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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

Photo by David Spagnolo / Main Events
Fighters Network
20
Nov

FIGHT/ROBBERY OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE

Dougie!

First of all, I hope this isn’t too late to make the mailbag but I couldn’t see the fight until just now.

1- Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez is still hands down the best fighter active today, neither Sergey Kovalev nor Andre Ward did anything to change that.



2- Kovalev was f__king robbed! Honestly man, I had him up by 5 going into the last 3 rounds, I gave Ward 10 and 11, and I gave Kovalev round 12. Throughout the fight Kovalev’s jab made all the difference. He stalked him around the ring snapped his head back (and he landed more btw) and then would nullify him on the inside, like I emailed a while back, Kovalev is too strong to be bullied on the inside. I saw nothing that really impressed me from Ward until round 10 when he had a brilliant round.

3- Paulie Malinaggi is the worst. He was on the Sky broadcast that I watched, he made it sound like Ward pitched a shutout which gave no respect to either warrior in the ring.

4- My feelings about the scoring aside, I think this was definitely a fight of the year candidate, though neither landed that much or cleanly, the intense chess match at least gives this fight consideration.

5- WE NEED A REMATCH Regards. – Abed Amman

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Abed. I’ll respond to your opinions in order:

1- Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez is still hands down the best fighter active today, neither Sergey Kovalev nor Andre Ward did anything to change that. I agree 100%. However, a number of my colleagues at THE RING (on the Editorial Board and within the Ratings Panel) are major Ward boosters and will no doubt push for the American to “assume his rightful place among the top of the mythical rankings” (read that line with plenty of sarcasm). It may not happen, but if Ward displaces Chocolatito, I’m officially done with the pound-for-pound rankings. Boxing nerds can go to Max Kellerman if they want someone to geek out with them on that bulls__t.

2- Kovalev was f__king robbed! Honestly man, I had him up by 5 going into the last 3 rounds, I gave Ward 10 and 11, and I gave Kovalev round 12. I thought Kovalev was robbed as well, and I let Twitter’s boxing community know it. Now I’ve got all these amateur judges giving me their take on what they called a “close fight that either man could have won.” Bulls__t. If Ward was the defending champion and he dropped Kovalev and dominated as much as the Russian did over the first six rounds, there’s no way in hell he would have lost a decision – especially as competitive as the second half was – NO WAY IN HELL. But Vegas is worse than hell, and Burt Clements, Glen Trowbridge and John McKaie should be ashamed of themselves. The manner in which the Maurice Hooker-Darleys Perez and Kovalev-Ward fights were scored sent this message to all foreign boxers who fight on American soil: The U.S. boxer will get the benefit of EVERY doubt, and will win every round that is even remotely competitive, and if you do not knock the U.S. boxer out you will NOT win the fight. I strongly favored Carl Frampton to once again outbox and outclass Leo Santa Cruz in their January rematch, but now I’m concerned about Frampton’s chances due to the return bout taking place in Las Vegas. I have an awful feeling that the Powers That Be are going to steal back that WBA featherweight title. By the way, I thought Kovalev won Round 10.

Throughout the fight Kovalev’s jab made all the difference. I agree 100%. Too bad he didn’t get the credit he deserved for working his jab so effectively against a ballyhooed “master boxer.”

He stalked him around the ring snapped his head back (and he landed more btw) and then would nullify him on the inside, like I emailed a while back, Kovalev is too strong to be bullied on the inside. I agree 100%. Kovalev was the definition of an effective aggressor.

I saw nothing that really impressed me from Ward until round 10 when he had a brilliant round. I thought Ward showed uncommon grit and resolve in Rounds 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. And I was impressed with his body punching in the middle rounds (especially Round 8). However, I do not think he won all of those rounds. Those were the close and competitive rounds (the first five or six were all Kovalev in my opinion). I thought Ward won Rounds 7, 8 and 11, but scored Rounds 9, 10 and 12 for Kovalev.

3- Paulie Malinaggi is the worst. He was on the Sky broadcast that I watched, he made it sound like Ward pitched a shutout which gave no respect to either warrior in the ring. I’m shocked.

4- My feelings about the scoring aside, I think this was definitely a fight of the year candidate, though neither landed that much or cleanly, the intense chess match at least gives this fight consideration. I thought it was an intense, compelling boxing match that had its share of drama (and controversy) but I’m not sure it’s among the top 10 fights I’ve seen this year. Maybe it’s lower top-10.

5- WE NEED A REMATCH. Do we, really? I thought Kovalev won clearly. (Just like I thought Frampton won clearly against Santa Cruz. And I see no need for that return bout.) Now that Ward is the champion, the rematch will have to take place at Oracle Arena in Oakland, referee Kenny Bayless will be on loan from Sin City, CJ Ross and Dalby Shirley will probably come out of retirement to join one of the three blind mice from the first fight as official judges, and Virgil Hunter will replace Harold Lederman as HBO’s “unofficial” commentary judge.

 

DEATH OF THE CASUAL BOXING FAN

I’m the link to roughly a dozen “casual” fans. Guys who enjoy a good fight, but not enough to follow boxing and seek them out. That’s where I come in. I’m selective. I don’t want to lose their interest by throwing everything at them, so it’s only those fights and fighters I think will impress and/or entertain.

There’s been a lot of talk about Floyd/Manny having hurt boxing. Granted some of it is excuse-seeking for the attention/buy rates/ratings of fighters that aren’t as big a star as we’d like them to be, but some people think a bad fight loses fans. My focus group of casuals says otherwise. For them, Manny/Floyd was just a SuperBowl blowout. If the Patriots crush the Cowboys, there’s not one person who says they’re done with football. I watched Manny/Floyd with this crew and there was no outrage, just a shrug by round 7, wishing Manny had done better, but acknowledging Floyd’s dominance.

Which brings us to Saturday night, which was when I heard “Honestly, I don’t know how you watch this” and “This really is Trump’s America, the foreign guy will never get a decision” and “Those judges picked a winner before the fight even started and Kovalev had to change their mind every round… by a huge margin.” For them, Kovalev/Ward was like watching the Patriots clearly winning, a fun, competitive game, only for the referees to inexplicably hand enough points at the end to give the Cowboys a win…except they’ve seen this happen way too many times, enough to make them think football is dirty or fixed.

As adept as I am selling a fighter/fights, I’m a horrible defender of boxing. I’ve got 32 years of bad decisions and it’s been a long time since they’ve bothered me. Boxing is show business. The fight was entertaining even if the ending was imperfect. I’m not going to let 3 judges ruin that or overrule my result. I can list many fights where my result doesn’t match the official record, but I’m not going to argue or get upset. I just keep my own record, where Whitaker beat Chavez, Oscar beat Tito, Hopkins beat Taylor…twice. Sure, the victim is robbed of posterity, but look at Kovalev. He’s got a 50/50 shot at a rematch for more money, HBO has to see him as even more valuable, so his career goes on regardless and he gets paid. Is he really harmed getting robbed?

Since I know my take is a non-starter, I took the tact of judges are imperfect: “We see refs in other sports get swayed by the home crowd, giving phantom calls.” That was a no-go. I tried the difference at ringside “Sometimes judges see things we don’t and from the same vantage point miss things we see.” That was a dead end too. The consensus on that night was exponentially worse than Manny/Floyd and much like after Oscar/Tito, it’s going to be a hard sell to get them back for boxing anytime soon, so my question is what would you say to the casual fan, if not to make Kovalev/Ward digestible, at least to get them to come back for GGG/Canelo or Manny/Crawford, even if they think the decision is predetermined? – Mark

I would be honest and tell them that boxing is suicidal. It’s always trying to kill itself. I’d tell them: “I don’t blame you for being turned off, and if you favor the UFC/MMA over boxing as your combat sport of choice these days, I can see why.” Then I’d tell them that the only pay-per-view bout on the horizon that will be worth their money is Golovkin-Canelo (and I’d explain how the middleweights’ aggressive-technical styles should mesh very well in the ring, how both fighters bring large passionate fan bases to the event, and how the ‘B-side’ in this particular matchup brings his “own judges” to the dance in case the official judges try to give “the star” too much credit). Apart from GGG-Canelo, I’d only invite them over for non-PPV fights involving the two best fighters in a particular division (IF the matchup promises fireworks), such as Lomachenko-Walters (on HBO) this Saturday, Lebedev-Gassiev (on whatever stream you can find) next Saturday, or Parker-Ruiz (on HBO, tape delay) and Cuellar-Mares (on Showtime) on Dec. 10.

I wouldn’t invite them over to watch excellent matchups that might end in a controversial decision, such as Frampton-Santa Cruz, DeGale-Jack and Thurman-Garcia. That’s a sad statement, but we can’t afford to lose any more casual boxing/general sports fans.

The consensus on that night was exponentially worse than Manny/Floyd and much like after Oscar/Tito, it’s going to be a hard sell to get them back for boxing anytime soon… I agree, because, like you, I venture outside of the hardcore boxing fan bubble and I often watch the sport with casual fans, but good luck trying to convey this message to the know-it-all diehards of the Twitterverse or even to most of the media. They’re blinded by certain allegiances or they simply can’t see beyond the boxing industry. (And many of them simply shouldn’t be scoring fights.)

As adept as I am selling a fighter/fights, I’m a horrible defender of boxing. That’s OK, the scorecards those veteran Vegas judges produced in the Hooker-Perez and Kovalev-Ward bouts shouldn’t be defended.

I’m not going to let 3 judges ruin that or overrule my result. That’s cool, but I’m not going to let them off the hook. I’m going to be watching Clements, Trowbridge and McKaie very closely – especially the next time they officiate a Roc Nation event or fighters that are managed by J. Prince. When they f__k up again, I’m going to point it out and I’m going to be very loud about it.

I can list many fights where my result doesn’t match the official record, but I’m not going to argue or get upset. That’s a good/healthy attitude, but at the same time, you can’t expect others to share that outlook and you shouldn’t be bothered when they get upset about what they perceive as total bulls__t.

Photo / David Spagnolo-Main Events

Photo / David Spagnolo-Main Events

I just keep my own record, where Whitaker beat Chavez, Oscar beat Tito, Hopkins beat Taylor…twice. Sure, the victim is robbed of posterity, but look at Kovalev. He’s got a 50/50 shot at a rematch for more money, HBO has to see him as even more valuable, so his career goes on regardless and he gets paid. Is he really harmed getting robbed? Yes. Kovalev out-boxed a so-called master boxer (a “great” boxer, according to a pom-pom waving Kellerman) and he didn’t get credit for it. He didn’t get the credit or respect that should be due to a unified champion. It took Kovalev’s entire amateur and professional careers to work his way up to the two title bouts that earned him the WBO, IBF and WBA belts, and the many subsequent title defenses that set up the Ward showdown. It took his entire life to get to Saturday night’s showcase and he deserved competent, fair judges. It’s easy for you as a fan, or me as a member of the media, to say “Oh well, that’s how the cookie crumbles, but his career goes on and he’ll get paid again.” We didn’t put in the years of sacrifice to get to where Kovalev was on Saturday. We can’t comprehend how much those belts meant to Kovalev.

Which brings us to Saturday night, which was when I heard “Honestly, I don’t know how you watch this” and “This really is Trump’s America, the foreign guy will never get a decision” and “Those judges picked a winner before the fight even started and Kovalev had to change their mind every round… by a huge margin.” Can you blame them for saying this? I can’t.

WARD’S VICTORY

Doug –

Will this spur more of a fight output from Ward? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN

I seriously doubt it.

 

KOVALEV-WARD ROBBERY

What ever happened to the days when you had to beat the champion to take his belts? This decision was one of the worst I’ve ever seen! Reminded me of Witherspoon/Holmes. Sergey definitely won  –  look at Ward’s face!

Sadly boxing is getting more and more like Wrestling and MMA.  It’s all about politics and money! Losing many, many fans! – Mike

It’s definitely losing longtime casual fans and any potential new/young fans (who prefer the UFC). And I believe that the judges – especially veteran Vegas judges – are often thinking about the future of the business (and their next assignments) when they judge bouts. They almost always lean toward the bigger star or the boxer that they think has more star/money-making potential. 

What ever happened to the days when you had to beat the champion to take his belts? They are long gone.

This decision was one of the worst I’ve ever seen! I’ve seen worse (even though I Tweeted that it was “the worst robbery I’ve ever seen” right after the announcement, because that’s how I felt in the moment), but it was awful. I can’t remember the last time the judges and so many fans and media members were bending over backwards (in terms of how they were scoring the bout) for one fighter during a fight he was clearly losing. I get that they were impressed with Ward’s rally, but just root for the guy, don’t give him rounds he didn’t win.

Sadly, boxing is getting more and more like Wrestling and MMA. That’s an insult to wrestling and MMA.

 

WRONG? YES. CONTROVERSIAL? MAYBE. ROBBERY? NO.

Dear Dougie,

In my opinion, Sat night’s main event was enjoyable, moderate to good action, but the only real tension was the threat of Kovalev’s power showing up again after round 2. The under-card was underwhelming but seemed to go by quickly, thankfully.

I had Kovalev winning 115-112, 7 rounds to 5 and one 10-8 round. I gave Kovalev the 12th. I thought he was the clear winner because he landed more meaningful shots, some combinations in a fight that had very little combos, and was the overall clear aggressor. Ward, showed great heart and boxing smarts by turning the fight around after the second. However, Ward held a lot, ran a great deal and was landing only pot shots none of which hurt Kovalev.

I did not think it was a robbery because its not difficult to make a case that Ward won half the rounds and after the second it was not like Kovalev was dominating Ward. He couldn’t get anything done on the inside and at most landed two shots at a time. Robbery is Pac – Bradley I, or perhaps Maurice Hooker getting a draw in the preliminaries.

Instead of whining about the refs we need to whine about the system, that somehow let’s three American judges pull a Russian figure skating type move.

I am not interested in a rematch because I believe Ward will be employ the second half of the fight game plan from the get go and he is such a good boxer and defensive fighter he will more effectively neutralize Kovalev’s power and probably win a close boring decision. I would like to see Ward fight Stevenson. Superman will knock him out, or Kovalev fight Stevenson which will be a great action fight. All the best. – Aaron in Miami

I think Ward would handle Stevenson. I think Kovalev will always trouble Ward because he’s got a more-educated jab (than Stevenson or Ward), he’s crafty and he controls distance very well. I would heavily favor Ward and Kovalev to beat Stevenson.

I have no interest in a Ward-Kovalev rematch because I think Kovalev clearly beat Ward on Saturday and I don’t believe the Russian can get a fair shake (from the judges or the referee) against the American/HBO darling here in the U.S.

I had Kovalev winning 115-112, 7 rounds to 5 and one 10-8 round. I gave Kovalev the 12th. That seems to be the most common scorecard and I think that tally is being very nice to Andre, while being realistic and fair to the defending champion.

I thought he was the clear winner because he landed more meaningful shots, some combinations in a fight that had very little combos, and was the overall clear aggressor. I agree. That’s how boxing matches are won, right? I’ve had some Twitter fans tell me that Ward won the fight with his “defense,” which is ridiculous because he was tagged by the jab all night, along with some nice short right crosses.

Ward, showed great heart and boxing smarts by turning the fight around after the second. I agree. He made it a fight over the second half of the bout.

However, Ward held a lot, ran a great deal and was landing only pot shots none of which hurt Kovalev. I agree. Ward made it a fight but he didn’t dominate the second half of the bout. They went tit-for-tat.

I did not think it was a robbery because its not difficult to make a case that Ward won half the rounds and after the second it was not like Kovalev was dominating Ward. I thought Kovalev either won the first six rounds or was 5-1 in rounds at the halfway point. All Ward did was survive the first half of the bout. People who had Ward up after six or seven rounds don’t need to be scoring boxing.

He couldn’t get anything done on the inside and at most landed two shots at a time. That’s all Ward was able to do on the inside, too. Why does he get so much credit for it? And it’s not like he was able to stay on the inside for the entire round (as he used to do at 168 pounds). Kovalev continually pushed him off and then nailed him with head-snapping shots from the outside and middle distance.

Robbery is Pac – Bradley I, or perhaps Maurice Hooker getting a draw in the preliminaries. Hooker getting that split-draw was a complete disgrace. Adalaide Byrd and Glenn Feldman need to be investigated. Pacquiao-Bradley I was awful, but I think Kovalev-Ward was worse. Pacquiao wasn’t able to drop or hurt Bradley or keep him backing up behind a solid jab the way Krusher did to Ward.

Instead of whining about the refs we need to whine about the system, that somehow let’s three American judges pull a Russian figure skating type move. I think we need to be outraged when judges play favorites. I don’t think it should be a problem when American judges are assigned to a fight between an American and foreign fighter. It shouldn’t have to come down to nationalities. Boxing officials should be professional and fair regardless of where they are from. We just need better, more honorable judges.

 

CROWD REACTION, POUND FOR POUND

Dougie-

I hope you are well and that you enjoy Thanksgiving this week with your family.  Andre Ward showed real heart against Kovalev. The first few rounds looked like we were headed to a stoppage by Sergei. Andre made some adjustments and then turned it into his kind of fight. The clinches did disrupt the flow in the fight, until the last round. That being said, I believe Andre Ward lost the fight and I think he thought so too, his reaction to the decision was initially surprise. Kovalev was the ring general, effective aggressor and landed the more telling blows.

Andre was not as slick as I had expected, and on his bicycle for the majority of the fight. He often tied up Sergei effectively- but does he get points for that?  Were you in the arena? I wonder if this was an instance where crowd reaction impacted the scoring? I am an Andre Ward fan but really felt badly about the decision- Kovalev deserved it.

As far as pound for pound, not sure ‘Dre deserves to be considered for the top spot for a few reasons. The super six tournament was a long time ago. Since then Andre has been too inactive, and when he has fought, it has been against softer opposition. He did a nice job against Chad Dawson but I am not sure that win and last night’s win are enough to say he deserves the #1 spot. Chocolatito is the top guy on that P4P list- he has fought often and against very tough guys, always winning clearly. I am curious to see how your magazine’s rankings look the next time you guys publish that list. Thanks! – Rahn

Gonzalez might retain his spot at the top of the mythical rankings or he might be knocked off by Ward. The Editorial Board and Ratings Panel debated this all Sunday morning and afternoon via email. The folks who want Ward on top say Gonzalez has never beaten a pound-for-pound top-five fighter, as the American did on Saturday. The folks who want Chocolatito to remain No. 1 point to the Nicaraguan’s consistency – being the top dog in four weight classes over the past eight years – and the fact that Ward beat Kovalev in controversial fashion. You can probably guess who got my vote. 

Andre Ward showed real heart against Kovalev. He really did. I was impressed and I have more respect and admiration for him now than I did prior to the bout.

The first few rounds looked like we were headed to a stoppage by Sergei. I knew it was going the distance. Ward’s a survivor and a soldier.

Andre made some adjustments and then turned it into his kind of fight. The clinches did disrupt the flow in the fight, until the last round. That being said, I believe Andre Ward lost the fight and I think he thought so too, his reaction to the decision was initially surprise. Good luck getting him to admit that. LOL. But I agree with your analysis.

Kovalev was the ring general, effective aggressor and landed the more telling blows. I agree 100%. That why he won the fight handily on my scorecard.

Andre was not as slick as I had expected, and on his bicycle for the majority of the fight. He often tied up Sergei effectively- but does he get points for that? He does in this era of “Stinker Worship,” but he shouldn’t have.

Were you in the arena? I was not. I watched it on HBO PPV in a group a setting (that included Kovalev fans, Ward fans and impartial observers, which was the majority). Nobody thought Ward won. Perhaps had I been ringside, I would have seen a closer fight. But from TV, I didn’t think it was close.

I wonder if this was an instance where crowd reaction impacted the scoring? It’s possible. There was a round where Ward landed one hard jab and they lost their collective minds as though he had scored a hard knockdown. Maybe the WBC is on to something by having judges wear noise-cancelling headphones/ear muffs when judging a title bout.

I am an Andre Ward fan but really felt badly about the decision- Kovalev deserved it. At least you’re honest. That counts for something in my book.

 

REMATCH

Dougie,

Hope you enjoyed the big fight as much as I did. If ever a fight called for a rematch, this is the one. Props to Ward for surviving a wobbly first round and a second round knock down to comeback and win a UD. I hope he realizes that this fight could have easily gone the other way. I thought several rounds could have gone to either Ward or Kovalev. How did you see it?

Anyway, two things. There is no way that this win should propel Ward to the top spot of the PFP list. If he had won decisively I could maybe see it, but 114 to 113 on all three cards shouldn’t do it; Chocolotito is still numero uno. Second, it just hit me yesterday the meaning behind Ward’s moniker, Son of God. Is he implying that he is Jesus?

Thanks for all you do Dougie. Now it’s on to Lomachenko-Walters. That will be one helluva fight. – Hammer

Yes, it will, but if those Vegas judges f__k this one up I might have to start thinking about an exit strategy from covering boxing.

I hope (Ward) realizes that this fight could have easily gone the other way. I hope he realizes that he got an early Christmas gift.

I thought several rounds could have gone to either Ward or Kovalev. How did you see it? Nine rounds to three for the Krusher. The only rounds I thought Ward clearly won (and even those were competitive) were Rounds 7, 8 and 11. I can see 116-111 (eight rounds to four, as Lederman had it) or 115-112 for Kovalev, but even a 114-113 for the Russian is a poor scoring in my opinion. I don’t think Ward won more than five rounds. There were rounds where he put up a good fight, such as Rounds 3, 5 and 6, but in all three of those rounds, he was pushed back by Kovalevs jab and repeatedly jarred by the defending champ’s punches.

Anyway, two things. There is no way that this win should propel Ward to the top spot of the PFP list. If he had won decisively I could maybe see it, but 114 to 113 on all three cards shouldn’t do it; Chocolotito is still numero uno. You’re preaching to the choir, my man. Kudos to Ward for stepping up in weight and taking on the top dog in a second weight class, but Chocolatito just did that in his fourth weight class and he didn’t need two or three tune-up bouts at his new weight.

Second, it just hit me yesterday the meaning behind Ward’s moniker, Son of God. Is he implying that he is Jesus? I have no idea. I’m gonna leave that alone.

 

WARD-KOVALEV CONTROVERSY

Hi Doug,

Good fight last night, very close and difficult to score but I thought Ward edged it while watching live at 6am! Just re-watched the fight and my opinion didn’t change, I gave ward 2 of the first 6 rounds and all but the 10th in the second half of the fight.

From looking on twitter it seems that the vast majority of American writers disagree with this although the majority of boxers and U.K. writers scored the fight very similar to myself with Ward edging the fight. Do you think American writers are too influenced by aggression rather than actual punches landed? I also felt that Ward’s body shots were overlooked by a lot of people from reading thoughts on twitter.

Regardless of how anyone viewed the fight Ward deserves massive respect for turning the fight round after a terrible start, he frustrated Kovalev who seemed to tire much more in the second half of the fight.

Hopefully there will be a rematch soon although I would be happy if one of them took on Stevenson first. All the best. – James

From what I understand, there was a rematch clause in the fighter’s contracts and that if Kovalev lost he would have the right to demand an immediate return bout, and that’s what Main Events intends to do. I don’t think Stevenson’s team is in good standing with the promoters of Ward or Kovalev (or HBO), so don’t hold your breath for either to fight “Superman” any time soon.

Regardless of how anyone viewed the fight Ward deserves massive respect for turning the fight round after a terrible start, he frustrated Kovalev who seemed to tire much more in the second half of the fight. Ward deserves respect for surviving the early rounds and fighting hard down the stretch, but Kovalev deserves respect for dropping and repeatedly nailing the boxer most pundits lauded as the Heir Apparent to Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the best defensive/technical fighter on the planet. Kovalev deserved more respect for his boxing acumen than he received from the judges and some segments of the media and fandom. I don’t think Kovalev was as tired or frustrated as you (or Kellerman) thought he was in the late rounds. He didn’t allow Ward to take over the fight.

From looking on twitter it seems that the vast majority of American writers disagree with this although the majority of boxers and U.K. writers scored the fight very similar to myself with Ward edging the fight. I think you Brits are still giving Ward props for beating Froch back in 2011.

Do you think American writers are too influenced by aggression rather than actual punches landed? No, not really. Kovalev’s aggression was measured and applied with skill and purpose. I don’t know why some fans and pundits could not see this? I think too many observers were convinced that he was just “a puncher” going into this fight and couldn’t comprehend what he was doing in there.

I also felt that Ward’s body shots were overlooked by a lot of people from reading thoughts on twitter. Ward landed enough to the body to earn some respect from Kovalev in the middle rounds and to win some of the late rounds, but he didn’t commit enough to the body to break Kovalev down or win the majority of late rounds in my opinion.

Just re-watched the fight and my opinion didn’t change, I gave ward 2 of the first 6 rounds and all but the 10th in the second half of the fight. You gave Ward one more round than he deserved in the first six, and too many of the late rounds. You undervalued Kovalev’s boxing and overvalued Ward’s grit and resolve.

 

KOVALEV-WARD II (KEYS TO VICTORY)

Hey, Doug.

I hope all is well with you. I saw the fight 115-113, for The Krusher. Neither man could take full control of the action. Both should be commended for fighting each other, and putting on a good show.

In an immediate rematch, I would expect to see the same fight with a different decision. However, I do see a few things that either man could do to gain a more definitive outcome:

Ward – less Hopkins on the inside, more Duran/Benton (MUCH easier said than done). Set up your offense with the jab/feint the jab/shoot two jabs before the right cross. Don’t stand straight up when you throw that hook on the inside.

Krusher – keep doin’ whatcha doin’. But this time, when you hurt him, finish him.

Advantage, Krusher.

Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful holiday season. – ADW

Thanks, ADW. I will. That’s good advice to both fighters for the rematch, which I’m really not looking forward to (at least not right now) but I’ll probably cover live when it happens (especially if it takes place in Oakland – not because I think Ward needs even more of a home-field advantage but because I’ve got family and friends in the Bay Area and I like the boxing community there).

Both should be commended for fighting each other, and putting on a good show. I can’t agree with the 114-113 scorecards for Ward, but I can agree with that. My hat is off to both light heavyweights.

 

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer and on @Periscope where Dougie and Coach Schwartz talk boxing and skip some rope (almost) every Sunday:

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