Photo Credit: Tom Hogan
We have a fight Saturday night. Light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and challenger Andre Ward were on target and in phenomenal shape at today’s weigh-in. Each fighter tipped the scales exactly at the light-heavyweight limit of 175 pounds.
PREDICTION: Hyperbole aside, this is truly a fight that deserves the 50/50 moniker. It’s easy to envision scenarios where both men are victorious. Kovalev, the natural light-heavyweight, might prove to be too strong and wear Ward down in a grind-out fight. Or Ward’s technical skill might be too difficult a puzzle for Kovalev to solve, who falls behind hopelessly and loses much like Carl Froch did in 2011.
Since coming to 175, Ward has relied more on his timing and finesse to beat guys over the physical bullying he displayed at 168. I see that trend continuing tomorrow night as Kovalev stays competitive but struggles to land hard leather. However, Kovalev’s pressure begins to take its toll on an older Ward who isn’t as mobile as he was five years ago. Despite a strong finish where Kovalev looks to be the fresher fighter, I expect a bruised Ward to hang on for a split/majority decision win.
Curtis Stevens: 157.5
James De La Rosa: 159.75
Maurice Hooker: 139
Darleys Perez: 137.5