Kovalev; The knockout artist, the aggressor and extremely under-rated in boxing ability. His skills inside the ring doesn’t level to Ward but his heavy hands make up for it. The sheer power in both fists can devastate an opponent if they make one simple mistake. Ward his self-tasting this, wrongly reading a combination, a common error made by even the World Champion’s of the sport, resulting in a knockdown with a shot which didn’t even land perfectly clean.
Both fighter’s have had 36 minutes experiencing each other to analyse and create a game plan from. Part 2 will be fought with more anger, mostly on Kovalev’s behalf and the psychology battle will be in Ward’s favour as he occupies that slim victory over Kovalev; many would believe a much wider points victory for Ward is the most realistic outcome this Saturday but the ignorance of Kovalev’s determination to put things right, plus his one punch KO power should not be ignored.
Will we have a clear king of the Light Heavyweights by the end of Saturday evening in Las Vegas? Or is this just the set up for part 3?….