A Case of Revenge or the Same Result? Ward vs. Kovalev II
By: Kirk Jackson
In a bout titled “NO EXCUSES,” Andre Ward 31-0 (15 KO’s) defends his light heavyweight titles against the man who previously reigned over the division with iron fists – Sergey Kovalev 30-1-1 (26 KO’s).
After talks of retirement from Ward, talks of frustration from both fighters revolving around many things, and trash talk amongst each other, the time for talk is over and the time to resume the battle of supremacy of the light heavyweight division will continue.
The rematch is set for Saturday, June 17th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.
— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) April 4, 2017
Kovalev in vengeful fashion responded to Ward’s tweet stating, “Be ready motherf***er! I’ll finish your boxing career!”
Further elaborating, the no.2 ranked pound-for-pound fighter according to The Ring discussed the importance of this fight.
“I’m glad to know that rematch will happen. I really hope that Andre Ward will get into the ring for this rematch. Fans of boxing will see the real Krusher–the one they have missed for couple of my last fights. For me this rematch is very important as no other bout in my entire boxing career. Thanks a lot to all of boxing fans,” said Kovalev.
It’s obvious the two fighters have strong dislike for one another. At the top of any sport or profession, there will be competition; rivalries developed and strong emotions may play out in the midst of competition between the opposing parties.
There was a time when some people of the boxing community questioned if the rematch between Ward and Kovalev would surface.
Many questioned Ward’s desire to fight Kovalev again; citing the controversy of the original decision, along with Kovalev’s punching power reasons not to mix it up again with the man from Russia.
What many of the doubters failed to realize is the contractual obligations between Kovalev and Ward’s teams. There is a rematch clause in the contract that must be honored and a breach of contract may come with many ramifications.
It may also be argued that the victor of the initial bout (Ward) was frustrated with the network’s lack of promotion and may have felt his performance and recognition of his ability was undermined.
The HBO commentary team was critical of his performance and Ward may feel he does not get the same leeway or appreciation some of his HBO contemporaries (Gennady Golovkin, Roman Gonzalez)receive despite his success in the ring.
Ward is the last American male to win an Olympic gold medal and a five time world champion across two weight classes.
Having won the first fight controversial or not, Ward’s team holds leverage with the negotiation process. They exercised their leverage and thankfully the rematch is on.
The magnitude of this match is significant. This bout between Kovalev and Ward not only features the best fighters in the light heavyweight division (No disrespect to Adonis Stevenson), but this is a battle between arguably the best fighters p4pwith Ward and Kovalev listed in the top four on many respective lists.
Question is how will this fight play out? Will Ward pick up where he left off in the first fight? Mounting a strong attack on the inside, attacking Kovalev’s body, slowly but surely wearing down the bigger man while avoiding crushing punches?
Or will Kovalev make the adjustments against Ward? Keeping the fight at his distance (mid-range), creating offense off his potent jab, perhaps attempting to finish off Ward if he manages to hurt the defense-minded rival, leaving no doubt as to who the winner is?