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Ward vs Kovalev - Who've you got?

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Post by Rowley on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 6:03 pm

I can’t let a fight as big as this weekend pass without a thread asking for folks thoughts. For me this is one of those odd fights that I am looking forward to enormously but suspect might well fail to ignite. I suspect intriguing rather than exciting may accurately describe it. Got to say since this has been announced I have been picking Ward. I rate both of them highly but just think Ward is a special talent, a lot more rounded and like Mayweather one with an exceptional ability to shut opponents down and neutralise them.
 
That being said Kovalev is no underdog or no hoper, this is a genuinely close fight, and one in which you can make an argument either way. Whilst people rightly wax lyrical about Kovalev’s power his boxing ability should not be underplayed, few since Jones have solved the numerous riddles Hopkins poses so effectively. Also he is a natural big hitting light heavy, something Ward has never faced, whilst his defence has always looked solid at super middle he is not completely unhittable. Froch had his moments where he was able to land, so one would assume Sergey will be able to do likewise. How Ward stands up to that is one of the big questions in this one.
 
Also whilst Ward is hardly an old man his career post Super six has had more stops and starts than me attempting to run a marathon. Being in the ring with Kovalev would not be a place I would want to be blowing off a dose of ring rust. Despite that, I still think Ward will be victorious, he is smart at tying up/holding on the inside and fast enough that he will score with plenty when the fight is at range. If the ref is pretty easy going when it comes to his holding inside, and thus far he has tended to get away with it, I think he will secure the win on points.
 
All of this almost certainly guarantees you can put your house on Kovalev, but irrespective of the outcome I cannot wait for this fight. A genuine talent moving up to take on the best the division above him has to offer, this is the sort of fight the sport needs more of.

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Post by AdamT on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 8:04 pm

I will never back against Ward. It's his toughest test ever, but there is a reason he has been undefeated since he was 12. I don't think that will change Saturday.

Only an idiot would write off Kovalev completely. If he gets his own jab working early and hurts Andre? Then I think he can finish him off.

Intriguing fight, but I'm certainly backing Ward on points. Something like 8-4.

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Post by Mr Bounce on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 10:20 pm

I just like the fact that two of the very best are fighting each other.

I don't like Ward but I do recognise his talent. And it would take a silly man to write him off. As stated above, there are some doubts about whether Ward will be at his best given his inactivity and lay-offs.

Kovalev is a pretty decent boxer too (although not on Ward's level). However, he does have that great leveller, which is power in both hands. People have written that Ward may be susceptible to hard punches given the Boone fight, but that was eons ago and he scarcely takes a good hit these days. However there's always that big "if".

I really hope it turns out to be a decent fight and not a snooze fest. I really see this only going two ways - either Ward will cruise to a points win with Kovalev getting frustrated, or Kovalev tags Ward at some point and finishes him off in brutal style. And I still can't call which way it's going to go. Hell - because I like the excitement I'm going with Kovalev TKO 11, but with no hint of any confidence whatsoever.

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Post by bhb001 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 7:38 am

Great match up of two excellent boxers. As Rowley said, more intriguing than a classic; Less Hagler / Hearns, more Hagler / Leonard! I honestly can't call it, but Kovalev more likely to be "found out" by an exceptional talent rather than Ward. Great to see a truly competitive fight has been made. Now, if we could only get some of those over this side of the pond ...

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Post by Derbymanc on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 9:58 am

I think it'll be better than expected but a Ward win viad UD. Think Kov will come out all guns blazing for the first 3, Ward will settle into a rhythm before Kov goes looking for the KO in the last few rounds as he'll know he's behind

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Post by AdamT on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 10:00 am

Ward gets hurt or knocked down early. After that he coasts to a points win. Nobody from 160-175 can beat Andre Ward.

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Post by Rodney on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 10:10 am

Originally before the fight was made I was picking Kovalev - however the closer we get to the first bell ringing I'm swaying big towards Ward. An overall greater pedigree and looking at the two of them together Ward looks as big if not the bigger man surprisingly. I'd like to see Kovalev win but would pick Ward on Unanimous PTS verdict. Interesting read from Abel Sanchez  whose adamant Kovalev will outbox Ward to win on pts - can't see it myself but at 5/1 might be worth a tenner. Hopefully we get some drama but as mentioned by Jeff I'm anticipating a bit of let down in terms of excitement (forever the optimist here).

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Post by Pedro147 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 10:45 am

Kovalev on points isn't a bad bet when you consider that he has the power to get a knockdown on Ward. Also, the fact that BHop has said Kovalev is a very good boxer means that he has the ability to box it out with Ward too although Ward would have the slight upper hand in that department.

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Post by AdamT on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 10:46 am

Pedro147 wrote:Kovalev on points isn't a bad bet when you consider that he has the power to get a knockdown on Ward. Also, the fact that BHop has said Kovalev is a very good boxer means that he has the ability to box it out with Ward too although Ward would have the slight upper hand in that department.

So who are you picking??

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:04 pm

Kovalev can stop Ward or can win on points, Ward can't stop Sergy but CAN win on points

That's what's going to happen you heard it here first

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Post by AdamT on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:31 pm

Herman Jaeger wrote:Kovalev can stop Ward or can win on points, Ward can't stop Sergy but CAN win on points

That's what's going to happen you heard it here first

Sorry to be the one to say, but THAT is quite obvious.

Anyway off that fence and make a prediction Cool

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Post by BoxingFan88 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:48 pm

I'm still rolling with kovalev

He is a great boxer and cracks extremely hard

I think the fact ward can't hurt him will be key in this fight

Great fight and I can't wait

I just hope the officials are on point and the judges do their job I want a fair fight


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Post by AdamT on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:48 pm

Ward might not stop him, but he can hurt him.

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Post by BoxingFan88 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:51 pm

Maybe with his head....

I can see scenarios of how both can win

But I just see kovalev being able to do it

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Post by AdamT on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:51 pm

Fair enough, I look forward to saying I told you so Cool

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Post by BoxingFan88 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:56 pm

Haha

Its a true 50/50

Won't be shocked if ward wins

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Post by Jermaine2015 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 1:06 pm

Ward by wide UD, guy is just too damn good.

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Post by AdamT on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 1:11 pm

BoxingFan88 wrote:Haha

Its a true 50/50

Won't be shocked if ward wins

Very Happy

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 1:11 pm

Truth on the matter is I'm not sure enough to make a call


Truth on the matter is I always felt Sergy would win but been getting a nagging feeling for Ward the last few weeks

So do I go with my nagging feeling?

He'll no I'm sticking with Sergy..

A great super middleweight but I'm yet to be convinced Ward is big enough to be a great light heavy

Can't just be a good light heavy to beat Kovalev you need to be an outstanding one, one thing I will say Ward doesn't want to get dirty with Sergy that would be a big mistake Sergy's the bully for this fight

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Post by AdamT on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 1:12 pm

I like to see people siding with Kov. It makes Ward's win more special.

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 1:44 pm

Sergy to take Ward's '0' and with it his aura of invincibility..

Be stupefying if Ward indeed either got totally dominated two great fighters you normally expect a close fight

You dominate another great fighter that makes you exceptional..


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Post by AdamT on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 1:46 pm

I rarely get big fights wrong. I got Fury v Wlad wrong, but predicted Fury to do very well.

I'm arrogant and I know Ward will win on points. Need to put a wee bet on.

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Post by milkyboy on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:03 pm

I don't know who I've got for this one, but I know what I've got...An arse full of splinters.

After being a little underwhelmed by the bits I've seen of Ward at light heavy I had a slight leaning to kov, but his last performance looked a little laboured.

Gun to head I normally pick the boxer over the puncher, so I'll say Ward. Both are technically very good, but if Ward can turn the clock back we might see a ward Kessler type fight. Like rowley said I'm fascinated by how it turns out, but it could well be a fairly dull fight. If it's exciting, it probably means kovalev is doing well.

Gonna get up for this one.

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Post by BoxingFan88 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:40 pm

Let's be honest guys we are the winners here

Even if the fight stinks after its done you will be on the edge of your seat the whole way

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Post by AdamT on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:44 pm

I am more excited about this fight than the UFC the other night. It's a genuine competitive fight between the two top guys.

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Post by horizontalhero on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:29 pm

I'm sticking to my tried, tested, often wrong, strategy of always picking the better boxer. Ward on points in a dull fight in which he takes no risks, and provide few thrills.

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Post by Pedro147 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:31 pm

Does a Ward win here place him above Calzaghe in the ATG standings? If he wins here he will rank above Joe, because in my opinion, he'll have better wins at SMW and LHW.

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Post by AdamT on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:33 pm

Yeah for definite.


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Post by BoxingFan88 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:41 pm

Yup

Imagine if he fights and beats adonis and beterbiev as well

I think a few people aren't going to give ward the credit he deserves

But this would be a huge huge win

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Post by AdamT on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:42 pm

Huge win for either man.

Kovalev will deserve a lot of credit too. Ward isn't a 168 fighter anymore. He looks very big at 175 now!

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Post by BoxingFan88 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:02 pm

Very true

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Post by AdamT on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:05 pm

Superfight and the winner will hopefully command a lot of respect and big future fights.

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:35 pm

Yeah the win here puts Ward ahead of Calzaghe only got to look back to how Kovalev dominated Hopkins

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Post by compelling and rich on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 6:16 pm

ward anywhere near his best he wins comfortably on points for me

its a if though, but ill still stick with my ward points prediction. probably not comfortable though

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Post by hazharrison on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 6:58 am

Pedro147 wrote:Does a Ward win here place him above Calzaghe in the ATG standings? If he wins here he will rank above Joe, because in my opinion, he'll have better wins at SMW and LHW.

Boxing is a results business and so, yes, it would put Ward ahead of Calzaghe - but it's not by a lot. One thing about Joe - in his biggest tests, he tried to win in style (with only Hopkins - and Bika to an extent - managing to scupper that). Eubank, Lacy, Kessler and Jones were all balls-to-the-wall stylish showings.

Wards wins over Abraham, Kessler and Froch were dull as dish water. Kessler especially was a foul-ridden stinker. The Dawson win was better but Dawson - not the brightest spark - had compromised himself to the point of uselessness by coming down to 168.

Ward is good at winning but has been turgid to watch. It would be great to see whether he has a truly special performance in him.

Worst case scenario here is he holds, grapples, butts and elbows a win before disappearing into the wilderness for a year (and we have to hear his fans talking about "a masterclass"). I don't mind the dark arts if they accompany some great boxing (Hopkins vs Trinidad for example). But let's hope this one doesn't end up like Hopkins vs Calzaghe (a really negative display from Hopkins that night that led to an awful fight).

Hopkins was great in only one of those.

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Post by Pedro147 on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 8:08 am

Yes I think style-wise it's Joe all day long. However, for me, there's an asterisk next to Joe's wins against Eubank and RJJ. RJJ was years past his best, it was a decent win but nothing major. Perhaps the Eubank win is better than I'm giving him credit for. Eubank was past his best but suppose Joe was still young so it was a great win at the time just not against a great version of Eubank (tying myself up in knots here).

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Post by BoxingFan88 on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 8:48 am

There is an asterisk against wards win over Dawson as well

However from what I remember his victory over froch apart from the last round or two was clinical

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 9:16 am

Yeah Ward number one with Joe a close second

If Ward pulls it off on Saturday




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Post by Mochyn du on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 9:59 am

A lot of this for me depends on how well the fight goes inside. Ward was able to bully the likes of Froch easily but would he be as effective against a physically bigger man?

I think Ward takes it. He's got all the tools apart from one punch power and will find a way. Although I'll be rooting for Kovalev.

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Post by AdamT on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 10:19 am

If Ward returns to form this will be easy.

Ward is an excellent inside fighter and he is a master of distance.

I have changed my prediction to a one sided schooling. Easy points win for Ward!

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Post by AdamT on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 10:20 am

Mochyn du wrote:A lot of this for me depends on how well the fight goes inside.  Ward was able to bully the likes of Froch easily but would he be as effective against a physically bigger man?

I think Ward takes it.  He's got all the tools apart from one punch power and will find a way.  Although I'll be rooting for Kovalev.

Good post, but Ward looks very big. He might even be going in as the bigger man.

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 10:33 am

AdamT wrote:If Ward returns to form this will be easy.

Ward is an excellent inside fighter and he is a master of distance.

I have changed my prediction to a one sided schooling. Easy points win for Ward!


No one has ever been able to control the distance with Kovalev for a full twelve rounds, not once

He always catches up with you..

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Post by 88Chris05 on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 10:34 am

Nice breakdown of the fight, Rowls. Ward is my bet in this one. Sorry to be so unoriginal, but for the sake of saving time I'll just copy and paste below what I said about this fight elsewhere a little while ago....

Much as I'd like Kovalev to win this one, Ward has been my pick since the fight was first mooted and I haven't changed my mind since. Not predicting it'll be a cakewalk by any means; Kovalev is outstanding and if he wins I'd only be a little surprised, rather than shocked. But Ward has the stylistic tools to pull this one off.

I think Ward just dictates the distance and timing of engagement too well. He seldom allows himself to get in to exchanges at mid-range; he's either on the outside being elusive or right inside, smothering his opponent's work and generally dominating the inside fighting. The idea that he's a 'runner' is a misnomer and I think he'll use this unpredictability to stop Kovalev from getting in to his groove.

It's all about how well he handles Kovalev's power. Sergey doesn't need to catch his opponents clean on the chin to hurt them, and the Darnell Boone knockdown still hangs over Ward for many people, even if that's a little unfair (he was a young pup, after all, and Boone has beaten Stevenson and put Kovalev over on the way to losing a tight one). Ward's fights against Bika and Froch have done quite a bit to dispel the idea that he's outright chinny, but neither of them were punchers of Kovalev's calibre, and this is at 175, a weight where Ward is yet to meet any real high class opposition.

I think Ward will surprise Kovalev with his physicality and strength. I can't see Kovalev blasting him out early, but there might be some hope for Sergey in the fact that he may well hold the edge in stamina here, albeit not a massive one.

I think it'll be relatively close and definitely competitive, but I see Ward winning a UD having been stung a couple of times himself but also having frustrated Kovalev and having outlanded him by a decent margin in the clean punching department.
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Post by Herman Jaeger on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 10:38 am

Sergy's going to punish him on the inside early so Ward's going to think twice about grappling in this one let's see how Ward's stamina holds out if he's forced to box mid range

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Post by AdamT on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 10:44 am

Herman Jaeger wrote:
AdamT wrote:If Ward returns to form this will be easy.

Ward is an excellent inside fighter and he is a master of distance.

I have changed my prediction to a one sided schooling. Easy points win for Ward!


No one has ever been able to control the distance with Kovalev for a full twelve rounds, not once

He always catches up with you..

Kovalev hasn't shared a ring with Ward. 49 year old Hopkins isn't in the same league.

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 10:51 am

Hopkins was only a natural middleweight too Ward is a biggish super middle..

Can't see Ward picking up enough points though boxing long range(out of range) using raiding tactics, he'll get clipped coming in surely, Sergy's fast

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Post by AdamT on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 11:01 am

We will see

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Post by BoxingFan88 on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 11:12 am

The key for me here is I don't think ward is going to be able to bully kovalev on the inside like he has done to many of his opponents

And kovalev loves fighting at distance plus kovalev won't take any fouling either

If ward is too fast for kovalev and too elusive then he will win but I see kovalev hitting him and hitting him hard and ward won't be able to take the heat

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Post by AdamT on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 11:26 am

I am still the only man, or one of the only men who will fully commit to making a sure pick.

You guys love rubbing your butts off the fence lol

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Ward vs Kovalev - Who've you got? Empty Re: Ward vs Kovalev - Who've you got?

Post by hazharrison on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 12:10 pm

I think Ward on points - Kovalev may even get himself in trouble with the ref.

I don't think Ward would dare stay outside or at mid-range - he'll want to burrow into Kovalev's chest and grapple, use his head, elbows and bursts of two handed punches to "bully the bully". I think he'll fight him in the exact same way he fought Kessler.

How Kovalev handles that will be key. If he can stop Ward grappling ("I'll break his hands" sounds great but may be hard to achieve) then he could be in business. I do think Ward might be vulnerable around the whiskers - but Kovalev isn't a one-punch hitter. He tends to land an accumulation of hard blows - which may be tough if Ward goes into survival mode.

It would be nice to see a good clean win either way. If Ward dogs his way to a scruffy points win, I'm not sure that does much for anybody.


hazharrison

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Ward vs Kovalev - Who've you got? Empty Re: Ward vs Kovalev - Who've you got?

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