I caught the replay of the Ward http://boxrec.com/boxer/281958 / Kovalev http://boxrec.com/boxer/505927 fight last weekend. I don’t pay $50 for the fights but thank God I have a friend with Showtime. Though Ward is more of the Bay Area guy (Oakland) I have been a big fan of Kovalev’s heavy hands and gritty style. I was surprised that Ward was able to go the distance with him in the previous fight because Ward is the naturally smaller quicker fighter, as opposed to the brute force and size of Kovalev.
Going into the rematch I expected a similar match as the first , the classic boxer versus bruiser and a somewhat even match. This fight had a different rhythm though. Though Kovalev pressed forward physically, Ward was able to land many hooks and body shots at a higher percentage. He definitely had an edge on the scorecard for landing more clean shots. The end of the fight was a surprise TKO where Ward socked Kovalev in the balls 3 times and Kovalev did not receive even a standing 10 count.
Clearly Ward’s corner knew the rules were set up for an easy win and instructed him that Tony Weeks (Ref) wasn’t big on keeping the punches up. This match once again went to show to never bet against the house on pro boxing, but it sure is good entertainment. There also tends to be some bias towards US boxers in general, but with the 4th of July coming up I guess that is not something I can complain about.
That last Andre Ward fight was suspicious. Three American judges gave him the decision after he clearly was overpowered by the larger Russian Kovalev. Ward fought the best he could. But in my opinion he never should have moved up to this higher weight class in the first place. And I’ve been watching Kovalev for the last 4 years and he is a fucking monster and knocks everyone out. Seen him sustain a broken jaw and then knock his opponent out anyways. So I was not surprised Kovalev was able to knock Ward down. Nor was I surprised Ward was able to dance and jab well through parts of the fight. But Ward was more seriously threatened, hurt, and beat up in this match. And Kovalev had great footwork and used his own jab well also, as well as his power hand obviously.
Boxing sucks because you can know ahead of a fight that the underdog is a better fighter at a given weight class, but that the refs will never allow what actually happened in the fight to be reflected in the decision. Instead they always side with the breadwinning current champ, because there is pressure on them from casinos and sports commissions, as well as them tending to always vote for the American fighter over any other country’s fighter.
The solution for this is to return to the old days where there is no round limit to the fights. Fight till one drops or throws in the towel. A past relative of mine won a championship in 42 rounds! : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankie_Conley