Every once in a blue moon, boxing fans get treated to a fight that’s both intriguing from an analytical perspective, and with the potential to satisfy that primal urge for violence. We thought it would be Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. It wasn’t. This weekend however, we have just such a match ahead of us.
Sergey Kovalev (30-0 26KO) – Despite Adonis Stevenson being the “technical” Light Heavyweight Champion, anybody who follows boxing knows who the real king of the division is. Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, the Russian wrecking machine has concussive knockout power, a solid chin and underrated boxing abilities. To the untrained eye, it’s easy to miss his in ring acumen, but Kovalev has excellent pressure fighting skills, and does well at finding his range to land his power shots. Coming into this fight, he certainly has the advantage in punching power and ring activity. Also worth noting, the Krusher also defeated Bernard Hopkins (who fights with a very similar style to Andre Ward) by lopsided unanimous decision in 2014, however we can’t compare too much because Ward is much younger than Hopkins was during that bout.
Andre Ward (30-0 15KO) – FINALLY after a lot of inactivity, Ward has been seeing frequent action (this will be his third fight this year). Son of God (SOG) Ward comes into this fight with perhaps the best understanding and technical knowledge of the “sweet science” than any currently active pugilist. He’s a master of ring generalship with an advanced defensive style and is a former Olympic Gold Medalist. Ward won’t be fooled by any half-thought tactics, and overwhelming him with power has failed multiple times in the past. Despite being the former Super Middleweight (168lb) kingpin, Ward is a natural Light Heavyweight (175lb), as that is the weight he fought at during the Olympics.
The Pick: I’m excited to say that I don’t really know who to choose here. It looks like a true 50/50 fight between two of the top-5 pound for pound boxers in the world! I could see it ending in a round with an explosive shot, or just as feasibly imagine a methodical grind over the full 12 rounds. I wouldn’t fault anybody for their choice here. I’m picking Sergey Kovalev for the simple reason that I’m not sure if Ward is fully acclimated to the 175lb class yet, having only fought one true light heavyweight boxer.
Kovalev by decision. But can easily see it the other way. The winner of this fight will almost certainly be topping the Pound-for-Pound list. DON’T MISS THIS FIGHT if you have the opportunity to see it!
Who’s your pick? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter @TheGreatToddman.