The CBZ Newswire

At long last undefeated Light Heavyweights Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev face off in mouth watering superfight

by on Nov.18, 2016, under Boxing News

By Christopher Morgan

Photo courtesy of HBO.

Photo courtesy of HBO.

LAS VEGAS — November, 18, 2016 – It is really happening live tomorrow at T Mobile live on HBO PPV under the bright lights of Las Vegas. This is truly both a casual and a die-hard boxing fan dream fight pitting the classic slugging destroyer in Sergey Kovalev vs the intelligent ring smith in Andre Ward.

Of course each man on the surface level reads as the aforementioned boxing archetypes but each possesses nuance and style from other camps. Sergey displayed great boxing intelligence, timing and ring craft in his dismantling of Bernard Hopkins in late 2014. Sure some critics like to point out that “Hopkins was 50 years old”, but with the exception of the two men competing tomorrow night that 50 year old man would probably still dominate the light heavyweight division. As for Andre Ward, we have seen him frequently break from the safety first tactical distance fighter to rough opponents up at close quarters with a wrestling grappling style that has yet to be solved by any fighter Ward has faced.

This is a fight that many didn’t believe would ever happen mostly due to Andre having been largely inactive for the last 3 years while Sergey Kovalev was making his meteoric ascent through the boxing kingdom.  Andre Ward wanted out of his promotional contract with the late Dan Goosens Goosen Tutor Promotions so elected to stay out of the ring until he either won his case or his contract expired.  Before this long bout of inactivity Andre had established himself as a top 3 pound for pound fighter by cleaning out the Super Middleweight division as part of Showtimes “Super Six” boxing tournament which you guessed it, pitted the best super middleweights in the world against each other.  It should be noted that Andre didn’t just win the Super Six he arguably won every round against every fighter he faced.

During Andre’s long bout of inactivity, a humble fighter from Russia appeared on the American scene and quickly rose through the ranks. Admittedly Sergeys early opponents weren’t world beaters, but Sergey Kovalev definitely lived up to his nickname of “Krusher” very well.  The fight that really showed Kovalev was the real deal was his championship winning contest with then undefeated WBO Light Heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly of Wales. Nathan was known as a slick boxer with a high ring IQ and great movement. Sergey went into hostile territory fighting Nathan in Wales and showed the champ absolutely no respect in a non stop barrage of power shots that crumpled the overwhelmed and bewildered champion in 4 rounds. Since that time Sergey has cemented his status as a top pound for pound fighter with a shutout unanimous decision over the legend Bernard Hopkins as well as two stoppages of former champ Jean Pascal who had never been knocked down or stopped previously.

Andre Ward has fought 2 subpar opponents in Paul Smith and Alexander Brand and 1 prospect in Sullivan Barrera during the last year since resuming his long awaited activity to acclimate himself to the new weight division and shake off the rust.

Looking around the internet, it seems that most boxing casuals as well as the cognoscenti have a majority prediction for this fight, here it is. Andre Ward will easily outclass and befuddle the raw Kovalev in a 12 round snoozefest. On the other end of the spectrum you have a good amount of Kovalev supporters saying that Ward will be destroyed in quick order lasting no more than 3 rounds. The rare but moderate prediction feels that Kovalev could win by a late stoppage, even rarer is the prediction that Kovalev may score a few knockdowns and that will carry him to a unanimous decision victory.

Both men will bring an undefeated record into the ring, Andre Ward is 30-0 (15 kos) and Sergey Kovalev is 30-0-1 (26 kos)

The main event is arguably the best of the year and definitely the most important Light Heavyweight contest in years and if competitive opens up the possibility of a series of fights. The stakes are unbelievably high as each man is on the precipice of stardom with a victory here.

As if the main event wasn’t tantalizing enough the undercard is also excellent featuring the following televised matchups:

Light heavyweight bout: Light heavyweight bout: Oleksandr Gvozdyk 11-0 (9 kos) vs Isaac Chilemba  24-4-2 (10 kos)

Middleweight bout: Curtis Stevens 28-5 (21 kos) vs James de la Rosa 23-4 (13 kos)

Super lightweight bout: Maurice Hooker 21-0-2(16 kos)  vs. Darleys Perez 33 -2-1 (20 kos)

The fight is available on HBO PPV on Saturday November 19th starting at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific and can be attended live at T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

I will be seeing you there and be sure to catch my full report of this historic card right here on the CBZ!


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