Tag Archives: Sergey Kovalev

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 This Week

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American Dreaming

Erislandy Lara’s (22-2-2 13 KO) fight with Jan Zaveck (35-4 19 KO) was a mismatch both on paper and in the ring.   Zavek, a decent enough fighter and former champion at welterweight but not in the class of a Lara.

Zavek was unable to continue in the third after being hit by a Lara left. After the shot landed, Zaveck reached out to touch gloves with Lara and then turned to the referee as Lara landed a combination causing the referee to stop the fight. Afterwards, Zaveck stated that he was unable to continue due to muscle spasms in his shoulder that were caused by the Lara left.

It was likely a foregone conclusion. From the opening round, Lara stalked Zaveck rocking him a few minutes in.  Over the next two rounds it was the brilliant tactical style of Lara, albeit with a bit more of bad intentions than we’ve seen from Lara in the past.

Lara has been vocal about getting a rematch with Canelo or fight with GGG. Standing-8 had Lara winning the Alvarez fight 8-4 so make the choice here GGG,  the contrast in styles would make for an interesting matchup.

Heavyweight Snore

Former lineal heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko’s performance on Saturday was….. well…..uh……., unbecoming comes to mind.

Wladimir’s last loss was in April of 2004. Since then he had won twenty-two fights and nineteen of those were title defenses. It’s debatable, but you can probably count the number of quality opponents he had in said title defenses on one hand.

In most of his fights, he has been able to lean on his opponent and wear them down. In doing so, he was eventually able to set up a KO or have the challenger so worn down, a few jabs followed by some power were enough to steal rounds.

Against Fury, an opponent who was bigger, he was unable to employ such a tactic and at this point in his career it was disappointing to watch that he did not have a Plan B. And where was the right hand?

So, Fury is now the man that beat the man that beat the….., it’s not his fault, he did what he had to do. It wasn’t spectacular but decent movement and timely punches were enough against an uninterested opponent.

His title run will most likely be a short one. Don’t see him getting past WBC champ Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua.

At least he’s entertaining in a theatrical sense.

He Couldn’t Handle The Truth

Errol Spence Jr. (19-0 16 KO) knocked down Alejandro Barrera (28-3 18 KO) twice in the fifth round, the second coming after Barrera appeared to wave his glove as if to say “no mas”. Spence was spectacular as usual with combination punching, a stiff jab, and a great body attack.

The one negative that stood out in this performance was how much Barrera was able to land clean solid punches. Spence showed a great beard but as he moves towards a potential title shot, he’d be wise to shore up his defense.

Spence Jr. is a rising star and future member on the P4P lists.

Superman Krush

Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson ran into each other this weekend at the DeGale-Bute fight. They exchanged some “niceties” and spoke about a potential fight. Hopefully the networks can work together on a co-promoted fight. Stevenson was later quoted as saying that Kovalev was scared of him, doubtful. Hopefully this division gets unified.

Step It Up

From the opening bell, it was evident that Jermall Charlo’s (23-0 18 KO) speed and power were going to be too much for challenger Wilky Campfort (21-2 12 KO).  Using his jab to set up his right hand, Charlo dominated Campfort as expected stopping him in the 4th.

Charlo is probably more suited for middleweight but stated he would remain at jr. middle and defend his title. No matter where he fights, he needs to step up the competition, it’s time to see him tested.

Road Warrior

James DeGale (22-1 14 KO) went to Lucian Bute’s (32-3 25 KO) backyard and made his first title defense in a close action packed fight.

Bute looked sharp in trying to reclaim the title he held from 2007-2012 with ten defenses. At thirty-five and six years senior to DeGale,  he forced the champion to work all twelve rounds to keep his title.

Snippets On Arguably The Hottest Topics In The Sweet Science This Week

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A Krush Full Of Options

Sergey Kovalev (28-0-1 25 KO) stopped Nadjib Mohammedi (37-4 23 KO) by third round knockout this past Saturday night in Las Vegas. Not a lot of drama leading up to this one, it wasn’t if Kovalev was going to KO Mohammedi, it was when. Mohammedi had some weird foot movement thing going on and never settled in. Kovalev stalked him from the opening bell and had it not been for Mohammedi’s unorthodox style, we might not have seen round two.

So, what’s next for the three belt (WBA/IBF/WBO) light heavyweight champion, a unification bout with the holder of the WBC belt, Adonis Stevenson?  That situation changes by the day, the latest a 50/50 offer to Stevenson to fight on HBO (whom Kovalev is in a multi-fight contract with), with Team Stevenson not exactly favorable towards HBO, believing more money can be made elsewhere. Stevenson is advised by Al Haymon, so…………

How about a fight with rising prospect Artur Beterbiev (9-0 9 KO and IBF # 2 contender), a brawler who apparently holds a few amateur wins over Kovalev? The fight would be huge in Russia as they both have roots from the same region.  Apparently Kovalev’s promoter Main Event’s Kathy Duva  has been in preliminary talks with Beterbiev’s promoter; however, Beterbiev’s advisor is Al Haymon so……

Maybe a fight with Andre Ward, which would fit nicely under the HBO umbrella or a rematch with Jean Pascal who………

Petty Crime If Anything

Jean Pascal (30-3-1 17 KO) beat Yunieski Gonzalez (16-1 12 KO) by unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the fight 96-94. Gonzalez was the busier fighter throwing over two hundred more punches but landing only nine more than Pascal. While Gonzalez landed the harder shots staggering Pascal from time to time, the former light heavyweight champion was more accurate and countered nicely while using slick head movement making Gonzalez miss repeatedly.

The fight was close but the decision didn’t resemble highway robbery as most have claimed, at least not from my seat. If anything, it was like filling a large cup up at the drink machine when you paid for a medium. I thought the fight might have been a draw but had no problem with the decision. This was a good close competitive fight and one of the best of the year between a former champion and rising prospect.

I’ll be re-watching that one because I was surprised by the outcry that followed; maybe I was channeling my inner CJR??

Give The Judges The Night Off

It was announced that middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin will face fellow titlist David Lemieux in a unification bout from Madison Square Garden on October 17. Standing-8 had always thought that it would take an opponent with a solid active jab to make things interesting for the “Big Drama Show” and Lemieux has a good one but can also bang with GGG. This is going to be good as long as it lasts.

Stevenson Defends Title, Beterbiev Impresses Again

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WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (26-1, 21 knockouts) beat Sakio Bika on Saturday at Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada by unanimous decision with scores of 116-110, 115-110 and 115-111.

 
The cards were a bit generous for the challenger’s effort as the man known as “Superman” won more rounds than he was given credit for. In addition, Stevenson also had two knockdowns, dropping the “Scorpion” in Rounds 6 and 9; although the one in the sixth was more of a slip.

 
Stevenson, a southpaw, dictated the fight with his jab while repeatedly landing the straight left and did a good job of working both high and low. Bika is as tough and game an opponent as there is in the sport but is unorthodox and always seems to be on unsteady feet even when he is not hurt.

 
Although Bika landed a few power shots he was mostly awkward and outclassed by the champion and as is usually the case in a Bika fight, you had a few headbuts and rough tactics.

 
In the post fight interview, Stevenson was not asked about a possible future showdown with WBA, WBO, and IBF light heavy champion Sergey Kovalev…WHAT??????  I won’t name names here or comment on the faux pas because that dude took a beating on Twitter; however, his  comment calling the fight “epic” was just as bad.

 
Stevenson did what he had to do in defending his title for a fifth time and was facing a very tough out but a like effort against Kovalev would be kryptonite.



On the undercard, rising light heavyweight prospect Artur Beterbiev (8-0 8 KO) stopped Gabriel Campillo (25-7-1) by 4th round TKO.

 
Beterbiev didn’t take long to let us know it would be a short night. Beterbiev dropped Campillo in the first round with a solid right hand but Campillo was able to use his wobbly legs to stay out of harms way to the bell.

 
Beterbiev would work the body and continue to land big power shots over the next two rounds which softened Campillo up for the kill in round four. Beterbiev walked down Campillo in the fourth and landed a huge right cross sending Campillo into the ropes, his head recoiling back and then forward as Campillo finished him with a left hook.

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Beterbiev looks to have the goods, eight fights into his career, he’s already stopped two former title holders in convincing fashion. It wasn’t just this brutal stoppage against a former WBA titleholder but also against Tavoris Cloud another former titleholder.