Well now that everyone calmed down from the Ward/Kovalev fight what can we really say to review and recap on what i thought was a great fight which has divided the boxing comunity down the middle .
From the off i will just say i thought Andre Ward DID DO ENOUGH to win the fight after a very tricky start , which saw him have to get up from the canvas and dig deep to find that skill he has that virtually saw him take Sergey Kovalev’s strengths away from him,but if the descision went the other way i could have seen why ,it really was that close .
The old cliche ‘styles make fights’ works both ways,this one was not a classic by any stretch of the imagination but my god it was so intriguing, i was mesmerised by it .Sitting there and watching Kovalev give Ward ,a master at spoiling, so much trouble from the first round where he shook Ward with a jab which threw Wards head back,and from that point you could see Ward’s respect for Kovalev’s bone crushing power. That jab in the first seemed to put Ward off his gameplan which lead to Kovalev sending Ward to the floor, after Ward had mistimed a one,two . For me the most important round of the fight was the third, here Ward put a stop to the rot and had clearly took in Vigil Hunter’s advice about putting the knockdown to the back of his mind and start implementing his own gameplan. Ward got off a few of his own on this round which for me gave him in the edge, Infact I gave ward the next three rounds but I could totally understand anyone who might have gone the other way,it truly was a fight where it depends on what you like .
From the middle,until the end of the fight,I have a problem and maybe a little criticism toward Kovalev and his corner. Although I had Ward up at this point, I thought Kovalev was just pacing himself for a big finish but no I think from the sixth there was real signs Kovalev was feeling the pace and wards stiff jabs to the body where certainly taking there toll but more than that Kovalev seemed to let Ward take control of the fight, he let Ward back in and his his corner didn’t advise him to start cutting the ring off and force Ward to exchange ,instead Kovalev just followed allowing Ward out of tricky situations far to easily . As Ward won more and more of the battles Kovalev ,the power house seemed to shrink in stature,he needed advice on how to change it up the way Ward was getting frm Hunter and to be honest he never got it ,now don’t get me wrong he was still doing a good job but you could certainly see doubt set into the big Russian .
Now in my “Big fight preview” I had said I had my doubts about Kovalev’s gas tank and round about the tenth (a round I gave to Kovalev) something seemed to be missing from Kovalev’s punches,also when Ward was getting him in the clinches, Ward seemed to have more strength than Kovalev ,who gave as good as he got in the earlier rounds in the clinch but by the end it seemed Ward had the power not Kovalev .
All in all what a fight it was and really it was to close to pick a definitive winner,it really reminded me of Hagler/Leanord for picking a winner it’s so subjective to each person. This must go to the rematch and I for one would love them to do it all again, it was a great day for the sport, two guys at there best pushing each other to places neither had been before, and who knows, if Kovalev makes a few tweaks to his gameplan there’s no reason why he wouldn’t win and set up a trilogy