We got another match made in heaven, but this time, it’s in the classical ring instead of the octagon. It can be said that the sport of boxing has lost most of it’s magic with the uprising of the MMA world but don’t throw in that white towel just yet.
It hasn’t completely lost it’s touch, there are still the organic match ups that can come around once in a while and for the summer of 2017, we have a great megafight underway. It will be a championship bout rematch between Andre Ward, an undefeated American boxer with a Russian boxer who had suffered his first defeat against Ward back in November 2016.
The win for Ward was a controversial one; being someone who favored Ward, I would still go as far as saying Kovalev put on more of a show in the fight. His damage output was noticeably greater when the two stood off inside the ring – so much so that Ward was the only one to actually get knocked down in the fight.
Andre Ward, a professional boxing record of 31-0 with 15 KO’s has shown a worthy track record of notable athletic performances. He has a push forward style, outstanding speed, and a solid foundation of fundamental boxing techniques – putting together some of the most technically sound boxing the sport has seen.
Sergey Kovalev, a professional boxing record of 30-1-1 with 26 KO’s is currently one of the heaviest of hitters in boxing, knocking out almost 90% of his opponents within the first 8 rounds – showing the world that his unprecedented punching power tends to put people to sleep, literally. Back in 2011 at a match up in Yekaterinburg Russia, he TKO’d Roman Simakov – Giving Simakov severe brain damage in the 6th round, forcing him to be stretchered out, then lapsing into a coma at the hospital, and dying 3 days later. Kovalev gave all of his earnings from the fight to Simakov’s family and now proudly fights in his name.
Mr. Kovalev here is about as Russian as it gets, if you know your history and the rivalry between nations, it is still a very real ordeal with these two, and the adversarial energy completely surrounds this fight. With Andre Ward being a dedicated American patriot, and Kovalev being the cold hearted Russian, the tensions when the two come into the same room is explosive, particularly now since they’ve already seen what they are made of inside the ring.
Wards up right attitude about the rematch shows that his championship status is fully in check. Genuinely believing that he well deserved that ‘W’, he did not hesitate for one second in taking the rematch – most would think he may have been disenchanted after feeling Kovalev’s power but his humble and grounded approach to the press shows he has a well developed wisdom from his long and prosperous career.
When you do take a second glance at the score card, you can see how Ward still managed to legitimately pull out with the decision victory. Despite how the media portrayed the fight, he had indeed outboxed Kovalev, scoring on average higher percentages of landed punches throughout most of the rounds in the fight.
This should very well be another great fight and well worth a spot on all your calendars (Saturday June 17th, 2017). With Kovalev being able to come in more prepared, it will be interesting to see if he can put his power to full use this time around.
A lot can still be said about Ward; He did show to progressively get better in the later rounds of the fight. Even though Kovalev was the stronger starter, once Ward was able to adapt his opponent, he reminded us why he is the champion that he is – an undeniable grit with a strong heart makes for another kill or be killed type of fighter.
Odds are in and Ward is looking like the underdog at the moment.
Highlights of the first fight.