Kovalev vs. Ward: It Just Doesn’t Get Any Better

Self-styled boxing historians have a lot in common and one thing that especially stands out is their disdain for anything modern or current. In fact, mention of today’s heavyweights inspires such outbursts as “robots,” “whales,” and so on. Another tendency is the custom of some to view history through the prism of flowery nostalgia—not to mention a review of newspaper decisions that is more guesswork than analysis. And most annoying of all, they write as if they were ducking the sweat and blood at ringside for Jack Johnson’s fights.

They even give lower weight fighters short shrift. Mention of “Chocolatito” is met with the names of Raul (Raton) Macias, Jose (Toluco) Lopez, Ricardo (Pajarito) Moreno, Jose Becerra, Jose Medel, Jesus Pimentel, Jesus (Chucho) Castillo, Rafael Herrera, Rodolfo Martinez, Romeo Anaya, Alfonso Zamora and Lupe Pintor.

“Canelo” at middleweight is scoffed at and they assert that “GGG” needs to step up before he gets more praise. Even Floyd Mayweather Jr. is characterized as a cherry-picker without acknowledging that Floyd arguably created a new business model for boxers to follow; namely, get the most bangs for your buck.

In short, the mantra for many self-styled historians (but clearly not all), is that boxing is essentially dead. However, when you get two light heavyweights in the ring like Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward, any criticism should be dismissed out of hand.

Ward (30-0) hasn’t lost since he was 12 years old. He possesses superb technical skills and the ability to tie up and frustrate his opponents and then hammer them with elbows and even butts while in the clinch. He is border-line dirty—some might call it roughhousing– and that adds another dimension to his already lethal arsenal. Finally, his methodical victories in the Super Six gave him all the credentials he needs to be a future Hall of Famer. The unbeaten American is challenging light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on November 19.

Kovalev (30-0-1) is as powerful as his nickname “Krusher” suggests. He is a unified light heavyweight world champion, having held the WBA and IBF titles since 2014, and the WBO title since 2013. His 84% KO percentage is self-explanatory and he can end a fight at any time, including the last minute of the last round. He has defended his title nine times, reflecting his divisional dominance, and his ability to close once he has his opponent stunned brings to mind the savage closing ability of Sugar Ray Leonard.

This will be Ward’s fourth fight since an 18-month hiatus. “My time off,” says Ward, didn’t take a toll on me mentally or physically. I don’t poison my body, I don’t drink, smoke or party, so I never worked against myself. Even in my time off, I remained truly dedicated to the sport. I still spent hours upon hours in the gym, even when I didn’t know when I would fight again. That benefited me because when it was time to get back in the ring, there was no rust. I picked up right where I left off….I’ve been boxing for 20-plus years. That’s a grind. Breaks like that can really benefit a veteran fighter like me because it afforded me the chance to recharge both mentally and physically.”

Says Kovalev: “If I knock him out it would be great because boxing fans would be very happy, and me too, but I am training for a 12 round fight….because anything can happen in boxing. If I cannot knock him out then I must be prepared to go 12 rounds with him. He is very good defensive fighter, and difficult to hit….”

To his credit, the Russian bomber has not been drawn into any pre-fight mind games with Ward.  “I just saw a couple of fights, him against Sullivan Barrera and Alexander Brand, but what was before I don’t know, I didn’t check.”

Ward retorts “I want to take him places he’s never been before,” And with tongue in cheek, he says, “I don’t like bullies, I don’t advocate bullying and I’ve never been bullied, and that’s not going to change in this fight.”

Thus far, there has been minimal trash talking, just old school-style mutual respect. No serious boxing fan should have anything but great anticipation for a colossus of a fight–one evidencing that boxing is healthy, alive and well despite whining to the contrary.

This fight is THE BIG ONE. It just doesn’t’ get any better with a big puncher vs. a skilled technician. Two undefeated records are on the line. Three championship belts are at stake.

Check out The Boxing Channel for more boxing news on video.

 

Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active power lifters and holds several records. He enjoys writing about boxing and is a member of Ring 4’s Boxing Hall of Fame.

COMMENTS

-JohnnyTango :

Kovalev vs. Ward


-FrankinDallas :

I'm going with Ward by UD.


-Kid Blast :

I'm going with Ward by UD.
Me too


-Kid Blast :

Kovalev vs. Ward
Yeah, but what do you think?:confused:


-larueboenig :

My money is on KRUSHER


-Shoulder Roll Defense :

Ward by a hard fought unanimous decision. There is a reason that the man hasn't been defeated since he was a preteen amateur boxer.


-Skibbz :

Well we do have an intriguing fight. Here I think we'll see a test of Kovalev's speed. If he just isn't quick enough, Ward will have an easier night than most people expected. If he can find Ward on the arms and body then it'll be closer. But my mind says Ward on this one over the distance..


-SuperLight :

I'm going with Ward too. Is he the definition of a complete fighter?


-Kid Blast :

I'm going with Ward too. Is he the definition of a complete fighter?
Yes---and in any era and that's something these so-called historians don't get.


-KO Digest :

HBO's My Fight really got me plugged into the fight. RingTV expert writers prediction are out this week. Can I follow up my SPOT ON election prediction with another gem?


-Kid Blast :

HBO's My Fight really got me plugged into the fight. RingTV expert writers prediction are out this week. Can I follow up my SPOT ON election prediction with another gem?
"RingTV expert writers" My idea of experts are those who post on sites like this. They are the ones who have the passion and who follow the sport objectively.


-KO Digest :

Writers, fighters, trainers, etc, you understand.


-JohnnyTango :

Like Franklin Dallas said earlier, I too take Ward by UD. However, the power of Kovalev is not to be taken lightly. The guy can punch! FYI: Vegas odds have Ward as a -150 favorite. Nice breakdown, Ted, on what should be a fan friendly fight.


-JohnnyTango :

"RingTV expert writers" My idea of experts are those who post on sites like this. They are the ones who have the passion and who follow the sport objectively.
I agree, Ted. "Experts" are not worth their weight in salt. Just look at how the network "experts" picked last weeks election.


-Kid Blast :

I agree, Ted. "Experts" are not worth their weight in salt. Just look at how the network "experts" picked last weeks election.
Absolutely. I cannot wait to hear what that midget Bill Maher has to say about the election. And his elitist guests. As for boxing, I have always said that "boxing expert" is an oxymoron of grandiose proportions. For me, an expert is someone who knows what he or she doesn't know. Guys like Fat Dan just churn out the copy and collect the checks. Thing is, Manny Steward was an expert. John Scully is an expert.


-KO Digest :

If calling the 2016 Election makes you an expert, I'm a card carrying member. It was obvious that Donald Trump was going to win and do so BIG LEAGUE!!


-Kid Blast :

If calling the 2016 Election makes you an expert, I'm a card carrying member. It was obvious that Donald Trump was going to win and do so BIG LEAGUE!!
Hmm. Be careful, KO. He didn't win the popular vote so winning "big" may not be quite correct. Frankly, while I was stunned by the result, I always gave him a decent shot and that was based on
Brexit and the fact that the Brits were also angry on a class basis, but winning
Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin was incredible. Some point out (and I'm not one of them) that he didn't win as much as she lost. I do believe and I can document it that she ran a stupid and poor campaign based on defective computer models and especially based on a cultural misunderstanding of
Florida Latinos. Cubans in Florida are notoriously conservative and for her team to have missed that shocks me. Comey and Wikileaks sealed the deal. That is the only political comment I will make on TSS as sure as I believe Ortiz is the next Heavyweight Champion of the World....


-KO Digest :

Our watchdogs barked and we listened. They protected us from the true danger.


-JohnnyTango :

Absolutely. I cannot wait to hear what that midget Bill Maher has to say about the election. And his elitist guests. As for boxing, I have always said that "boxing expert" is an oxymoron of grandiose proportions. For me, an expert is someone who knows what he or she doesn't know. Guys like Fat Dan just churn out the copy and collect the checks. Thing is, Manny Steward was an expert. John Scully is an expert.
Bobby Czyz was an expert. I usually agreed with his picks. Angelo Dundee was the world's worse! I didn't care much for the Fight Doctor (Dr. Ferdie Pacheco), either.


-Kid Blast :

Bobby Czyz was an expert. I usually agreed with his picks. Angelo Dundee was the world's worse! I didn't care much for the Fight Doctor (Dr. Ferdie Pacheco), either.
Bobby was superb.


-dollar bond :

I like Ward by decision. He has the full box of tools and is multi dimensional. He also is less predictable.


-Kid Blast :

I like Ward by decision. He has the full box of tools and is multi dimensional. He also is less predictable.
Perfect


-amayseng :

I can see both guys winning in different ways. I am not picking because one I truly don't know, 2, I don't care as long as it is a great fight and 3 because I don't want to skew my perception by rooting for a guy, I want to enjoy this one. Either way I am hoping it is good enough to warrant a rematch, we need something to look forward to and I don't see anything else on the horizon.


-deepwater2 :

Hmm. Be careful, KO. He didn't win the popular vote so winning "big" may not be quite correct. Frankly, while I was stunned by the result, I always gave him a decent shot and that was based on
Brexit and the fact that the Brits were also angry on a class basis, but winning
Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin was incredible. Some point out (and I'm not one of them) that he didn't win as much as she lost. I do believe and I can document it that she ran a stupid and poor campaign based on defective computer models and especially based on a cultural misunderstanding of
Florida Latinos. Cubans in Florida are notoriously conservative and for her team to have missed that shocks me. Comey and Wikileaks sealed the deal. That is the only political comment I will make on TSS as sure as I believe Ortiz is the next Heavyweight Champion of the World....
The numbers are still coming in. Trump won the popular also. The Latinos in Florida hate communism. Most of them fled it. Maybe the useful idiots in America that are not accepting democratic elections should go down and live under full state control. Final #Election2016 numbers #PopularVote: #Trump: 62,972,226 #Clinton: 62,277,750 #ElectoralCollege vote #Trump 306 #Clinton 232 Sticking with my original pick of Krusher. Mackie Shilstone working with Ward means Ward will be 100%. Could go either way. Boxing needs this fight. We need this fight. May the better man win.


-deepwater2 :

I can see both guys winning in different ways. I am not picking because one I truly don't know, 2, I don't care as long as it is a great fight and 3 because I don't want to skew my perception by rooting for a guy, I want to enjoy this one. Either way I am hoping it is good enough to warrant a rematch, we need something to look forward to and I don't see anything else on the horizon.
Well boxing is in a big lull. UFC isn't my cup of tea, but when they stack cards and set up rivalries it draws attention. MSG and New York City was packed. Guys were paying $3000 just to get 1 bottle to get into marquee. Pbc put non competitive nonsense on and hurt the sport more than it helped it. See Danny Garcia, Quillin, wilder for examples on how to drive fans away. Golden boy isn't helping with Canelo. Boxing needs tough fights ASAP.


-KO Digest :

Who but I openly predicted exactly what happened?


-amayseng :

Well boxing is in a big lull. UFC isn't my cup of tea, but when they stack cards and set up rivalries it draws attention. MSG and New York City was packed. Guys were paying $3000 just to get 1 bottle to get into marquee. Pbc put non competitive nonsense on and hurt the sport more than it helped it. See Danny Garcia, Quillin, wilder for examples on how to drive fans away. Golden boy isn't helping with Canelo. Boxing needs tough fights ASAP.
Yep I skipped the crap pbc card this sat and went out to Primanti's to watch UFC 205 ufc has a superstar in Conor who Challenges himself all the time. I respect it, and he is absolutely entertaining.