Tag Archives: Andre Ward

He’s All In, Ward Stops Kovalev By TKO In The 8th

Photo Credits David Spagnolo- Main Events

In Standing-8’s fight preview for Ward-Kovalev 2, we asked the question, “Is Andre Ward All In?

On Saturday night, Ward (32-0 16 KO) provided the answer with an exclamation point by stopping Sergey Kovalev (30-2-1 26 KO) in the eighth round.

Like the first fight, there were a lot of close rounds. Kovalev started fast and was the aggressor but Ward was gauging the distance and creating angles. It was all in his master plan. Prior to the fight, there were rumblings out of Ward’s Camp that they believed they could stop the former champion with the Ivan Drago type of persona. After the fight, Ward’s Trainer Virgil Hunter confirmed just that.

” I have only trained Andre for a knockout twice, the first was Chad Dawson [in 2012], and the second was tonight. And they laughed at me. But I knew what was going to happen, because he was healthy. Now we have quieted all those who were whining and thought we didn’t get it the first time.”

Through seven rounds it was close but you could feel that it was Ward’s fight to lose. Throughout the fight, Ward’s body work was setting the tone; however not met kindly by Kovalev who had complained to Referee Tony Weeks several times.

In the eighth, Ward hit Kovalev on the belt line which caused Kovalev to stop and move away thinking Weeks would give him a few minutes to recover from what he thought was a low blow. Weeks signaled for Kovalev to continue causing Ward to reinstate his onslaught.  Ward hit Kovalev with a big shot to the body and followed it with a powerful thudding right hand that rocked the challenger.

CreditDavid Spagnolo Main Events

Seeing that Kovalev had buckled, Ward jumped on his prey and worked high and low with shots from all angles as Kovalev fell into the ropes. One of Ward’s body punches did land on the belt line which caused Kovalev to slouched down on the ropes and bend over. It appeared that Kovalev thought that Weeks would jump in and stop the action due to a foul. He was right on one account, Weeks did jump in; however, it was to stop the fight.

It would be a controversial stoppage. The opinion here is that Weeks should have afforded Kovalev a standing eight count at a minimum. Not that it would have mattered, Ward was breaking down the former champion so it was only a matter of time but deservedly so in such a close fight and all that was on the line in a rematch.

In Ward’s defense, Kovalev was bent at the waist so any punch to his mid section would hit both the stomach and just below the belt line and clearly a result of the body position rather than ill intent. It was Weeks’ job to jump in while Ward was hitting Kpvalev to the midsection if Weeks felt they were fouls, he did not, so Ward did what he was supposed to do.

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Credit David Spagnolo-Main Events

At the time of the stoppage, Ward was up 67-66 on two cards and down 68-65 on the third. Ward also had a clear advantage in power shots which was always Kovalev’s strength.

After the fight Ward stated “He’s a great fighter, not a lot of people are going to beat him. When you fight great fighters you got to raise your game to the next level”

Ward continued, “When I saw him react to the body shots that were borderline, I knew I had him. I hurt him with a head shot”

Kovalev had complained about low blows several times in the fight which he discussed in his post fight interview.

“Both of us were better this fight. I didn’t feel like I was hurt by legal punches, only low blows” “I don’t know why they stopped the fight. I could have continued. I wasn’t hurt, He didn’t hurt me. I continued to fight, I want to fight him again and kick his ass”

Kovalev had said that he tired out in the first fight and would not allow that to happen again but he looked fatigued several times over the last several rounds and his power appeared to be non-existent.

Ward imposed his will landing the harder shots while meeting the aggressive Kovalev head on. Ward implemented and executed a systematic break down of his adversary and left no doubt this time around. At times, Kovalev looked beaten and almost like he wanted a way out.

In our fight preview, we questioned if we had observed, on some level, a decline in Kovalev over his last few fights. His performance in this one has added to the conversation.

As for Ward, he spoke about going up to cruiserweight or even heavyweight at some point down the road. When asked about a fight with Adonis Stevenson, Ward said if it makes sense it may happen; however he made it known that when he moved up it was to face the top guy in Kovalev, something Stevenson had a chance to do but never did implying that Stevenson didn’t warrant an opportunity.

While we were on record in our fight preview that Ward wins the rematch easier the second time around, we did question Ward’s commitment to the game that, if not fully commited, would contribute to problems in the rematch.  That said, this performance and listeneing to him in the post fight press confrence ended all doubt here.

 

 

Is Andre Ward All In?  

Last November, Andre Ward (31-0 15 KO) defeated Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1 26 KO) in a very close fight. All three judges scored the fight 114-113. Standing-8 didn’t score the fight initially and had thought Kovalev had done enough to win especially with the 2nd round knockdown.

After scoring the fight I uncharacteristically had the same score as the judges, 114-113 Ward, giving him rounds 1,4,5,7,8,9, and 11.

There were cries of robbery and most boxing writers and media personnel had Kovalev as the winner, some by a wide margin. Again, the fight was close but it was far from a robbery.

Kovalev took to social media to vent his displeasure and got downright nasty with his posts on several occasions calling out Ward for a rematch and questioning his victory.

On the other end of the spectrum was Ward. About a month after the first fight with Kovalev, Ward stated this to http://www.fighthype.com/

“The rematch with Kovalev is definitely something I’m interested in, it’s definitely something we’re entertaining, but I’m the champion now,” said Ward. “If it’s not right and it doesn’t make sense, you know, absolutely, that may be a sign that it’s time to leave the sport and walk away and do some other things in my life. “I have to be fair to myself. I’ve put in a lot of hours, a lot of time, not just in these fights, but in this gym, my whole life, so it would be unfair to me to get into a ring at any point in time in my career moving forward if I’m not happy with the terms.”

Wow, really? Retirement? This is not the first time Ward has not been happy with the sport. Prior to the November fight with Kovalev, Ward had only fought three times in three years, a direct result of a promotional squabble. It has been suggested that Ward had wasted some of his peak years in the sport during the layoff but he returned to do what he always does..win. That said, at times in his career he has had an attitude that when it comes to boxing, he can take it or leave it.

You can never question his heart in the ring but you can question it when it comes to his desire to continue in the sport. To talk retirement after posting such a big win with statements that there could be signs that it’s time to walk away from the sport is enough to question his desire going forward.

Is Andre Ward all in? If he is, he wins the rematch. Ward has more tools in his tool belt and one of the best Ring I.Q.’s in the game. Give him seven months to review tape of the first fight and the execution of his game plan this time around is most likely to be much easier.

Ward will utilize his jab more in the rematch and will look to work the body early and often as he did in the first fight, while building upon the changes that he made in the second half. He’ll keep Kovalev at distance and look to counter him while tying Kovalev up when he rushes in with power shots. It also would not be a surprise to see Ward have to surivive an early onslaught by Kovalev. He has tasted Kovalev’s power so unless he gets careless he should be able to handle the big shots from the Russian.

Yes, Kovalev is a destroyer, wants redemption, and will look to knock Ward’s block off but his aggressiveness may be his downfall. Ward is the quicker fighter and the better counter puncher, sleep on his speed which is power and learn a rude lesson. It is not entirely out of the question that Kovalev tastes the canvas this time around on a flash knockdown due to his overaggressiveness.

There are reasons Kovalev did not move in for the kill throughout the first fight after having Ward down in the second. He tasted Ward’s underrated power, had to respect his quickness, and found the defense to be different from what he expected. Ward was able to adapt and find ways to change his strategy and steal rounds.

Kovalev has stated that he gave Ward too much respect the first time around and that he overtrained which affected the power of his punches. He has vowed to not make the same mistakes again but maybe we’ve seen signs of decline on some level from him in the past.

Before the first fight with Ward, Issac Chilemba gave him hell. That was the best damn Chilemba that we’ve seen in some time, or was it? And remember the first fight with Jean Pascal? Although he stopped the game Canadian, Kovalev was hit more than a pinata. Against a 49-year-old Hopkins? Kovalev rattled him early but couldn’t stop the legend while eating counter rights and lefts from the beaten future Hall of Famer the rest of the fight.

Ward is at his best when he is the underdog and when he feels disrespected. He proved it in the Super-Six Tournament and time and time again after coming back from long layoffs in the sport. There are many who do not believe he won the last fight and although he will enter the ring as a slight favorite, it doesnt feel that way in boxing circles.

 Kovalev is hungry after the loss and retirement is not in his vocabulary, Kovalev is all in.

On Saturday night from the Mandalay Bay In Las Vegas, we’ll find out if Ward is.

 

SHOTS FIRED: Kovalev Ward 2 Set For June 17 

Andre Ward (31-0 15 KO) beat Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1 26 KO) by unanimous decision last November in a very, very close fight. All three judges scored the bout 114-113.

Standing-8 did not score the fight live but had Kovalev by a slight edge; however, after reviewing the tape, had the same score as the judges with Ward winning rounds 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 11.
It was a tale of two fights really, with Kovalev  basically winning the first half of the fight to include a knock down in Round 2 and Ward adjusting and winning the second half.

Promoters Roc Nation Sports (Ward) and Main Events (Kovalev) announced the rematch today which will be on June 17th at  the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

 

Both fighters exchanged “pleasantries” on social media after the announcement-

 

 

 

In the words of Mills, “Let’s get it on”

As before the first fight, the call here is Ward. As he did in the first fight after the first several rounds, he’ll adjust in the rematch.

With one of the stronger ring I.Q’s in the game, you give him seven months to review tape and he’ll make it easier the second time around.  Just more tools in the tool belt. No slight on the Krusher, he’s the goods too but Ward is and will be the wrong opponent for him due to the styles matchup.

Andre Ward Easy UD In Tuneup For Kovalev Showdown 

Andre Ward defeated Alexander Brand by UD to ensure a November 19 date with Sergey Kovalev. 

As far as tune up opponents go, Brand was a tough out who did just enough to survive and allow Ward to showcase a few things. Ward looked quick and sharp as he should have considering the opponent. Ward’s left hook and defense stood out and he switched to southpaw a few times to exploit a few openings. 

Honestly, it was a bit disappointing of a matchup. No drama and almost enough to put you to sleep. 

The Kovalev-Ward bout will pit two top five pound4pound fighters against each other. 

Early take here-

Ward can outbox a stalking Kovalev easily but at times in the fight will engage which may be his downfall. 

Snippets On Arguably The Hottest Topics In the Sweet Science (2 Week Edition)

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So Gennady Golovkin did what most thought he would do….KO  Daniel Geale.  Interesting to note is that he took a solid punch from Geale just as he was throwing his fight ending bomb. He took Geale’s punch better than Geale took his, game, set, match. Golovkin accepted a few solid punches in this fight and if he’d been fighting a harder punching foe, the punch he took right before he ended the fight may have had a different outcome. He needs to shore up his defense as the opponents get better. He won’t be able to walk through some of the bigger punchers he will face. What I have noticed in Triple G’s fights is that although he has  a great jab, he doesn’t like to be jabbed. It seems to take him off of his game, if only for a moment as his competition thus far has not been able to sustain their effort against him.  Yes, he’s good but it’s time to step up the competition.

After the fight he said he’s ready for anyone and mentioned that he wants Miguel Cotto next. Cotto, rejuvenated under Freddy Roach would be interesting, he’s relatively fast, has good power, can box and move, has a decent chin, but may be too small for this matchup. Canelo Alvarez would be an epic encounter.  We would find out a lot about Golovkin in that one, Chavez Jr.? No thanks. Andre Ward??? Definitely, that’ the one I want to see. Ward has one of the best jabs in the game, can box for days, and has one of the highest IQ’s in the game. His quickness and underrated power would present challenges for Golovkin.

 

The Rightful Winner

It was refreshing to see the rightful winner get the decision in this weekend’s Heavyweight Eliminator. Bryant Jennings defeated Mike Perez by split decision. There was a controversial point deduction in the last round against Perez that if not called would have meant the fight was a draw. Think what you want about the point deduction, the cards shouldn’t have been that close.

 

Krusher Is Back

Hard hitting Sergey Kovalev is back in the ring this Saturday night from the Boardwalk in Atlantic City against Blake Caparello. Kovalev and his 88% knockout rate will look to get Caparello out of there as he does with all of his opponents. Caparello brings a few interesting dynamics to the fight such as a southpaw stance, a height and reach advantage, and more ring experience but Kovalev is on a different level right now. I don’t see the title changing hands.

 

A Fork In The Road

Bam Bam Brandon Rios is at a crossroads in his career. Loser of his last two fights, one against Manny Pacquiao and in a rematch against Mike Alvarado.  Rios was out boxed in both losses.  This Saturday night, he faces Diego Gabriel Chaves, assuming of course that Chaves’s visa issues get worked out. Chaves will come to bang as evident by his 19 KO’s in 24 fights. His only loss was to Keith “One Time” Thurman. We all know that Rios loves to scrap so this fight is right down his alley. Even after the long layoff and suspension, look for Rios to be energized by a facing a brawler and not a boxer and subsequently get back to his winning ways.

 

Remember The Name

Two weeks ago, Super Middleweight Gilberto Sanchez improved to 29-0 with a spectacular KO performance against Junior Talipeau. The right uppercut that caused the first knockdown was textbook and from long range. It was nice to see such a young fighter using old school technique. It was one of the best punches I have seen thrown in some time. This kid is ready for the next level.

 

Need A Little D

Two weeks ago, Zou Shiming 33, trained by Freddy Roach, beat a very game Luis De La Rosa. Good scrap. Shiming has a good jab, is long and lanky, quick, throws punches from sneaky angles, and has a decent chin but he’d better shore up that defense. Shiming got hit flush several times mostly because he keeps his hands so low, this will get him into trouble against better opponents. In addition, he barely went to the body. This guy has the goods so he better listen to Freddy so that he can tighten up those weaknesses.

 

Well At Least It Wasn’t Boring

The knock on Guillermo Rigondeaux over the past several years is that he’s not exciting. It is because he has dominated and outpointed his opponents so easily recently that he has encountered this unjust criticism. Two weeks ago, Rigondeaux knocked out Sod Looknongyantoy. Well, not without a little controversy.  After a stoppage of the action due to an accidental head-butt, the referee motioned for the fight to commence, as it appeared there would be a good will touch of gloves, Rigondeaux hit Sod with a right that ended the fight.   Recently, Leo Santa Cruz responded to Rigondeaux calling him out by saying, “We train 100 percent in the gym to give the fans great fights. We are ready to fight @RigoElChacal305 any time any place” Amazing fight if it is made.