[hdvideo id=1151 ratingscontrol=on views=on title=on]
Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward ready for a stormy rematch
A dramatic duel is anticipated as Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev take on each other over the weekend. The duo are set for what is deemed as the Rematch of the Year following their November 2016 unification bout. Their rematch will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Los Angeles, Nevada on Saturday night.
Drama is expected not to be far from the ring as the two pugilist go head on in their second fight. Kovalev and Ward are some of the boxing world’s most vivid rivals. Their rivalry is made even worse by the fact that Ward robbed Kovalev of his hard-earned boxing titles last year. This, and the controversial manner in which he won them is a sure recipe for a stormy Saturday night.
The pound for pound fighters faced each other at the T-Mobile Arena, Los Angeles on November 19, 2016. This was a unification superfight that involved Kovalev’s WBA, WBO, and IBF light heavyweight titles. It was a tough match that saw Ward suffer a second round knockdown. The American however managed to recover from this blow and went ahead to controversially to win the match. The three judges unanimously set the scores at 114-113 in Ward’s advantage.
Prior to the 2016 unification fight, Kovalev had been unbeaten. His professional record read 29-0, 26 KOs and he was ranked second in his category by The Ring Magazine. This means that the Oakland man was the first to floor the Russian. Kovalev’s professional record now stands at 30-1, 26 KOs whereas that of his rival Ward is at 30-0, 15 KOs. Saturday’s rematch will determine whether the 6 feet tall America will remain unbeaten or whether he too will suffer his first career loss.
Ward vows to give Kovalev no space
Ahead of the Saturday event, animosity is already brewing between the two light heavyweight boxers. Ward has vowed not to give Kovalev any room for ring gimmicks and bully antics. Speaking to journalists earlier this week, he said that he is not going to let Kovalev get away with any intention to bully his way through the match. He also added that he is going to show the Russian that his arrogance isn’t right.
Who will carry the night?
It’s quite difficult to predict the winner of the much awaited rematch. This is because the rematch is seemingly in every inch a battle of equals. Ward and Kovalev are currently hailed as the world’s best pound for pound fighters.
There’s a chance that Kovalev could carry the night against his fellow orthodox opponent. Kovalev will first and foremost be seeking to salvage his name from the 2016 loss. Secondly, he will likely be seeking to prove the judges’ controversial unanimous decision wrong. He will therefore likely fight tooth and nail so as to come first on Saturday night. He has in fact already vowed to approach Saturday’s fight in a more aggressive way than before.
In a similar occurrence, Ward could also come first. The 33 year old American will be seeking to confirm that his last year win against Kovalev was indeed a rightfully deserved win. Ward feels he didn’t receive much credit even after recovering from a knockdown to go on and win. Furthermore, he remains unbeaten and will definitely be seeking to protect his match winning streak.
In terms of performance, Kovalev takes it for power and speed while Ward leads in terms of defence and technique. It remains to be seen how their Saturday meetup will go. Whether 34 year old Kovalev’s long right hand will reign or whether it’s Ward’s tactfulness that will, the fight results will decide.
The rematch will begin at 9 pm ET and 2 am BST. Aside from the unified, WBA, WBO, and IBF light heavyweight titles, the Ring Magazine light heavyweight title is also up for grabs.