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Fight Picks: Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward

16
Nov

Sergey Kovalev puts his IBF, WBA and WBO light heavyweight titles on the line against former WBA/WBC/RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward on Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (live on HBO Pay-Per-View in the U.S.).

The classic boxer vs. puncher matchup appears a 50/50 contest. It could be the most significant fight in boxing since Floyd MayweatherJr.-Manny Pacquiao. Canelo Alvarez-Miguel Cotto could argue different and their bout will most likely yield higher PPV numbers than Saturday’s showdown. However, this bout pits two of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world in their fistic primes and the winner would stand a top the 175-pound division and possibly even be considered the best fighter in the world pound-for-pound.

Kovalev, 33, sprang to prominence when he won the WBO title in August of 2013, bludgeoning Nathan Cleverly. Since then, he’s consistently sought out the best available opposition, twice beating Jean Pascal as well as Bernard Hopkins, among others, unifying the WBA and IBF belts along the way to running his record to 30-0-1 (26 knockouts).

Ward, 32, won an Olympic gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and has been groomed for stardom since. As a pro, his big break came almost seven years later when he beat Mikkel Kessler in Showtime’s “Super Six” tournament to win the WBA 168-pound strap. Ultimately “SOG” won the tournament besting Carl Froch in the final to add the WBC belt to his collection. Over the next couple of years, Ward (30-0, 15 knockouts) was beset by legal issues with his then promoter Dan Goossen, all of which kept him on the sidelines, fighting infrequently. He returned to action in mid-2015 and has reeled off three victories to help set up his latest challenge.

It will be fascinating to see how each man deals with what the other brings to the contest. How will Ward deal with Kovalev’s offensive style, not to mention his power? How will Kovalev deal with Ward’s ring smarts and boxing IQ?

The fight also means a lot to the respective promoters. Kovalev has long worked with Main Events and is the star of its stable while Ward is aligned similarly with Roc Nation Sports since returning from his hiatus. Both promoters need the win as much as the fighters do to remain a significant force in boxing.

HBO produced two programs in the build-up. “My Fight”

and “Road To…”

Online gambling group bet365.com  lists Ward as slight  a 8/11 (-138) favorite while  Kovalev is priced at 11/10 (+110).

RingTV.com asked 38 boxing insiders for their picks:

 

Mitch  Abramson, RingTV.com
Sergey  Kovalev UD 12 Andre  Ward: Perhaps he’s been playing down to his opposition but I think Ward has looked awful in recent fights against Alexander Brand, Sullivan Barrera and Paul Smith. He should be ashamed of himself for the way he coasted and didn’t try to do more to stop Brand, which was truly one of the worst fights to ever appear on HBO. If Ward comes alive and is the Ward of old, then he beats Kovalev but I just don’t see it, based on how he’s looked. If he has truly lost a step at 32 – and I believe he has – then Kovalev should be able to do enough to win.

Kenny Adams, trainer of 25 world champions
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev: I’ve flipped from one to the other. I thought maybe Kovalev in the later rounds but I think Ward is going to outbox him all the way, I think he really is. If he boxes and moves, he wins but if he punches with Kovalev, he’s going to get in trouble. Close decision Ward.

Eleider Alvarez, light heavyweight contender
Andre Ward to beat Sergey Kovalev: I think Ward will win. He is the most complete boxer out of the two. He knows how to adapt to all situations.

Artur Beterbiev, light heavyweight contender
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev: Ward will win a decision. He is an integral boxer with a lot of experience in that kind of mega fight.

Darnell Boone, fought both Kovalev and Ward
Sergey Kovalev KO Andre Ward: This fight is a toss-up on who will win. I would go with Kovalev simply because of the layoffs and what I’ve been seeing in the past fights for Ward and the guys he’s been picking to get ready for Kovalev. If pushed, I would say Kovalev by late stoppage.

Livingstone Bramble, former lightweight titlist
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev: I think Ward’s going to outbox him. I think there’s nothing pretty about the fight. Ward’s not going to knock Kovalev out. I think points is the only way he can win. I think Ward makes him miss and blocks him and has a lot of fun that night. His boxing skills are going to help him win.

Lucian Bute, former super middleweight titlist
Undecided: A very intriguing fight between maybe two of the best P4P fighters today. A very close fight, 50/50 in my opinion. If it goes 12 rounds, I see Ward winning but, if a KO/TKO happens, I see Kovalev winning. I can’t pick a winner but I will watch with interest.

Nathan Cleverly, WBA light heavyweight titlist
Sergey Kovalev PTS 12 Andre Ward: Brilliant fight, the best of the best. This is the best fight that can be made in boxing at the moment. I think Kovalev is an elite fighter, pound-for-pound one of the best. Andre Ward, an elite fighter, pound-for-pound one of the best. Putting it on the line against each other, fantastic. Really interesting fight, it’s a tough one to split. You’ve got Kovalev’s boxing ability and brute power against Ward’s tremendous boxing skills, defensive skills and technique. It’s a tough one to call. I think it’s going to be a real close fight. I think Kovalev will start assertive. He’ll start the fight on the front foot, letting his hands go, I think he’ll make his power known early. I think he’ll have Ward very defensive, trying to counterpunch Kovalev and maybe knicking a few rounds on the back foot, countering and landing his shots and maybe tying up Kovalev’s hands and stopping him from throwing. But I just think Kovalev with his distance and timing, with his range, his boxing discipline, long punches, I feel he’ll be quite busy. Ward will feel his power and will become a little bit negative in the fight and I think Kovalev will edge the fight on the front foot, will just let his hands go a bit more, land more punches and I think Kovalev wins on a points decision.

Robert Diaz, Golden Boy Matchmaker
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev: Terrific fight on paper and one that I am interested to watch. Personally my heart says Kovalev, activity, skill, power, intelligent. I mean. you name it. He has it. His ring smarts are not appreciated enough but, believe me, this guy thinks in there and is not just a big puncher. On the other hand, you have a very skillful athlete in Andre Ward, who has not lost in ages. I do believe he might have bit more, too soon, and one more fight would have benefited him but you must applaud him for stepping up. Now to the fight, In the beginning, I said terrific on paper but I believe it will play out less than that and somewhat of a disappointment. I believe there will be a lot of clinches and holding and Ward will look to frustrate Kovalev. There will be little action and Ward will win an unpopular decision.

Cameron Dunkin, boxing manager
Andre Ward UD 12 Sergey Kovalev: I like Ward in the fight. I think Andre Ward, he’ll be too slick and a little too quick and I think he’ll box Kovalev well and he’ll win a unanimous decision.

Stephen Edwards, boxing trainer
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev: Ward in a tactical war. I see both fighters being knocked down but Ward is better equipped to hustle and win rounds. I think Ward edges it.

Tevin Farmer, junior lightweight contender
Andre Ward UD 12 Sergey Kovalev: It’s a tough fight for both. Kovalev’s coming to win. Andre Ward’s coming to win. I’m definitely going with Andre Ward. It’s going to be a good fight. They’re both world-class fighters. I see him winning a UD, he’s more of a boxer and Kovalev is the bigger guy, so I see a decision.

Doug Fischer, RingTV.com editor

Sergey Kovalev UD 12 Andre Ward: I think Kovalev will gradually break Ward down over the course of 12 competitive rounds. There’s a chance that Kovalev can stop Ward late (or force Ward’s corner to halt the bout) but I think the Olympic gold medalist’s physical strength and tenacity are as underrated as the defending titleholder’s boxing IQ and corner.

Norm Frauenheim, The Ring/www.15rounds.com
Sergey Kovalev TKO 11 Andre Ward: Andre Ward has the smarts and skills to win on the scorecards. But there are signs that his legs are’t young enough to avoid Kovalev’s long, precise and powerful right hand long enough to get him through 12 rounds. The guess here is that Kovalev will employ his own competent skillset, patiently setting up a right that will begin to find its target in about the eighth and land often in the ninth and 10th for a stoppage in the final couple of rounds.

Jeffrey Freeman, KO Digest/TheSweetScience.com
Sergey Kovalev MD 12 Andre Ward:  While “Krusher” Kovalev has been crushing quality foes at light heavyweight, Andre Ward has been slowly backing up into the heavier division against extremely sub-par opposition. All that inactivity and ring rust will finally catch up to Ward against the world-class Kovalev. I say Ward rises from an early knockdown that robs him of his equilibrium and forces him into a much more physical fight than he’d like to engage in with a true killer like Krusher. After 12 rounds of close combat favoring Kovalev, even the ringside judges won’t be able to rob the Russian, although one will see a draw to save a little face for Ward in the rematch.

Sean Gibbons, Zanfer matchmaker
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev:  I like Ward. Andre’s overall boxing skills vs. the flat-footedness of Kovalev should win a 12-round decision…better overall ring generalship.

Tom Gray, RingTV.com
Andre Ward UD12 Sergey Kovalev: From the moment the fight was announced, my prediction has never changed, although there are reasons to be wary. Ward is a brilliant technician, on the outside and the inside. The American has that special type of radar that makes him very difficult to tag cleanly with one shot and almost impossible to hit with more than one shot. Peak versions of Muhammad Ali, Wilfred Benitez, Pernell Whitaker, Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather were of a similar defensive motif. If Kovalev has major success, my hunch is that it will be big single shots from the outside that do the damage. There’s a train of thought that Kovalev is too big and strong for Ward but close-quarter combat comes down to knowledge and, for my money, the challenger is the best inside fighter on the planet. Kovalev may be shocked at how effective Ward is at counter-punching in this posture and his own lack of success up close could prove to be very frustrating. I think Ward wins by a mile but I’m prepared for anything. Memories of him being floored by Darnell Boone are all too fresh in the memory. I’ve saw Kovalev up close and he is positively terrifying.

David Greisman, BoxingScene.com
Andre Ward UD  12 Sergey Kovalev: Ward won’t be the first skilled boxer that Kovalev has faced but he will be much better than the aging (yet still capable) version of Bernard Hopkins that Kovalev shut out in late-2014. Kovalev will be the toughest test for Ward yet. We haven’t seen Ward get hit by someone with Kovalev’s power. Kovalev has the ability to give Ward a tough fight but Ward has the smarts and strategy to take Kovalev completely out of his element. Ward wins the decision.

Montell Griffin, former light heavyweight titlist
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev: It’s too close to call. It’s a tough fight. I think if  Andre Ward is at his 100 percent best, he should win the fight. If he’s not, I’ve got to go with the “Krusher.” I think Andre Ward has the boxing skills to dominate but we all know one punch can change it all. This is a fight that is so close to call. Andre Ward could win 11 rounds and get caught in the last round and lose. I’ve seen Andre Ward get caught a few times in his career. Kovalev is a big man with punching power. I think he’s a better boxer than people give him credit for but I don’t think he’s on Andre Ward’s level, as far as boxing ability. I’m looking forward to it. Vegas don’t even know whose going to win; they got it pretty much even money. If Kovalev lets Andre do what he wants to do, it’s going to be a long night for Krusher. He’s going to have to force the fight, jump on him, hit him on the arms and make it ugly and try to wear him down. I have to go with Ward. If it goes to a decision I’ve got Ward for sure.

Lee Groves: RingTV.com
Sergey  Kovalev PTS 12 Andre  Ward: The key to this fight is that, while both are versatile, Kovalev is long enough to box with Ward while also possessing fight-ending power in each hand. Ward has all the skills in the world but he was a moderate hitter at best at 168 and won’t be the mortal KO threat to “The Krusher” is at 175. Also, Kovalev showed against Bernard Hopkins that he can stick with a highly disciplined fight plan from beginning to end and he’ll need to do that again versus Ward, the best fighter he has yet faced. For me, although it won’t be easy by any means, the stars point toward a Kovalev victory.

Andreas Hale, KnockoutNation.com
Sergey Kovalev SD 12 Andre Ward: I honestly cannot remember a time when I struggled to pick a winner of a fight but this fight is that moment. Two fighters with contrasting styles and both excellent at what they do will compete for the top pound-for-pound slot in the world. Ward is the more technically savvy of the two but Kovalev’s boxing is extremely underrated. This fight will likely be nip-and-tuck throughout but I have a feeling that Kovalev’s activity and punching power will be the difference maker with the judges. There will be several close rounds where the judges will err on the side of Kovalev’s harder punches over Ward’s. Size will also end up being a factor as Ward’s bump up to light heavyweight might not go smoothly against Kovalev, considering that Ward’s past couple of opponents did absolutely nothing to get him ready to fight a man of Sergey’s caliber. But make no mistake: Ward will have his moments in the middle rounds in a very close fight that we’ll likely end up seeing again.

Virgil Hill, former light heavyweight and cruiserweight titlist
Andre Ward to beat Sergey Kovalev: I think it is one of the best fights out there. Even though they don’t get the recognition like “Triple G” (Gennady Golovkin) and Canelo Alvarez, who are not willing to fight each other, Kovalev and Ward are the best in the upper division and are willing to fight each other. This kind of match-up elevates boxing to its highest levels. As far as Kovalev, in my opinion, he’s the best puncher out there in boxing. In Ward, my only issue with him is the long layoff. I didn’t particularly think he looked that good in his last two fights for him to fight the likes of Kovalev this early in his march back to the top when he could fight other fights. My instincts tell me that, if Ward can reach Kovalev’s chin because, (Kovalev) has been dropped before and stay away from the big shots, then Ward wins the fight. Kovalev is mean and aggressive and, if he can land that big shot, then he wins the fight. I think Ward is a little bit better boxer than Kovalev but Kovalev can box and has that one-punch knockout power in either hand. It is truly a great match-up for boxing.

Reggie Johnson, former middleweight and light heavyweight titlist
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev: I’ve had a lot of people talk to me about that. If ever there was a fight that was 50/50 (this is it). I’m stuck on who to pick. This is a coming-out party for both of these fighters. I don’t know how Ward is going to respond to the pressure and how Kovalev is going to respond if Ward boxes and moves. Everybody wants to twist my arm and me make a pick. I’d go with the smart guy, Ward. I’d go with Ward because of his mindset. I think he’ll win a decision. I can’t see him knocking out Kovalev.

Donny Lalonde, former light heavyweight titlist
Sergey Kovalev TKO Andre Ward: I am going with a late round TKO by Kovalev. Too much power and strength for Ward, I think.

Gary Lockett, boxing trainer
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev: Ward on points but it’s a neck-on-the-line prediction.

Raul Marquez, former junior middleweight titlist and now “ShoBox” commentator
Andre Ward UD 12 Sergey Kovalev:  I think that’s a very interesting fight. I love Andre Ward’s skills but Kovalev is powerful and a good puncher. He comes forward and also has good skills. I think it’s a very entertaining fight, two fighters who are in their prime. I really don’t know who to pick. I love Andre Ward’s skills. I covered him when he was in Athens, Greece (for the 2004 Olympics) with Telemundo and I always thought he was going to be a great fighter and then Kovalev, I think he’s more powerful but just because you have more power, doesn’t always mean you’re going to win the fight. I’m going to lean toward Ward. I think he’ll win on points, just overall a better boxer, more of a complete package. It’ll be good but I’m going with Andre Ward by close unanimous decision.

Wayne McCullough, former bantamweight titlist
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev: It’s a great match-up between arguably two of the top pound-for-pound fighters today and this fight could decide the No. 1 spot. Kovalev is the bigger man, having fought his entire career as a light heavyweight and, even though they have a similar number of fights, Kovalev has been the more active of the two. He has a big right hand and is going to want to land that punch. Ward has better skills and, over the years, has been able to box in a way to protect himself from a big puncher. It will be interesting to see, when Kovalev hits Ward with a right hand, if he can take a full light heavyweight’s punch. And if he does, I see Ward boxing his way to a points win with his technical skills.

Dariusz Michalczewski, former unified light heavyweight titlist
Sergey Kovalev to beat Andre Ward: I like Kovalev. I like his demeanor I think he is, overall, a sound boxer and, in my eyes, is the favorite going into the fight.

Yvon Michel, Promoter, GYM
Andre Ward to beat Sergey Kovalev: I am convinced that Ward has athletic capacity, the craftiness, the intelligence and the boxing IQ to control the aggressiveness and punching power of Kovalev. Kovalev is strong but predictable and he tends to weaken at the end of fights, while Ward finishes strong. I see Ward winning an intense and interesting fight.

Sergio Mora, former junior middleweight titlist and current middleweight contender
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev: Great fight for Ward to finally prove P4P No. 1 status. I pick Ward by decision. If a 49-year-old Hopkins went 12 with Kovalev, Ward will too. But Andre will bank in rounds for close decision victory.

Diego M. Morilla, TheSweetScience.com, ThePrizefighters.com
Andre Ward W 12 Sergei Kovalev: Ward may have trained for what looms as the biggest challenge in his career, so far, by taking on sporadic challenges from sub-par opposition but his undeniable talent should carry him to victory with relative ease. Kovalev will have to land heavily on him with more than two or three punches at a time in order to do some damage and it is virtually impossible that Ward will be so far out of his element to allow this to happen. Inactivity and injuries will be a factor in Ward’s performance but not enough to prevent him from scoring a decisive (and not necessarily entertaining) decision win.

Marty Mulcahey, UCNlive.com
Sergey Kovalev PTS 12 Andre Ward: Not an easy choice but I believe the intangibles in this fight are lining up in favor of Kovalev. He has fought the better opposition of late, has been more active, is naturally bigger and, in case he falls behind, has fight-ending or altering power. Since I do believe this will be a close fight, a knockdown can alter the scoring immensely, which I think Kovalev scores, at some point. I also believe people discount the boxing ability of Kovalev, who comprehensively outboxed the always tricky Bernard Hopkins. Ward has his moments early but Kovalev starts to time Ward from round three on and slowly steamrolls his way to a decision victory.

Harry Pratt, sports writer
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev:  Ward gets it via a tight points decision, either  UD or split. The American may have been way below par, of late, but he always seems to defy logic and produce just enough to keep winning. Suspect we are in for long, dull fight where ugly, awkward style trumps all.

John J. Raspanti, Maxboxing.com, Doghouseboxing, Ringside Boxing Show
Andre Ward W 12 Sergey Kovalev: This is a  classic 50/50 fight between two undefeated champions. Ward is a superior boxer-puncher. Kovalev has dynamite in either hand. Ward has likely never faced anyone with the knockout power of Kovalev.
Kovalev will be meeting someone he can’t intimidate – and is gritty as hell. So who wins? I see a very close fight with bursts of activity. Ward’s ability to throw punches from odd angles will bother Kovalev. Kovalev will hurt Ward a few times with head shots. His power could be a game changer. Ward appears to have an edge on the inside. He’s also a very intelligent fighter. I see the ultra-competitive Ward doing more down the stretch to win the fight by decision.

Matt Richardson,  BWAA Vice President
Andre Ward UD 12 Sergey Kovalev: This fight has marinated too long. A year ago, I would’ve given Sergey Kovalev a better chance. But now Andre Ward has gotten sharper and closer to what he was prior to his self-imposed exile. Throw in how poorly Kovalev performed against Isaac Chilemba in July (against a style that’s not too far off from Ward’s) and I think Ward should be a clear favorite. Kovalev has that great power as his equalizer but you can’t knock out what you can’t hit. I’m hoping for a good, competitive fight but I just can’t shake the idea that Ward will win a comprehensive 12-round decision. Probably in the 117-111/116-112 range. Ward by unanimous decision.

Salvador Rodriguez, ESPN Deportes
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev: If the fight is more like a wrestling match, it’s going to Ward but if the fight is an war, I’m going for Kovalev. I believe that this fight could give us the best Ward in years. No too many emotions at the fight.

Cliff Rold, BoxingScene.com
Andre Ward PTS 12 Sergey Kovalev: Until we know the referee, it’s hard to anticipate fully what we’ll see. There are a couple ways for Ward to win here. For Kovalev, it’s a tighter needle to thread. He has to hurt Ward early and not let him set a rhythm. He can win rounds that way but it’s hard to see seven of them. Going with Ward on the coin flip, his inside game and willingness to win ugly playing a role.

Michael Woods,  NYFights.com, RingTV.com, Everlast podcast “TalkBOX”
Andre Ward UD 12 Sergey Kovalev: Man hasn’t lost since he was 12. Oh, but he’s not 12 anymore. Andre Ward is however the best defuser and nullifier in the game and, even if his reflexes have slipped a tick, his defense should carry the night over a man who edges him in power. I see Ward over Kovalev, UD  12, eight rounds to four.

 

Final tally:  26-11  (With one undecided) in favor of  Andre Ward to win  Saturday’s  light heavyweight showdown against Sergey Kovalev.

 

 

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright.

 

 

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  • Sarah

    Samesies. Andre Ward decision victory.

    • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS
    • Ritchie Rich

      Boooooooooooo, lol.

      • Sarah

        I’m not saying I’ll like it.

    • wayne reid

      Hmmm is that your final answer? because your pick is in the minority in this comments section…& these guys know boxing

      • Joe Steed III

        The guys in the comment section who “know boxing” majority opinion means more than the majority opinion of boxers, boxing trainers and boxing pundits?? Damn you comment section guys must be the Boxing Gods!

        • wayne reid

          They are,though you knew

      • Sarah

        Wayne…I stand by it. Your thoughts?

        • wayne reid

          Lol it was tuff to call it I had to watch the all the HBO previews before i made up my mind…Andre Ward by decision

          • Sarah

            Not tough for me Wayne. I’m really smart.

          • wayne reid

            Well i like Sergey a lot so it was hard to go against him..i’m know i’m not as smart as you & your” usual suspects”

          • Sarah

            Don’t act like you’re not sitting atop bullshit mountain with the rest of us.

          • Robert Archambault

            You see, I did not watch so much as one preview of the fight. I have no interest in being swayed by some producer’s take on reality. I go by what I have seen of each fighter in the ring and nothing else. I don’t care about the hype and do not listen to it. I haven’t even watched the most recent ‘The Fight Game’ show so not to be influenced by other opinions.

          • wayne reid

            Cool,well I enjoyed watching the HBO highlights of both fighters last fights as i’m a fan of both I’m not surprised you pick Kov to win judging from your previous post i think you already had your mind made up months ago actually You though Ward would cop out & not even take this fight

          • Robert Archambault

            Considering Ward’s recent history, bailing on a fight with a feeble injury excuse, trying to find an opponent only to have about a dozen of them rejected by the Nevada Athletic Commission as being unsuitable, etc… finally to be basically forced into this fight by HBO… yes, I thought there was every possibility that he might find a way to avoid this fight. I do not look at Andre Ward as an honorable man at all and I would like nothing more than to see Kovalev pound him from corner to corner with no mercy.
            .
            Sorry, that is not entirely accurate. There is one thing I would enjoy seeing more than that… it would be to see Golovkin do it to him instead of Kovalev but Ward pussied his way out of that one. 🙂

  • bradman

    Not samesies. Kovalev by decision, that includes a knockdown. Or two.

    • Sarah

      LMAO! We know a lot about boxing….

      • bradman

        Haha I hate to pick against Ward. Besides being a fellow Bay Area resident, he was on my flight to AZ a couple years ago (he was going on to Vegas) and he was very nice and gracious. I was the only person on the plane who knew who he was. With his inactivity, moving up to 175, and not fighting anyone of note to even remotely prepare him for Krusher, I just can’t pick him to win. BUT…it will not be easy by any stretch for Kovalev to pull out the victory.

  • Col Carter

    I think Kovalev breaks him down and breaks his will along with a rib or two. Kovalev late stoppage.

    • wayne reid

      Wake up….Kovalev ain’t breaking nobody’s rib….

      • Kudos

        Yeah because that would be absurd….

      • Col Carter

        You may be right about the ribs but I think he breaks Ward’s will. I’ve seen nothing out of Ward since 2011 that would make me believe he can beat Kovalev. During that same time period Kovalev has kept busy fighting some pretty good competition while Ward has been fighting Rodriquez, Smith, Barrera, and Brand. I think Ward is in for a rude and brutal awakening. I don’t have a crystal ball and obviously I don’t have the same opinion of most these guys but I picked Trump to easily win also.LOL He had some pretty tough competition while Hillary only had to KO Bernie (along with a little rigging). I’m looking forward to the 19th just as I looked forward to the 8th.

        • wayne reid

          Hey you might be in for a rude awakening yourself when Ward gets the decision… Fyi Trump won by not easily

  • Robert Archambault

    Kovalev by stoppage under 10 rounds. I think he will hit Andre early and often and Ward will not be able to withstand the power for 12. Ward will hit Kovalev and have no effect leading to Kovalev taking his time and walking him down until Ward goes down or his corner stops the fight.
    .
    And someone tell Virgil Hill that Golovkin is more than willing to fight Canelo at any time and that it is Canelo and Oscar who are preventing that fight from happening. Pisses me off when people who work in the sport really seem to be clueless about what is really going on.

    • Julio

      I think Virgil is still hurting from Roy’s body shot.

    • Chris Stans

      So I’m guessing you aren’t a fan of froch telling ggg to stop ducking Ward

      • Robert Archambault

        Frock is an asshole who needs to either shut the fuck up or get his ass in the ring. And it’s pretty fucking difficult to duck someone who was never in the same division and WAS NEVER AVAILABLE FOR A FIGHT. Even if GGG had accepted the bullshit offer made back last year during the prep for the Lemieux fight, they would not have fought until about now because WARD WAS NOT READY. Ward has not even had so much as a sparring session at 168 since Golovkin arrived in the US ready to fight.
        In other words… Froch is a fucking pussy and his wife carries his balls around in her purse. Not to mention that he would not want to have his new nose all fucked up.

        • Chris Stans

          It’s funny how golovkin was telling froch to fight him or be quiet on twitter

          • Robert Archambault

            Well he told Canelo to give him his belt and he did it so maybe Froch will shut the fuck up. Easier to do that than to fight Golovkin and get his pretty new nose all smashed in.

        • Martin Hall

          Have to agree Robert. I’ve gone from liking Froch to really wishing he would just shut the fuck up and fuck off.

          There was me thinking George Groves was a fucking nobhead and Froch has to outdo him in that department as well.

          • philoe bedoe

            If there’s any retired boxer who has earned the right to talk it’s Froch……….

          • Orca

            Yup. People have short memories. Froch can be an asshole sure, like everybody else but throughout his career he acted like a real fighter should. I wish there were more fighters like him. He might mouth off a bit in his retirement but he earned it unlike some.

          • philoe bedoe

            100%.
            I agree he can be a bit smug, and he’s said a few things that I didn’t like racially in the past.
            But no one can deny his level of opposition during his career, certainly the hardest I’ve seen a British boxer in my time……….

          • Will Arbuckle

            Early career…. Perhaps…. But his last 4 fights…. C’mon guy.. If you are going to say shit…. Back it up… New nose or no…. Have a clause put in that trip buys him a new one when he knocks him out.. I agree that through no fault of his own trip needs a name.. Why be a name that shoots his mouth off….. Talk it, walk it

          • philoe bedoe

            He’s already walked the walk.
            His last four opponents?
            Mack a title challenger at 175.
            Kessler a belt holder in a unification fight and a chance to revenge defeat.
            And Groves a young unbeaten boxer, who was stylistically a difficult fight for him.
            All this coming after fighting seven world class boxers in a row, four unbeaten, all stylistically different, and four those in a row in the other man’s backyard.
            Pretty weak lol………..

          • ryan

            Level of opposition at 168 got hyped up during the super 6 Froch lost to ward and Kessler should of lost to Dirrell, scraped out of the Taylor fight(who was thought to be shot going in) he was losing. Kessler was done for the rematch, Groves was Groves, Abraham wasnt in Germany and we know what that means. His best wins were Bute and Pascal.

            Oh forgot old man road Johnson in there too. Same applies for ward but least he schooled them all

          • philoe bedoe

            If you’ll find fault with that run of boxers, you’ll find fault with anyone lol.
            The Kessler fight could have went either way, his preparation was poor due to him thinking the fight was being postponed due to th volcanic ash cloud disrupting travel.
            And Kessler was unbeaten in his backyard.
            Why was Kessler done in the rematch?
            He was a champion and off the the back of three ko wins against the same sort of opposition he was beating earlier in his career.
            You don’t take belts off champions in their backyard if you fight Like Dirrel did.
            What was shot about Taylor?
            He was only beaten by one boxer Pavlik, all because you’ve been beaten doesn’t make you shot.
            Johnson was still an hand full and coming off a ko win against Green.
            Abraham was boxing in Finland, and had the majority of the support and was the favourite to win.
            Groves was an unbeaten fighter with a difficult style for Froch, and is still the only man to beat Degale.
            Remember these fights were one after the other, no tune ups and style wise all different boxers.
            Name a British boxer with an harder run of back to back fights?…………

          • ryan

            Taylor.. Never had a decent win again only fought once at 168 before froch and dominated the fight before the hail mary ko.
            Dirrell been proven to not be a great fighter best win? and Froch didn’t
            be deserve the decision
            Abraham I’ll give you he wasnt really away (had never fought there before and after though) but was new to.168 and hasn’t really ever had a great win himself, especially outside of germany he’s 2-4 away from therethere with one of the wins in neighbouring switzerland.

            Kessler had the eye injury from the ward fight worsening and was in the twilight by the time he lost to Froch hence the retirement.

            Groves beat Degale but I don’t rate Degale or any current 168 champion for that matter

            I’m not saying he didn’t take tough fights but he’s hardly a top top fighter and the super 6 talent was overhyped 168 has never been super deep since the 90s. Not a top ten Brit by a long shot.

          • ryan

            Oh and to add to which Brit has had as tough a run considering it doesn’t seem to matter if you lose them Amir Khan on quite a strong run of opponents.

          • philoe bedoe

            Name me another Brit boxer who comes out unbeaten after that run of non stop hard fights?……..

          • ryan

            Calzaghe takes them all, ward being the only one who’d give him trouble. He schools the others with ease including froch

          • philoe bedoe

            I see where your coming from.
            For a start I like Calzaghe and respect him as a boxer and as a person!
            But at no time did Calzaghe fight anywhere near froch’s level of continued opposition.
            The reason he stayed unbeaten was because of the match making of Frank Warren and his father.
            He was brilliantly style wise, fighting either ageing fighters who couldn’t cope with his workrate, or boxers who walked in straight lines, Lacy Kessler.
            He the only time he fought a fighter in his prime who had the style to give him trouble was Reid, a fight most people thought he lost.
            There’s nowhere to suggest he could have beaten that many different styles continously one after the other…………

          • ryan

            OK I get the point that warren protected Joe (vs prime rjj or toney would of been superb fights) but I think frochs opponents in the run are overrated personally and save ward aren’t really better than 5 of calzaghes last 6 fights.

            Hopkins who was only a few years older than Joe himself likely is better than everyone Froch faced other than ward

            Rjj was no where near his elite level but likely is just as goodat that point as a Dirrell, bute, grovesgroves

            Kessler in Denmark, this was an amazing win a better version than the Kessler Froch fought both times post the injury in the ward fight

            Of course manfredo was a gimme

            Lacy, well Joe took his soul and its hard to know what his level was as he never recovered from that but again as good as an Abraham etc

            Bika, he proved at 40/41 with his draw against the other Dirrell he wasn’t a bad fighter again just loses to the top guys.
            Froch

            Pascal – good win excellent fight
            Jermain Taylor – 1-2 in previous 3 stepping up in weight only wins with a hail Mary ko in the 12th
            Dirrell – A lot feel his lost and got a gift
            Kessler – He lost
            Abraham- has Abraham ever been good? 2-4 career outside of Germany
            Glen Johnson – 2-2 before he fought Froch at 42 would be 2-6 with Froch and subsequent 3 fights
            Andre Ward- he lost
            Lucien Bute- good win but was he protected all along and just a top 10 maybe just top 5 guy
            Yusef Mack- was done although he was never good, lost 3 more fights after Froch to finish his careercareer
            Groves- the enigma groves dominates froch , Froch gets a stoppage I won’t belittle this as if the ref let it go on Froch still finishes him that round but I don’t know if groves is good based off a Degale win who I don’t rate highly either. Groves has skills though but mentally seems weak

            Edit
            Sorry missed the Kessler rematch good win but a diminished Kessler in my opinion

          • philoe bedoe

            We can all pick faults at boxers, or who they faught.
            What your talking about is pure speculation.
            The fact is, Calzaghe never faught a fast, slick, in his prime boxer who could box on the back foot, Ward, Dirrel, Taylor, Bute.
            Or more importantly he never fought another southpaw………

          • ryan

            Of course we can but I don’t give someone who wouldn’t of been a world champ in a one belt era a free pass at calling out guys he doesn’t have any intention of fighting just because he fought a kind of tough run that gets highly overated especially as he lost 2 and not far from losing 3 more of them in groves 1, dirrell and Taylor.

            Anyways its late in the UK and I’ll never agree it was an Ali style run as some seem to hype it to be

          • philoe bedoe

            I have no personal interest in Froch.
            He’s not from my ethnic background or my part of the country.
            But to continually fight those tough run of fighters in a row, need a pat on the back if we want to see the best fighting the best………

          • ryan

            Taylor.. Never had a decent win again only fought once at 168 before froch and dominated the fight before the hail mary ko.
            Dirrell been proven to not be a great fighter best win? and Froch didn’t
            be deserve the decision
            Abraham I’ll give you he wasnt really away (had never fought there before and after though) but was new to.168 and hasn’t really ever had a great win himself, especially outside of germany he’s 2-4 away from therethere with one of the wins in neighbouring switzerland.

            Kessler had the eye injury from the ward fight worsening and was in the twilight by the time he lost to Froch hence the retirement.

            Groves beat Degale but I don’t rate Degale or any current 168 champion for that matter

            I’m not saying he didn’t take tough fights but he’s hardly a top top fighter and the super 6 talent was overhyped 168 has never been super deep since the 90s. Not a top ten Brit by a long shot.

          • Will Arbuckle

            Why.. It will be years before he gets into the hall… If then

          • philoe bedoe

            Because he had one of the hardest runs of any boxer during his time in the ring.
            So if someone wants to ask him for an opinion, on his career or another boxers, he’s entitled to it………….

        • Kudos

          You really are a big faggot

        • Will Arbuckle

          Agree 100 percent

        • Ben Willis

          Textbook keyboard warrior. Keep banging out your repetitive GGG cheerleading bullshit until you’ve earned the right to call Carl Froch a pussy, which will be never. You’re also a miserable twat.

          • Robert Archambault

            Froch is a man who has had his time in the spotlight but cannot bring himself to leave it because without it he knows that he is nothing. The only way he can possibly keep his name in the news is by hanging on to the back of Golovkin’s trunks hoping that someone will pay attention to him. Thankfully, GGG is tired of fools like him and asked Loeffler and Hearn to stop talking about a fight that will never happen. You see Golovkin doesn’t need to hitch his name to a fading fighter who no one gives a crap about anymore.

          • Ben Willis

            Respect your opinion when you put it like that. Froch is undoubtedly an attention seeker but earned respect by facing the best in his division and always entertaining the fans. GGG would give his right arm to face the kind of opposition that Froch did in his prime (not suggesting that’s GGG’s fault). Froch isn’t fading though, he’s retired.

          • Robert Archambault

            Yes, he is retired but still likes to have the spotlight on himself and does whatever he can to keep it there. He cannot accept that his time has passed so he continues to trash talk when he should move on to other things. He had an offer on the table to fight GGG BEFORE he retired but decided to pass on it. Because of that, he has no right to comment on Golovkin or his career.

    • wayne reid

      Man this was a tough fight for me to predict but i gotta go with Andre Robert i don’t see Ward’s corner having to stop this fight,Ward is just too skilled i agree with boxer Sergio Mora’s opinion if old Hopkins could last 12rds with Kov so can Andre

      • Robert Archambault

        I think Hopkins was more dangerous punch wise than Ward is. I do not believe that Ward will be able to make Kovalev respect his power and that will be a big key in this fight.

        • Harry

          If Kovalev fights like he did against Chilemba he’ll lose and if Andre fights like he did against Brand he’ll lose, but I am sure we’ll see the best game of both. It’s hard for me to see Kovalev losing to the man who won’t be able to earn his respect, though the GYM guys all favor Ward. They do not like Kovalev, that’s clear. The key for Kovalev will be a very high work rate in the ring, which Andre won’t be able to match.

          • Robert Archambault

            I have little respect for the guys from GYM, and that includes Yvon Michel who I have met a few times socially. I will generally pick against their picks and will usually come out on top.

          • Fist_ti_cuffs

            If his work rate is too high he will gas out before the 8th round. SOG is a lot like Floyd in that he disarms his opponents best assets.

        • Harry

          If Kovalev fights like he did against Chilemba he’ll lose and if Andre fights like he did against Brand he’ll lose, but I am sure we’ll see the best game of both. It’s hard for me to see Kovalev losing to the man who won’t be able to earn his respect, though the GYM guys all favor Ward. They do not like Kovalev, that’s clear. The key for Kovalev will be a very high work rate in the ring, which Andre won’t be able to match.

      • Will Arbuckle

        Ward…. Was way top skilled 5 years ago… He has lost some of that skill

        • wayne reid

          We’ll see

    • D. Gambino

      I’m with you Robert in that I feel Kovalev wins this fight. However, I think it will be by unanimous decision. I do think Ward and his excellent chin should be able to go the full 12 rounds. Ward will eventually resort to grappling and holding which will slow the fight down but Kovalev will be able to get around these tactics. I also don’t think Ward’s punches will have much effect on Kovalev.

      I have never wavered in my pick. I’ve felt strongly that Kovalev would beat Ward from the day this fight was mentioned. I will say this – if anyone is getting stopped it WILL be Ward.

      • Robert Archambault

        I am actually afraid of this fight going to a decision. I would normally not be nervous anywhere other than Oakland, but Vegas has a history of being very forgiving of dull, boring, clinching fighters and giving them a decision in recent years. They have been polluted by Mayweather and I do not know if Kovalev can get a fair decision there.
        I believe Kovalev needs to put in a clearly dominant performance with at least two knockdowns to get a decision and even then I will be nervous waiting for the announcement.
        .
        One thing I am concerned about is that here we are two days from the fight and the venue is still not sold out! In fact, I do not believe that the new venue has had a sell out for a boxing event since they opened. That is not a good sign for boxing.

        • D. Gambino

          I’m not too worried about the judges (I don’t know which judges were assigned to the fight). I think Kovalev will do enough to win enough rounds as I feel he will be dominant which should leave no doubt about the winner.

          Wow. I’m shocked that this fight isn’t sold out. That’s a tragedy as I think this will be a really good fight. If I still lived in Vegas – I would have went.

          • Jorge

            Vegas just tend to favor aggression as well for the most part.

    • Will Arbuckle

      I think either Ward is going to look untouchable….. Or Krusher destroys him.. I don’t think it will end in a draw or split.. Someone is going to look sensational….. I’m going with Krusher

    • wayne reid

      Hey Rob are you a betting man? wanna put $50 down on that prediction?

      • Robert Archambault

        I never bet on anything that I am not directly involved in the outcome. Basically I only bet on myself. 🙂

  • wrecksracer

    I have a hard time picking against Ward. Not because I like his style, but because he is an exceptional boxer that is hard to win rounds against. However, this time I’m picking against him. I think he left his prime on the courtroom floor. I can totally see him smothering Kovalev’s work, though. Still, I’m going with Kovalev.

    • Charlie Underbite

      Left his prime on the court room floor is a funny and clever way to describe it. Nice job.

  • Chris Stans

    Ward really has looked like crap in his last two fights. I guess I’ll go kovalev by decision or late tko

    • Jorge

      Yeah that’s true but I don’t think Kov looked all that too great in his last fight either.

      • Chris Stans

        Chilemba probably gave him good experience tho.

  • JC superstar

    Usually fans know better than the so called experts. Kob by decision with a knockdown

    • Oc

      Always…you can see for miles from these armchairs, comfortable too.

    • Jorge

      haha in polls fans picked manny to beat Floyd, not so sure about that.

  • Sidewinder

    This will be a ring chess match. This fight is not only decided by power and skills. Ring IQ and mental fortitude is key.
    Andre Ward all the way.

  • Charlie Underbite

    First of all, I’m tired of all the Andre Ward hate. He has made some mistakes with his career and his fighting style is not the most pleasing to watch, but damn if this guy isn’t stepping up in weight to face the baddest MF’ing Light Heavyweight on the planet. Give the guy some credit. That said, I’m picking (but not rooting for) Kovalev. I do think Andre has lost a step or two because of: 1) Inactivity and 2) The quality of competition he’s faced when he has actually fought. There’s no way he could be the same guy that he was in 2011, and he needs to be to beat that monster on Saturday night.

    • Orca

      I don’t hate the guy, I just don’t like to watch him fight. He’s one of the best fighters in the world but rarely shows it. He’s got it in his head that he should be some crossover star but does nothing to help himself. Fighting Kov is a nice step and he may well win it but I still hope Kov solves the Ward puzzle and makes him engage…..make him earn the victory.

      • johnhender

        Well it takes a highly inflated ego to call yourself “son of god” which is total BS

    • Chris Stans

      I didn’t know people hated him like that

      • Charlie Underbite

        They hate on him. Kind of an American expression. One guy has genuine hate, though. Said he wants to see him face down in a pool of his own blood. See: Archambault, Robert.

  • samuel haworth

    It would’ve been funny if Virgil Hill picked Kovalev

    • Oc

      And if Michalczewski would’ve picked Ward.

  • Ritchie Rich

    Kovalev by ko in 9.

    • wayne reid

      Put up some $$ on that prediction bro

      • Ritchie Rich

        U n me? I’m down, if we as gentlemen, agree to pay the other if we lose…. You like ward, I like kovalev. 50 bucks cool, or a c-note. I actually trust ud pay me if u lost, lol.

        • wayne reid

          “A Lannister always pays his debts”….We are gentlemen & I’m very down for this bet I’ll send you $50 via Western Union if i lose I also trust you’ll do the same Ritchie as Buffer says “Lets get ready to rumble!”

          • Ritchie Rich

            Ur on. Nuthing like a wager among friends, pal. Anyone else wants some action?

          • wayne reid

            Great because i’m gonna need that $50 for gas next week

          • Ritchie Rich

            Lol, this fucking sucks. Personally, this was a robbery.

          • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

            Does this mean you won’t pay up now? LOL

          • Ritchie Rich

            Naw, he’s getting paid, lol.

          • wayne reid

            Hey Richie make it $100 for the rematch…revenge bet lol

  • Dee Money

    I predict this fight will be a lot more interesting than a lot of people are saying. Ward remains in the pocket blocks and counters his way to victory, but shots landed on both sides.

  • Ерлан Табылдиев

    Kovalev will win by points or TKO in last rounds.

  • kiowhatta

    Nathan Cleverly’s assessment was for mine, the most astute. I think this will mostly be an awkward ugly fight, with some highlights. A lot will depend on Kovalev taking the initiative.

  • philoe bedoe

    Still have this as a fifty fight.
    I’ve been leaning towards Kovalev when the fight was first set because of his record at 175 and his activity.
    And Ward won’t have the comfort of boxing at long range like he has in the past, he will have to try and get close and smother him.
    I’ve been leaning towards Ward now it’s close to the fight, just knows how to fiddle his way to win rounds.
    Can see a close decision either way, with a rematch………..

  • Tony Nightstick

    I wonder if this will be a good fight. Frankly, I’m not convinced. Anyway, I say Kovalev by unanimous decision.

  • Oc

    Great, great fight.

    My two penny’s worth.

    Ward will use his control of an ever changing distance, holding, inside fighting and speed of foot on Saturday night. (Unknown factors: Ward’s lay-off, crappy opposition of late (not too important, I reckon) and Ward’s strength (he may well be the stronger of the two, strength is mostly a question of leverage and foot placement (balance) in the boxing ring).

    Kovalev will use his control of a constant distance (his range), long jabs, long right hands with constant pressure brought to bare through his footwork and feints on Saturady night. (Unknown factors: J.D. Jackson’s fight plan and how it plays out in real-life, how Sergey deals with frustration (missing, holding, chasing),

    The way I see it, Kovalev has to walk the very fine line between being ultra-aggressive (when being held by Ward) and cool and methodical when boxing from his distance (even when his punches are not landing, and they won’t be most of the time), like he was against B-Hop. If he was my fighter, I would tell him to pick up, push down or throw Ward the first time he employs the clinch (and everytime if he doesn’t get the message, ref be damned), neutrilize the holding or lose the fight, it’s that simple for Sergey. After that it’s jab, cross and maintain that distance control and see if he can hurt Ward or control the action for a win on points.

    Ward can win in, at least two different ways, using his superior speed, on his bicycle, from the outside (difficult) or holding and blasting from the clinch (less-difficult). I think he’ll employ both during the fight in a mix-mash of ways so that he always keep Sergey “behind him” (timing wise), playing catch up (the way he did, so expertly, with Froch). Ward will neutrilize Sergey’s power by doing watch comes naturally to him, using his defensive “radar” to the degree that he never has to deal with more than single shot bombs from the Russian. He will also “see” all those landed punches coming and will ride the sting off of them, much to Kovalev’s chagrin.

    Make no mistake I want Sergey to win on Saturday, he has by far the better attitude regarding the sport (his career path, if you will), is more willing to fight everybody, anywhere, has the better promoter (one who works with other promoters) and is therefore better for the division in general. Plus he is usually the more exciting fighter to watch in action. Ward is/has none of those things, prehaps he is the nicer guy but on Saturday night he is the guy that clearly out-foxes, out-boxes and out-hussles Kovalev to victory over twelve rounds.

    • Orca

      Nice write up. I could see Kov losing a point or two due to frustration. I also want Kov to win for all the reasons you stated. Regardless of how boring the fight may end up being, it’s refreshing to have so many people debating in detail the outcome. This is what happens when the best fights the best. I’d almost forgotten.

      • Oc

        Thanks mate, agreed, “this is what happens when the best fight the best” and at the highest level as well.

        Respect to both dudes for taking the challenge for the other.

    • Robert Archambault

      So basically you believe that Ward has lost absolutely nothing over the past 5 years and is still as good as, if not better than, he ever was? His recent fights seem to reject that proposal in my opinion. He has not seemed as sharp, as fast or as able to clinch and hold as he was in the past. I do not believe he will be able to predict Kovalev’s punches and negate their power. I think he will be getting tagged a few times early in the fight and will be wary of that power for the rest of the fight.
      One thing is certain, it should be an interesting fight and I am anxious to see how it evolves!

      • Oc

        Well mate, that is THE question (or gamble, if you will) I reckon, Ward at his best can win, any version of a “sub-par” Ward will probably come unstuck against Krusher. I can totally understand someone going the other way…totally (it is very hard to pick against such a good (and wanted) champion).

        I will take the gamble though that the Ward we’ve seen in his last few fights has been a sub-par one of the fighter that will show up on Saturday. I could of course be completely wrong.

        I agree with you though that Sergey tags him early and then Andre “tightens” up his defenses, if he can, causing him to becomes rather negative and “anti-” everything that Sergey is trying to do. That said, I think Sergey has the best chance of doing damage later in the fight when both guys start to get a bit fatigued and it’s hard to be as sharp as Ward will need to be.

        Those are my opinions anyway, not worth the paper they’re not written on really (fun to think though). It’ll be an interesting to see how it unfolds. Respect.

    • Jorge

      I agree with almost everything you say, I just don’t see it as a great-great fight, more of an interesting fight for purists. It will probably be a fight of controlled aggression.

      • Oc

        A great, great fight…from a purists point of view, of course. I agree, the action will probably be more a lot more tactical than intense. Still, I am looking forward to it.

        • Jorge

          Agree

  • Oc

    Great, great fight.

    My two penny’s worth.

    Ward will use his control of an ever changing distance, holding, inside fighting and speed of foot on Saturday night. (Unknown factors: Ward’s lay-off, crappy opposition of late (not too important, I reckon) and Ward’s strength (he may well be the stronger of the two, strength is mostly a question of leverage and foot placement (balance) in the boxing ring).

    Kovalev will use his control of a constant distance (his range), long jabs, long right hands with constant pressure brought to bare through his footwork and feints on Saturady night. (Unknown factors: J.D. Jackson’s fight plan and how it plays out in real-life, how Sergey deals with frustration (missing, holding, chasing),

    The way I see it, Kovalev has to walk the very fine line between being ultra-aggressive (when being held by Ward) and cool and methodical when boxing from his distance (even when his punches are not landing, and they won’t be most of the time), like he was against B-Hop. If he was my fighter, I would tell him to pick up, push down or throw Ward the first time he employs the clinch (and everytime if he doesn’t get the message, ref be damned), neutrilize the holding or lose the fight, it’s that simple for Sergey. After that it’s jab, cross and maintain that distance control and see if he can hurt Ward or control the action for a win on points.

    Ward can win in, at least two different ways, using his superior speed, on his bicycle, from the outside (difficult) or holding and blasting from the clinch (less-difficult). I think he’ll employ both during the fight in a mix-mash of ways so that he always keep Sergey “behind him” (timing wise), playing catch up (the way he did, so expertly, with Froch). Ward will neutrilize Sergey’s power by doing watch comes naturally to him, using his defensive “radar” to the degree that he never has to deal with more than single shot bombs from the Russian. He will also “see” all those landed punches coming and will ride the sting off of them, much to Kovalev’s chagrin.

    Make no mistake I want Sergey to win on Saturday, he has by far the better attitude regarding the sport (his career path, if you will), is more willing to fight everybody, anywhere, has the better promoter (one who works with other promoters) and is therefore better for the division in general. Plus he is usually the more exciting fighter to watch in action. Ward is/has none of those things, prehaps he is the nicer guy but on Saturday night he is the guy that clearly out-foxes, out-boxes and out-hussles Kovalev to victory over twelve rounds.

  • T.J. Haney

    There opinions don’t mean shit,Krusher is winning this fight,but I can see it being close

  • Stephen M

    I think Ward will probably win. I hope that Lee Groves view is correct and Kovalev pulls it off.

    • wayne reid

      Make up your mind stephen Ward or Kov?

      • Stephen M

        I think Ward will win but I am rooting for Kovalev.

        • wayne reid

          Huh? I’m confused smh

          • Stephen M

            Why? Do I have to cheer for the guy I think is going to win?

          • wayne reid

            Hmmm probably how you guys do it in 2016 soo i guess i’m old school then i usually pick the boxer i think will win the fight but i don’t cheer the other guy that i think will lose

          • Stephen M

            Really? I think I am old school, lol (I’m probably older than you by more than a few years). I recognize Ward’s talent but I am not a fan of him or his style, how could I cheer for him?

          • wayne reid

            Hmmm probably how you guys do it in 2016 soo i guess i’m old school then i usually pick the boxer i think will win the fight but i don’t cheer the other guy that i think will lose

  • Royal Flashy

    Kov by UD. Ward too inactive.

  • William Bjerkevik

    Interesting how most journalists seem to favor Kovalev while most of the fighters are picking Ward. SOG definatly has a lot of respect among his peers.

    I can’t remember a fight in recent memory myself where I’ve been so undecided. But you just gotta give Kovalev a slight edge with regards to his power. Ward’s too good to get knocked down, but a wobbly moment or two could really be the deciding factor in a close fight. I’ve picked against Kovalev once in the B-Hop fight and I’m not gonna do it again. Krusher by hardfought decision.

    • Kudos

      If more Latin ‘experts’ where asked you might have a different tally.

  • Pierre Burger

    And we know how useful polls have proven themselves to be, right?

  • Kudos

    Funny how 99% of black ‘experts’ picked Ward

  • Harry

    So experts have it 12:26 against the reigning champ, but what is interesting, the fighters who fought Kovalev all give him an edge and Dough Fisher also favors Kovalev.

  • Harry

    So experts have it 12:26 against the reigning champ, but what is interesting, the fighters who fought Kovalev all give him an edge and Dough Fisher also favors Kovalev.

  • Douglasbader12

    The best man will win.

    • Robert Archambault

      Not necessarily. We have seen some blatant robberies lately when it comes to judges. I think Kovalev needs at least two knockdowns to win a decision or a stoppage.

      • Douglasbader12

        I was trying to be optimistic.
        I understand where your coming from. Anything can happen with those Vegas score cards.

        • Robert Archambault

          I am very pessimistic when it comes to judging these days. There have been way too many instances of favoritism and outright thievery in recent fights. I hope we have a well ref’d and judged fight tomorrow but with a hands off referee likely to allow Ward to get away with a lot and typical Vegas judges, I will not hold my breath.

          • Douglasbader12

            Kovalev is a beast, the ref shouldn’t be a problem – the judges? That’s a different story.
            I just hope if it goes to the cards, it’s a fair shake.
            Nobody hates bad decisions more than me.

      • Douglasbader12

        I was trying to be optimistic.
        I understand where your coming from. Anything can happen with those Vegas score cards.

    • johnhender

      Remember this is in Las Vegas

  • Douglasbader12

    The best man will win.

  • Fist_ti_cuffs

    Who exactly has Kovalev beat that Ward couldn’t? Everyone’s narrative (except for most real boxers) is that Ward has been terrible in his last 3 fights, yet he has only lost maybe 4-6 of the 36 rounds he’s had since returning. I had Kov losing 5 rounds to Chilemba alone in comparison.

    • Jérôme Pilette

      Everyone’s narrative except the 26 out of 37 plus 1 undecided who give Ward the win ?

      Everyone diss Chilemba like he’s rated 540th in the world. The guy has complicated style and great def abilities : he’s among most top 10 in the category, was the best choice in prep for Ward. Kovalev needed a guy with a name and good D.

      Meanwhile, Ward sparred with guys that virtually had no chance to win : seems to me like a guy who’s careful he’s gonna reach the big pay day without a problem.

      He might be a phenomenon, sure has the skills, but he also might get knocked in round 3.

      • Fist_ti_cuffs

        Or a guy who couldn’t get a partner to agree to the terms($$$$$$) that was being offered. There were a ton of guys that were offered that fight, but they wanted more money which was totally understandable. Ultimately he got his rounds in and you Kov fans should feel ecstatic in the belief that SOG is underprepared. Personally I believe SOG in that he’s been preparing for these fights all his life. May the best man win.

        • Jérôme Pilette

          I’m not a Kovalev fan, more of a common sense fan ^^

          But I agree with you on some point : if there’s a boxer who could just be ‘born for great occasions’ lack prep because of sub par opponents, show up in the ring and deliver an out-of-this-world performance, it’s Ward.

          I just think people give him too much credit for his past without proof he’s still on that level. The fact there wasn’t more bucks on the table for greater opposition on his way back is kind of nonchalant too.

  • Koolz

    I have Kovalev KOing Ward in Opening Rounds. Kovalev just getting in one straight right to the button.

    Going to be an amazing Night! Is Ward better then B-hop? no he is not.

  • Jody Hanna

    I see it going one of two ways, Ward wins on points if he keeps close and dominates the infighting, which he does better than anyone in the sport today, or Kovalev wins on points if the fight is kept at arms length, where he’ll catch Ward enough with long range power shots to hurt him and win rounds but not stop him, Ward’s too tough to get stopped.

    • Stephen M

      I’ll get really excited if Kovalev roughs up Ward on the inside.

  • kingpin914

    Ward is going to win this fight on the inside. It going to surprise a lot of y’all but AW is going to show that he is the stronger of the 2.

    Only way Krusher wins is catching him on the way in.

  • Mario Toney(soulful

    Andre Ward late stoppage. I believe he dismantles and frustrates Kovalev and gets in his head and Kovaleve gets behind and starts making mistakes.Kovalev’s overrated in my book. Notice the first thing people talk about is his win over Hopkins. ummm Pascal knocked Bhop down and fought two close fights with Hopkins and Dawson won easy over Hopkins, Hopkins is one of my fave all time fighters but he is not near his prime. Andre has had much better opposition. they are trying to fool the boxing public to make you spend money. Andre coasted in his last few fights it was all about getting the rounds in.lol paid sparring. The real Andre will be there on saturday.Kovalev’s long predictable jab will be getting parryed and countered all night … dont bet on Kovalev.lol

    • Jérôme Pilette

      I’d agree if the ‘much better opposition’ was anywhere recent. Ward is a big interrogation mark right now. He sure was P4P material in 2012, is he still ? None of his 3 last fights answered this. So, maybe you’re right and that paid sparring was a strategy and he’s a cool kid so confident and skilled he doesn’t really have to get ready for Kovalev… or maybe you’ll sing ”the real Andre will be there Saturday” for each of his next fights until he retires.

  • Jérôme Pilette

    Those who vouch for Ward tend to evaluate him on his 2012 self. Fact is, his 3 last opponents weren’t worthy of p4p opposition, and he didn’t outclass them like he was on another level. So, was he disappointing out of carelessness, strategy, or did he just want to avoid even the slightest risk til he got to the big money fight?

    Sure the guy’s plenty of talent and have a sick defense, but what’s the condition of that talent? Hasn’t been tested against a single elite fighter since 2012-13. He’s p4p out of chauvinism right now, not due to his activity. Ward’s got one option : speed + neutralization -> boring and/or controversial decision.

    Kovalev can KO him out of volume, out of luck, out of timing and has better boxing skills than people seem to notice. While Kessler’s jab was in your face and he only had one direction; while Froch was all in all the time like a mad dog; Kovalev is more of a vicious one and prepares his KOs coldly, calculatingly. He also has a slight reach advantage. So unless he’s a fraud or reveals to be super-slow compared to Ward, he’s got all it takes to win either by KO or decision.

    Ring size might be a factor too but I can’t find the info.

  • Wilfredo Vega

    I’m picking Andre Ward over Sergey Kovalev by a close 12 round unanimous decision.

  • louis butler

    If Ward tomorrow is in his top form, apart from a one knowout lucky punch, it’s gonna be a boxing showcase and a wide unanimous decision for him. Kovalev is fresh and a great puncher but his boxing is average, like GGG or similar. If this style finds a pure boxer, there’s no way. As I’ve always said with Mayweather, never trying to outbox or fight a superboxer, unless you are a copy of him. Stay in the shell and wait him to open up.

  • Gregory Fulton

    Slowly and steamrolls? Hmm…

  • donald hines

    KOVELEVS TYPICAL EASTERN BLOC FIGHTER AS SOON AS HE GETS HIT HARD HES GOING TO QUIT ON HIS STOOL

  • THIRD WORLD COUNTRY

    A lot of silly people fooled by the divas as always. Kov blows thorugh an immobile Ward after early success from Ward.