Both Andre Ward & Sergey Kovalev Have Something To Prove In Rematch.
(Article by Michael Henken)
Prior to the first meeting between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev, which took place on November 19, 2017 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the stakes were high, but they were also quite clear. The bout pitted not only two of the very best light heavyweights against each other, but two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world against each other. Prior to the fight, both had unbeaten records, and they were set to do battle not only for Kovalev’s three 175-pound titles, but for pound-for-pound
The result, however, left more questions than answers. After being dropped and dominated early on, Ward battled back to score a closely contested unanimous decision victory, making him the WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight champion.
The decision, however, was considered to be somewhat controversial, as many, including Kovalev himself, felt as if the “Krusher” had done enough to retain his titles, and it’s for that very reason that each man has something to prove in the rematch, which will take place this Saturday (June 17, 2017) live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
When looking at the matchup between Ward and Kovalev from a stylistic standpoint, the Russian is clearly the puncher, while Ward may be considered more of a pure boxer.
Kovalev, who has scored 26 wins by way of knockout throughout his professional career, is the more powerful fighter in this matchup, and it showed in the first fight when he hurt Ward with stinging jabs early on and when he dropped the American with a crisp right hand in the second round.
The only problem, however, was that Kovalev tired as the fight dragged on.
In the months that have preceded the rematch, Kovalev has admitted that he over trained for the first fight between him and Ward. He has admitted that he wasn’t in as good of shape as he could’ve been, and it has seemed that he has been working to fix the issue.
With that being said, the “Krusher” needs to prove one of two things in the rematch. He either needs to live up to his nickname and his reputation and finish Ward, or he needs to prove that he can keep up a steady pace and outbox Ward, like he did in the early part of their first fight, over the course of 12 rounds.
Ward, on the other hand, should look to silence the critics in the rematch. He did indeed win the first fight, and although it was close, it certainly wasn’t a robbery. “SOG” improved as the fight went on, and he began to pick apart Kovalev during the tail end of the fight. Many, however, don’t feel as if Ward did enough to win, which is why a more convincing victory is needed for the American.
Ward should look to prove that he can outbox Kovalev for the majority of the fight rather than just the latter rounds.
“SOG” will also need to once again avoid the big shots of the “Krusher”, while once again targeting the body. This time, however, he should look to get off to a better start and control the action from the opening bell.
In the end, only one man will walk away with three 175-pound titles in his possession. It could go one of two ways: Ward could get the nod and stake his claim as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, or Kovalev could get his redemption and possibly force a rubber match.
Either way, despite the lack of promotion, the rematch between Ward and Kovalev features one of the best bouts in boxing between two of the sport’s best fighters and two of the sport’s most bitter rivals. Fireworks are bound to go off in ‘Sin City’ when the opening bell sounds on June 17.