Forget about the supposed marquee fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin at the moment because the promoters are still finding ways to make a killing from it. And forget about Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. squaring off for the second time because the American prefers to enjoy spending his hard-earned millions.
But why isn’t the mega fight between Andre Ward and Sergey Kolakev scheduled for November 19 this year not being hyped in the same manner as Pacquiao-Mayweather or even Alvarez-Golovkin, although the latter has yet to be finalized?
Boxing fans cannot afford to miss this bout because it qualifies as a mega fight that does not happen often, and it pits two boxers with distinctive styles: Ward is a counterpuncher with good skills while Kovalev is a puncher who is not a mindless slugger.
Ward is also not a counterpuncher who just runs circles around his opponents (Guillermo Rigondeaux and Mayweather have been criticized for ‘running’) because he also mixes it up and has infighting skills. But Ward has one glaring weakness: punching power. His record is currently 30-0 with 15 knockouts. How does that compare with the 30-0 with 26 KOs of Kovalev?
While the 33-year old Kovalev is known for his power, he is not a mindless slugger who rans out of gas in the latter rounds. That’s what future Hall-of-Famer Bernard Hopkins found out in their November 2014 bout where the American was clearly dominated. Hopkins, who is 51 years old, simply had no answer to the power punches of Kovalev.
So how will Ward-Kovalev unfold? Kovalev is the unified world light-heavyweight champion (175 pounds) and stands 6’0” with a 72-inch wingspan, while the 32-year old Ward was the former unified world super middleweight (168 pounds) and a gold medallist in the 2004 Athens Olympics. Ward is 6’0” and has a 71-inch reach. Wards’ recent outing was a win at light-heavyweight over Alexander Brand for the World Boxing Organization international title, which is not a world title.
While Ward is known as a counterpuncher, he can initiate offense and his southpaw stance can somehow perplex Kovalev.
Although undefeated in 30 fights, Ward definitely does not match up with Kovalev’s punching power so do not expect him to stand toe-to-toe against the Russian fighter.
When it comes to boxing skills though, Ward definitely has an edge and will definitely capitalize Kovalev’s not being the most mobile fighter at light-heavyweight.
From what I have read so far from the Internet, many boxing analysts are not writing off Ward so easily just because Kovalev has a big edge in punching power.
And given that Ward and Kovalev are even matched when it comes to height and reach, there is no way Kovalev can just bulldoze the American. Remember that Ward is a counterpuncher who does not have a glass chin.
At this point, I will withhold my view on who will likely win this bout. But maybe, just maybe, I would be able to come up with a better thesis (or anti-thesis) on who would win this bout.
Boxingnews24.com reported that 9,500 tickets for the Ward-Kovalev fight sold in just 36 hours, which shows how much interest there is on the fight. And I will definitely watch this fight! You should too.
And definitely, Ward-Kovalev is a fight worth hyping!