This weekend, “The Rematch” between Andre Ward (31-0 with 15 KOs) and Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1 with 26 KOs) will take place at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino Events Center in Las Vegas. The fight will be on HBO PPV and promoted by Roc Nation Sports Promotions and Main Events promotions with Roc Nation as the lead promoter. This is a rematch of their fight from last June in which Andre Ward won a controversial unanimous decision. This will also be for the WBA Super, IBF, and WBO World Lightweight titles that Ward won in that event.
The 1st fight between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev was a tale of two fights. During the 1st six rounds, Kovalev outboxed, knocked down, and dominated Ward. Most people had him winning four of the six, if not five of the six rounds. However, during the 2nd half of the fight, Kovalev, depending on who you talk to, either took his foot off the gas or was figured out by Ward. By most people’s scorecards, Ward won 4-5 rounds in the final six. On my scorecard, I had Kovalev winning because of the knockdown of Ward in round two, but when everything was done, Ward won by one point on every one of the judge’s cards.
Ward just finds ways to win every time. Ward is one of the most technically skilled boxers in the sport. He has wins over Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, and Carl Froch in the Super Six Super Middleweight tournament that he went on to win. He also defeated Chad Dawson in a fight that was heralded as the best of 168 vs the best at 175, which was fought at 168. Ward has won at all levels and is looked at as arguably the top pound for pound fighter in the world. He hopes to continue that with what would be his 2nd win over arguably his best opponent in Kovalev.
Kovalev is a killer. He is very technically sound, he is typically aggressive and goes for the attack, and he has the power that could instantly change any fight. Kovalev’s resume isn’t near to what Ward’s is, but he does have wins against Bernard Hopkins and two wins against Jean Pascal. Kovalev by most accounts is looked at as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world and was thought to be the winner of the 1st event. Now Kovalev hopes to leave no doubts in anyone’s minds and take the decision out of the judge’s hands.
Most people think the fight will be easier for Ward than the 1st one. They think the 2nd half of the fight indicated Andre Ward has figured Sergey Kovalev out. However, Kovalev was still likely 30 seconds more from ending Ward in round two. And as I always say, true champions know how to adjust. Most people thought Carl Frampton had the key to Leo Santa Cruz, but Cruz won their 2nd fight. I feel Kovalev hurt Ward in the 1st fight and will hurt him again, but the difference is he won’t let up. I think he goes for the kill and tries to finish Ward. Don’t leave it to the judges. With that, my prediction is Kovalev by 7th round stoppage.
This fight has not been promoted as well as it should have been. This is a fight between two of the top tier fighters in the world, fighting in a rematch of what was a close 1st fight. Not to mention it’s in Vegas, where everything seems bigger. The two promotional companies have taken shot at each other more than working together to get as much buzz about this fight as possible. This is a fight that everyone should be watching. Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev are two of the top three in the division, and the winner could go on to face the 3rd, Adonis Stevenson at some point. This should be what boxing is all about.
Unfortunately, we are on the cusp of the fight and most people are talking about Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor on August 26th, Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin on September 16th, or anything else other than this fight. One thing that boxing fans know how to do is complain. Whether it’s about a fighter, a fight, fight not happening, or the money that a fighter gets. This is a fight that fans need to truly enjoy. This has been a great year for boxing and they’ve gotten almost every fight they could want. Instead of complaining, sit back, relax and enjoy the fight, isn’t that the reason you love the sport?