Sergey Kovalev Vows to Punish Andre Ward in Search for Revenge
Sergey Kovalev Vows to Punish Andre Ward in Search for Revenge
By: Francisco Martinez
6 months removed from his first fight with Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev prepares to step into the ring with Ward once again and revenge has been the only thing on his mind since. After what he and some fans along with critics believe was a robbery Kovalev and his team quickly went on record letting everyone know they would exercise their rematch clause immediately with no hesitation. 3 weeks away from June 17th Kovalev gets his opportunity to do what he says “punish” Andre Ward.
“I want to prove that he didn’t deserve these belts. I want to get my belts back it’s my goal. I want to punish Andre Ward too because he doesn’t deserve this money, these belts, this status and to be champion. He’s not a champion for me, in my eyes he’s not a champion” strong words of disdain from Sergey Kovalev towards the man who not only took his belts but his undefeated record.
It’s rare that nowadays rematches take place but rivalries such as this one definitely deserves one. Somewhat comparable to Erik Morales vs Marco Antonio Barrera do to the mutual dislike from both individuals and their camps. A new chapter has been open in this Ward and Kovalev beef as Kovalev’s head trainer revealed team Ward approached him about possibly jumping ship in a very quiet and calculated move “They made me an offer, Ward’s team, about training Andre but listen I stayed loyal to my guy and it will probably make the bond stronger” says head trainer John David Jackson.
“Virgil (Hunter) is still gonna be there but here’s the thing, who knows Sergey better than I know him? I know his worse points, I know what he doesn’t do right” also admits that if the offer had made sense the probability of him joining Andre Ward’s camp would have been highly possible but pretty expensive “if they had gave me Fort Knox I’d have been there” jokes John David Jackson. Adding a sense of humor to the situation.
Sergey Kovalev has stated that his conditioning failed him in the previous fight do to overtraining something that he feels has been corrected in this camp heading into the rematch. Running over 10 miles and at times training 2 hours Sergey Kovalev feels that his previous conditioning coach didn’t have the ability to control him or tell him when to stop or what to do being that he somewhat feared being fired because he would be directing Kovalev on how to do things. If anything it was on the contrary. For this training camp Kovalev has hired a new strength and conditioning coach and already feels the results of more rest time, sleeping and overall more of a precise training regimen.
Sergey Kovalev still trust in the judges heading into this rematch even after the first controversial decision however Kovalev’s manager Egis Klimas doesn’t expect the judges to have to do much come fight time “they’re gonna see a real crusher in the ring. We’re not gonna go the distance so we’re not worry about the judges” confident Kovalev will not only duplicate the knockdown in the second round of the first fight but that he will finish the job there and then.
Sergey Kovalev insists that the only problems he experienced during the first fight with Andre Ward came from him do to the errors made in the training camp that he truly believes reflected in the fights itself and his overall performance “I didn’t feel any problems from Andre Ward because I felt the most problems are inside of me that I didn’t have energy. It was hard to try and do something with no energy, it was hard”
As Kovalev expresses his point of view on the first fight claiming Andre Ward presented no problems he also goes as far as to say Ward’s power was like a 25 year old woman slapping him. Didn’t feel Ward’s power and punches at all. Come June 17th Sergey Kovalev gets the opportunity to make all his wrongs, right and Andre Ward gets the opportunity to prove his first victory wasn’t a product of miss judgement.
Tune in this June 17th live on HBO pay per view at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada as the number #1 and #2 175lbs fighters in the world face off once more for the IBF, WBA and WBO light heavyweight championships of the world. Don’t miss it. Follow the conversation leading up to fight night by using #WardKovalev
The Return: Cotto vs. Kirkland
By: Francisco Martinez
February 25th in Frisco, Texas in the Ford Center at The Star Miguel Cotto is set to make his long awaited & anticipated ring return versus the rugged James Kirkland. Cotto’s last bout, a much more competitive bout than the official judges scorecards would indicate to be. A unanimous decision loss to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez that had other pugilist such as Juan Manuel Marquez believing they saw Cotto as the victor in what has been the highest PPV buys boxing has been able to produce since the 4 plus million Mayweather vs Pacquiao accumulated a couple of months prior to Cotto vs Canelo.
Boxing’s PPV platform has been in dire need of a star big enough to garner the attention of the masses like Floyd Mayweather Jr & Manny Pacquiao were able to do so in their primes. Saul Alvarez considered by most as the face of boxing seems to be the only fighter fans are willing to put up their money for when it comes to PPV. However when we take a look at the stats Miguel Cotto traditionally has been a great success when placed on PPV platform.
From fights with Floyd Mayweather Jr to Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto has always been considered a PPV draw and Roc Nation’s Michael Yorkmark believes no different when it comes to Cotto’s PPV drawing ability “This will be Miguel’s 10th PPV fight. Miguel Cotto belongs on PPV, this fight belongs on PPV…the whole PPV landscape has changed. Since the Cotto vs Canelo fight which did 900k homes you haven’t seen big numbers and as I said in New York we all the media, people involved in boxing have to kind of do a reset. I don’t think we’re going to see huge PPV numbers in the future. That’s reality. The PPV world, universe and industry has changed so we have to adapt to that and we have to reset our expectations”
Cotto vs Kirkland is only a gateway to a bigger fight for the winner. Many speculate that a Canelo rematch is possible given that Miguel Cotto is successful in defeating James Kirkland. However Cotto is not deadlocked on anything other than February 25th “We’re thinking of James, training for James and we’re ready for the 25th and whatever comes after that we’ll think about it then”
Miguel Cotto is not driven by anything in particular heading into what he has confirmed as his last year in boxing. He simply finds drive in his family who he wants the best for “I don’t think about it (legacy) I’m happy with my career. I’m not thinking about any title…I still have the same kind of mind. I want the best for my children, my family and that’s why I’m leaving”
Last time James Kirkland was in the ring in front of his home state he was on the receiving end of what is now knockout of the year on behalf of Saul Alvarez. A loss that doesn’t discourage him if anything a loss Kirkland sees as a learning phase “last fight, learning and just looking back and seeing the fight, the mistakes that I made, a lot of different things (I saw) I’m definitely eager to get back in there to show my fans, hey look Kirkland is still a rising star. He’s still someone that’s gonna make a stand in boxing and to put up a good show for Texas”
Throughout Miguel Cotto’s long awaited ring return a few names were being juggled. One in particular Juan Manuel Marquez who unlike Cotto has been very vocal of the negotiation process. Cotto simply had this to say regarding the failed dream match up “We didn’t get to concrete the fight. It never happened but both fighters were interested in that fight” Marquez claimed after failed negotiations that Cotto changed the weight limits to the catchweight. Cotto simply replied “He knew the whole time about this chapter” insinuating that Marquez was aware of Kirkland being in negotiations with Cotto as well.
Much is unsure of what 2017 will hold for Miguel Cotto’s bid farewell to boxing. Most would imagine Cotto’s team is only interested in big fights that will produce big pay days. Saul Alvarez being the biggest possibility in terms of those talks. Tune in February 25th live on HBO PPV as the future hall of famer Miguel Cotto looks to impose his A level boxing pedigree on the twice beaten but dangerous James Kirkland who will be partnering up with Ann Wolfe as he looks to spoil Miguel Cotto’s retirement run.
Follow Cotto vs Kirkland by using #cottokirkland
Canelo – Khan | Thunder vs. Lightning | Who Wins?
Canelo – Khan | Thunder vs. Lightning | Who Wins?
by Courtney Riley
The fighters in this Cinco de Mayo weekend headliner have been licked with the cowardice brush by sections of boxing community. Former 2-weight world champion, Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) was labelled a coward by a large section of the British public (and the general boxing world) when he publicly rebuffed negotiations for a summer showdown in an all-British welterweight world title clash against Kell Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) back in January. I, like most of the boxing community accused Khan of playing spin and dodge’ems as a result of his decision to decline the bout. However, he answered the critics in the best possible manner by taking on the dangerous assignment of leaping up in weight to face the lineal middleweight world champion, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs). Canelo for his part has been accused of being a coward for opting to fight the smaller Khan instead of his unbeaten middleweight rival Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs). Let’s just shed all the politics for this one. The fight will be a barn-burner in a classic speed vs power clash for the entertainment of the fans. So how does these two match up and who really has the edge?
The biggest misconception in this fight is the general consensus that Canelo is by far the bigger man – he is not. His height has been listed as 5-foot-9 which is only half-an-inch taller than Khan. However, his reach has been measured to be half-an-inch shorter than his opponent’s. Khan is a natural light-welterweight (140lbs) who has only had 3 fights at welterweight (147lbs) against light-hitting opponents. Even though Canelo is defending his middleweight championship, he has never really fought to the full middleweight limit of 160lbs. He has only ever fought at a 155lbs catch-weight (1lb above the light-middleweight limit) against other opponents who are around the same weight/size, or smaller. Canelo will have to dehydrate himself to make weight while Khan has to gain muscle without hampering his trademark speed and much needed stamina. Recent photos and training videos have shown a much trimmer Canelo than we’ve seen recently, which is an indication that his camp does not view his naturally bigger size as being too much of an advantage.
Edge: Canelo – Khan’s teams did not negotiate a rehydration clause into the contact which means that Canelo could enter the ring at around 165lbs, 10lbs above the agreed catch-weight limit.
Canelo is a bull. He is broad-shouldered and thick set. However, he has not been gifted with true one-punch knockout snap in his punches, but his strength allows his clubbing punches to dent flesh and break bones – take a look at Alfredo Angulo’s face after his TKO loss to Canelo. James Kirkland was also the victim of a one-punch demolition by job by Alvarez. Khan has never been a power puncher per say. He has knocked out a number of his opponents but mainly as a result of punch accumulation rather than power.
Edge: Canelo – Even Khan himself admitted in a recent interview that he has very little chance of knocking out Alvarez.
There is no denying that Khan is one of, if not, the fastest fighters on the planet (operating above the smaller weight classes). He has tremendous hand and foot speed which enables him to quickly change angles before landing fast accurate shots that his opponents fail to see coming. Even though his fists may lack the canon-like power to smash through his opponents, his rapid uzi-like shots enable him to chip away at them until they crumble to pieces. He showcased those attributes in his fights with Zab Judah and Paulie Malignaggi (among others). Canelo has fast hands but he tends to plod with his feet as he looks to corner his opponents or trap them against the ropes. Canelo is a very good counter-puncher and he will look to use his impeccable timing to counter Khan’s speed on the night.
Edge: Khan – They say speed beats power, and timing beats speed. Khan has plenty speed and that attribute is his key to any chance of victory.
Canelo is a very crafty operator. He is not your typical all-action Mexican fighter who comes to seek and destroy. He is a tactician who tends to calculate his moves well while setting traps to land his heavy counters. He is a 46 fight veteran who made his debut as a teenager in Mexico and has been learning his craft through the pro-ranks. On the other hand, Khan is a decorated amateur who won a silver medal as a 17 year old at the 2004 Olympics. Khan does possess a rare talent that no ceiling should have been able limit. He has long accurate jabs that he slings at an incredible speed to keep his opponents off balance and to set up his straight right and his blistering combinations. Khan has great movement and is able to dart quickly in and out of range. He can force Canelo to fall short with his punches then capitalise on the errors.
Edge: Khan – Khan’s movement and ability to change angles will be a vital tool should he choose to stick to his boxing skills.
Khan has added the talents of Virgil Hunter to lead his corner in recent years. The man is accomplished and has polished Andre Ward into, arguably, the number one fighter on the planet. His abilities and experience should do well for Khan. Canelo is much more experienced in the pro-ranks and has fought much better opposition than Khan throughout his career. He fought to a decision loss to retired pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweahther a couple years ago before beating future Hall of Famer, Miguel Cotto, for his middleweight crown. Khan has shown us numerous times in the past that he likes to fight and is all too willing to engage in a tear-up with his opponents. That would be disastrous against a heavy hitting counter-puncher like Alvarez. Khan has a lot of heart but this may be the type of fight where he needs more tactics and technique rather heart and emotions. It is Khan’s history of abandoning tactical discipline which might again be his undoing in this fight. Even his trainer, Virgil Hunter, would be powerless to steer him to victory then. Khan has developed a reputation for being chinny following his two KO losses to Breidis Prescott and Danny Garcia. He has also been dropped by other light-punchers. He did stand for 12 rounds against the Argentinian powerhouse, Marcos Maidana however. He showed a lot of heart in that contest.
Edge: Canelo – We cannot quantify the influence of Khan’s trainer nor can we measure the size of his fighting spirit, though they may well play a part on the outcome. Canelo’s timing and composure should see him weather the barrages from Khan while returning heavy hurtful shots of his own.
Writer’s pick: Canelo by stoppage, probably late on.
NB* Do not be too surprised if Khan frustrates Canelo to a split decision victory.