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Next Saturday June 17th 2017, will be the rematch between Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KO’s) and Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KO’s), which is poised to be one of the biggest fights in 2017.  It is the battle for Light Heavyweight supremacy, with 4 titles on the line.  Ward will defend the WBA/WBO/IBF/TheRing Light Heavyweight titles, which he took from Kovalev last November, in a very close decision victory.  A lot of doubts were cast on Ward, and a lot of questions were raised about if he actually did beat Kovalev, in what was the narrowest decision in recent memory.  Many fans, and of course Kovalev, did not agree with the decision, and so we have the rematch.

So, is there any reason to think that Ward won’t be victorious this time around?  Between the 2 fighters, only Kovalev has fought someone twice.  He defeated Jean Pascal via TKO back in March of 2015, and then completely destroyed him in their rematch back in January of 2016.  But was Kovalev better in the rematch?  Or was Pascal just that much worse?  Pascal was very gun shy in their second fight, and Kovalev took complete advantage of that fact.  Never the less, it was a complete wipe out in their rematch.  In my opinion, this would be the only evidence that could support a possible Kovalev victory.  In the first fight with Ward, Kovalev knocked Ward down in the first round, but was unable to knock him out.  He will have to do that to win, because going to the scorecards after 12 rounds with Ward, will most likely not be favorable for any fighter for that matter.

Andre Ward on the other hand, has literally beaten everyone relevant in or around what ever weight class he has been in.  In his Super Middleweight days, he went on a rampage.  Ward was predicted to be one of the first eliminated from the Super 6 tournament.  Guess what.  He went on to win it.  He defeated all the top fighters at Super Middleweight which included Mikkel Kessler, Sakio Bika, Arthur Abraham, and of course the great future hall of famer Carl Froch.  He then went on the defeat the once feared Chad Dawson, to completely take over the division.  Ward has made a career out of fighting and beating the best, so there is no reason to think otherwise here.  If anything, he has learned from the first encounter with Kovalev, and will defeat him more decisively this time around.  Kovalev needs a knockout to win here in my opinion, which is definitely not out of the question.  If it does go to the score cards after 12 rounds though, look for another close decision, but Andre Ward will be victorious.

 

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

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