WARD V. KOVALEV
No words uttered at the center, only a cold stare between the two light heavyweights. Both fighters are in search of one thing, fulfillment. The questions from the pairs first match continued to hang in the air like a heavy dew. Although some may find that a few answers still linger, on the night of June sixth, in the glowing oasis of the Nevada desert, several were finally laid to rest.
All things said it was Ward who left the resort at Mandalay Bay, the victor. Although behind on the cards for the majority of the night, Ward utilized precision as his dedicated tool. Like a stone-smiths slow chipping of a great rock before him, Ward remained measured, seeking only to prove that he, and not his counterpart, was the better fighter.
In the third, a series of exchanges made for confusing scoring as each fighter returned punches successfully making a statement to either that neither was going down with out a fight. It may look simple but the counter measures, with all their fury, were yet another continuance of the two fighters disdain for each other. Kovalev, more typically focused on power, came out with controlled bursts and calculated jabs. The more Ward would attempt to create an opening, Kovalev snapped back quickly showing his prowess as a precision fighter.
By the fourth, the tides started to turn with Ward returning to his pedal-stool of quick jabs and slow chipping. It was through all this that Kovalev began to crumble. The slow chipping of Wards right and left made for slow yet efficient work and as the fifth came round, The Krusher soon did waiver. His massive frame began to lumber as Ward sent shot after shot to Kovalev’s body.
Despite all this, the cards favored Kovalev forty-nine to wards forty-six. His ability to return each of Ward’s attacks presented a different fight to those scoring. To the judges, it first looked as if Kovalev and not Ward was the one focused on out-classing his opponent. Odd, I’m sure, to those who are more familiar style. A style more centered around beating his opponent to a pulp. And, at the turn of the sixth, it would appear that Kovalev’s busier boxing would grant him victory in the end.
This, however, was not to be the case, for by the eighth Kovalev was done. In the end, the second battle between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev was one of attrition. It was conditioning that ultimately defeated Kovalev, as he continued to slow more with each passing round. Having thrown almost double the number of punches than Ward, Kovalev appeared incredibly winded by the fights final leg. Ward, seeing great opportunity in his opponent’s faults, only continued to give The Krusher combo after combo, with each punch hitting its correct mark in a ruthless assemblage of shots to the body.
In the final forty seconds of round eight, Ward had found his victory, leaving Kovalev to his corner shaking his head in disappointment. For many, including Kovalev, it would appear that the call from veteran referee Tony Weeks was early. After the final bell, The Krusher, it seemed, still had a significant amount of fight left in him. Despite losing by technical knockout, Sergey Kovalev looked disappointed, only leaving us to assume that he would be seeking yet another shot at Ward in the near future.