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.