Andre ‘S.O.G’ Ward (31-0, 15 KO’s) vs. Sergey ‘The Krusher’ Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KO’s)
The previous meeting between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev left boxing fans with an uncertainty of who truly won the fight. The judges gave it to Ward unanimously but many believe the Russian deserved an instant rematch. And that’s exactly what Kovalev got.
It’s precision versus power.
And oh my does Kovalev ever have the power. He is without a doubt the scariest light heavyweight boxer in the world. He carries a nasty reputation with him, especially the part where he actually killed another boxer with his hands. ‘The Krusher’ is definitely worth his nickname and his record proves it.
With 26 wins via stoppage, Kovalev enters this fight with a respectable 86 percent knockout ratio. He is looking to even the score against Ward and with his power it’s possible. Whether it be outside or inside Kovalev’s punches have a lot of pop. His body shots drop guys and his straight punches seem to smash through every kind of defense.
And it’s his power that allows him to be more technical at times and fight with patience. But there certainly are moments when he turns it on and will absolutely blast opponents with crushing hooks and combos whilst walking them down. His defense is not the best and he is hittable but it is not a major weakness in his game.
His gas tank failed him last time and that’s one of the reasons why Ward was able to stay in control. Kovalev just couldn’t keep up. Though according to the Russian things are different this time and right adjustments have been made.
But will that be enough against the best technical boxer in the division? Ward has never been close to losing a professional boxing match. One of his biggest qualities is the way he adjusts to different opponents. He seems to always ulitise the right game plan and has the endurance to do so.
It’s the way he sees the game. His ring IQ is on par with the best and this shows in his timing, precision, and movement. He’s hard to hit because of the way he controls distance. Either too far or too close. His jab is lightning quick and very good. When ‘S.O.G’ gets inside, that’s when he really makes opponents look silly and lands very fast hooks and straights with pinpoint accuracy. Power might not be Ward’s biggest asset, but his overall skill and understanding of the game overwhelm that.
Kovalev managed to drop Ward in their previous fight and that blow still gives us a reason to believe that the Russian can do serious damage in the second fight as well. Ward will try to do his best to disturb Kovalev’s big power punching game by staying inside and moving a lot. Still, Kovalev’s power is something very exceptional and on paper, he is definitely able to finish Ward.
Ward knows what he has to do in order to get the W but so does Kovalev. If he truly arrives with a better gas tank and doesn’t make the same mistakes in the rematch – he will win.
It’s definitely going against the majority of predictions but Kovalev takes this one via stoppage in round 6 or a close decision win.