By Wilmar Patino:
This fall, on November 19th Pound for Pound stars Sergey Kovalev 30-0-1 (26KO’s) and Andre Ward 30-0 (15 KO’s) will be facing off at the T-Mobile Arena In Las Vegas, Nevada. Andre Ward has moved up in weight from super middleweight (168lbs) and has had 3 fights to get acclimated to the Light Heavyweight (175 lbs) division. Still, Ward looks like a pound for pound fighter and is as ready as he’ll ever be for the “Krusher” who looks to live up to his name on that special night. Both come into this fight undefeated, hungry, and with something to prove as they make their PPV debuts against each other. Roc Nation and Main Events along with HBO have billed this fight as the marquee fight to #1 pound for pound status. Today we will look at some of the strengths and weaknesses of both fighters heading into this mouthwatering clash next month.
Sergey Kovalev: Kovalev comes into this fight having knocked out 12 of his last 14 opponents. Sergey Kovalev packs devastating power and has good boxing fundamentals in his game. He’s slightly the bigger man than Andre Ward, and has the flexibility and intelligence to move around the ring and counter with some big shots. These are some of the advantages Kovalev has going into the fight. He also has had the more suiting opponents recently to guide him into the pesky task of fighting Andre Ward and beating him. In his last fight we saw him against what you can call a poor man’s version of Andre Ward when he faced Isaac Chilemba 24-4-2 (10KO’S) in Russia. Both Isaac Chilemba and Bernard Hopkins took him the full 12 rounds in his previous fights. Having this experience will help him deal with the pacing of the fight and executing a precise game plan. His weaknesses can be in his defense at times. I believe it has something to do with his puncher’s mentality. Although Kovalev can box well throughout a fight he tends to get a little careless and begins thinking offensively without remaining defensively responsible. He can get frustrated at times and force the action when he should be more strategic and tentative. Yet it still remains to be seen if Andre Ward will be able to do enough to back Kovalev off him and gain his respect for 12 rounds.
Andre Ward: Ward is an Olympic gold medalist that hasn’t seen a loss in over 20 years. His advantages include the winner’s mentality, ring IQ, and quickness. He has a certain belief in himself and is not afraid of what Kovalev brings to the table. Andre Ward understands he’s the slicker fighter, smarter, and more talented of the two. He will look to disarm Sergey Kovalev, avoid the power at all costs, and win a points decision. It’s what he specializes in. I believe Andre Ward will look to attack on the inside and counter whenever Kovalev over commits on his punches. Ward might be looking to land the left hook and overhands which are the punches he (Kovalev) is most susceptible to. His weaknesses might be his lack of power and experience in the division. Ward may have fought as a light heavyweight as an amateur, but these are the pros and there is no headgear to protect him from that devastating power. He might have some trouble trying to keep Kovalev off him for 12 rounds. We also don’t know if he fully has shaken up his ring rust as he seems to be a slightly different fighter than the one we were accustomed to seeing during his famous super six tournament.
With that in mind, this fight is a tough one to call. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. Sergey Kovalev will be defending his WBA, WBO, and IBF titles when he steps in the ring vs Andre Ward on November 19th. Fans have been clamoring for this fight ever since Ward came back and moved up to the Light Heavyweight division. Sergey Kovalev has reigned supreme throughout his career and looks to continue doing so in front of what’s projected to be a sold out crowd at the T-Mobile Arena. Many fans have been anxious with anticipation to see what would happen when the power and will of Sergey Kovalev meets the speed and skill of Andre Ward. One thing is for sure, the fans win that night and can look forward to an intriguing style match up. Stay tuned to Smackhisface.com for more updates!