Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward – Full Fight Preview

Kovalev vs. Ward

Kovalev vs. Ward – Tale of the Tape

Sergey Kovalev Andre Ward
Record 30-0-1 30-0
Country Russia USA
Age 33 32
Height 6’0″ 6’0″
Reach 72 1/2″ 71″
KO% 84% 50%
Last 5 5-0, 3 KOs 5-0, 2 KOs

Kovalev vs. Ward – Fight Preview

Kovalev-Ward will take place on November 19th at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will be televised on HBO PPV (9 PM Eastern time) in the U.S. and is easily the biggest fight of the year. The winner will most likely become the #1 P4P fighter in the world, as both are around the Top 5 according to most experts.

Andre “S.O.G.” Ward, the challenger, is actually regarded as the slight favorite in this fight by most experts due to his extremely high boxing IQ and technical skill. While Ward has not fought a marquee name in a while, he has dominated everybody put in front of him the past few years. The 32-year-old won Olympic gold in 2004 and defeated Carl Froch in 2011 to win the “Super Six” tournament at 168. Now, at 175, Ward will face the toughest opponent in his career in Sergey Kovalev.

Ward’s skillset is as complete as any fighter in boxing; he can box, hurt you on the inside, and counter-punch you to death. “S.O.G.” has an effective jab and is as fast as they come on the inside, utilizing short, stiff punches while simultaneously muffling his opponents offense up close. As far as weaknesses, a lack of real knockout power, especially at light heavyweight, is Ward’s biggest drawback.

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev is the undisputed king of the light heavyweight division. With wins over Nathan Cleverly, Jean Pascal, Isaac Chilemba, and Bernard Hopkins, Kovalev has clearly established himself as a Top 5 pound-for-pound fighter and holds the WBA “super”, WBO, and IBF light heavyweight titles. The Russian destroyer has not really been tested as of late (though he was unable to put away Chilemba in July), so it will be interesting to see how he fares against an elite boxer like Andre Ward.

Kovalev’s raw power is why he is called the “Krusher”, but the 33-year-old has plenty of other tools, including a solid chin, excellent footwork, and a high boxing IQ. Kovalev is a knockout artist, but he has proven numerous times he can move and box when needed. Kovalev’s best weapon is his straight right hand (which he often throws as a lead punch), but his left hook and jab are top-notch as well. A constantly-moving, slick opponent can cause problems for Kovalev, as was seen against Isaac Chilemba.

Andre Ward is probably the only fighter in the light heavyweight division now that would be favored to beat Sergey Kovalev, and for good reason. However, Kovalev is undefeated for a reason; he has dominated some of the best in the division and possesses devastating power in both hands. The gameplan for Ward should be to both move constantly as well as force inside brawling/clinching. For Kovalev, he will need to be patient and not fall for Ward’s numerous tricks; one or two punches can win him the fight.

Kovalev vs. Ward – Prediction

I predict a late knockout victory for Sergey Kovalev. I have a feeling Kovalev will be smart enough not to get continuously baited into Ward’s counter punches, and I do not believe Andre Ward has the power to really hurt Sergey. However, this is an extremely hard fight to predict, and I would definitely not be surprised at ANY outcome, INCLUDING an Andre Ward knockout, though that is unlikely.

I do not think Kovalev will be able to finish Andre early, as Ward is too smart; if he gets hurt, he will make sure he clinches and stifles Kovalev as best he can to survive. If Sergey gets a knockout, it will be from the accumulation of punches. Isaac Chilemba had success with his jab against Kovalev, and Sergey was not able to finish him off, but Chilemba was never a threat to Kovalev at any point in the fight. Ward is a much, much better inside fighter than Chilemba though, so Kovalev will need to keep him at optimal punching distance. If not, Ward will get a decision victory.

Kovalev vs. Ward – Undercard

The Kovalev-Ward pay-per-view undercard will include:

  • Isaac Chilemba vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk (10 rounds, light heavyweight)
  • Maurice Hooker vs. Darleys Perez (10 rounds, junior welterweight)
  • Curtis Stevens vs. James De La Rosa (10 rounds, middleweight)

Chilemba recently lost to Kovalev, but he is a crafty veteran of the fight game who ranks around the Top 10 in the Light Heavyweight division. Oleksandr Gvozdyk is an undefeated, up-and-coming Ukrainian knockout artist who brings both power and size to the table. Both of the other fights should be entertaining as well, so be sure to tune in early on HBO PPV.

Do you agree with my prediction? Probably not, so feel free to comment below!

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