Written By Bakari Simpson: True to his word Andre Ward trained for a knockout and then he scored one! At the conclusion of the bitter Ward/Kovalev rematch Andre Ward retained his coveted belts. And in doing so, he once more proved himself to be the better fighter. With this sterling victory Andre ‘SOG’ Ward remains the WBA, WBO and IBF light heavyweight champion of the world. This victory must feel good!
The rematch resembled the first bout just as much as it differed. In extremely similar fashion this bout mirrored the highly competitive, very tit-for-tat and overtly intense theme of the first. Most of the rounds were difficult to score because when one fighter scored the other quickly answered. Ward’s early success with power shots to the head was new. His sharp straight rights rapidly caused Sergey Kovalev to approach much more cautiously. And Ward’s ostentatiously effective defense provided Kovalev with ample frustration.
Unfortunately for Sergey, another similarity from the first fight was a noticeable dip in his vigor about the 5th round.
In the end, Andre Ward made good on his promise to begin the rematch were the first bout left off. His ability to slip shots by mere inches proved he did have a bead on Sergey’s range. SOG utilized this advantage masterfully down the stretch. Kovalev was once more reduced to mainly landing his tremendous jab. The weapon frequently scored, and was punishing, but it was clear Andre Ward had greatly limited Sergey’s arsenal.
For this writer, the real trouble surfaced when Sergey began ‘crying’ to referee Tony Weeks. On more than one occasion the Krusher was hit with borderline punches and feigned exaggerated pain. It appeared he was trying to buy time with the equivalent of an NBA flop. The tactic only proved that the Russian destroyer was wilting under the pressure. Body blows were the most bedeviling element of Ward’s game. Realizing this, Ward doubled down on the abdominal domination.
During the 7th round Sergey once more tries to over exaggerate a body blow. He meant to grab a breather by making Tony Week think it was a low blow. Weeks didn’t take the bait. Instead, Tony commanded both fighters to resume the action. From that point on, Ward controlled the remainder of the round.
In the 8th round the situation goes from bad to disastrous for Sergey. Despite his historical lack of major league power Andre seriously wobbles Sergey with a straight right. The mean-spirited blow landed directly on the button and caused the Krusher to do a mild shuffle. Recognizing his impaired condition Ward pounced on Sergey whilst burying bombs in his belly.
Pushed to the ropes and folded over like a wet paper bag, an unresponsive Kovalev forced Tony Weeks hand. The veteran ref felt compelled to jump in to halt the damaging barrage. If Ward punches like a woman slaps, that dame in question is Wonder Woman!
As it was throughout the promotion, Andre Ward gave Sergey his full credit and labeled him his best opponent in the post-fight interview. For his part, Sergey was once more a bunch of sour grapes. During the post-fight interview the Krusher assured he was fine at the point of the stoppage. He believed the stoppage was premature. In completely lame fashion Sergey called for ANOTHER immediate rematch so that he could ‘kick his ass”…again. It’s now officially time to give it a rest. For all the haters and disbelievers, Andre “Son of God” Ward won the bout in the most conclusive fashion, by KO!
This was another great fight and historic victory, congratulations to Team Ward!
Bakari Simpson INSTAGRAM: @s.larry_love FACEBOOK: Bakari Simpson