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27 MAY 2018

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SecondsOut Team Picks: Kovelev Vs Ward

World light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev defends his titles against Andre Ward in a battle of the unbeaten fighters at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas,Nevada on Saturday night and SecondOut’s writers once again put their reputations on the line to predict the outcome.


See below who our writers believe will be victorious.


I’m so pleased to finally be able to watch a genuine 50-50 fight at world level. There is a case for both fighters to be victorious. Do we go for the stronger, heavy handed Kovalev to walk Ward down and into a dog fight or do we go for Ward’s silky awkward but effective boxing skills to frustrate the Russian and prevail? Don’t get me wrong Kovalev is a vastly underrated boxer and if any other fighter was in the corner Saturday I’d have to make him the winner but Ward, providing the long lay off has not effected him too much and extra weight has not slowed him down in terms of speed then I’d have to take Ward to nick a split decision win.


Ward pts 12

Clive Bernath






It is a misrepresentation to call this bout a boxer versus a puncher. It is great oversight to marginalize Kovalev’s talent to only his crushing power. The Russian fighter can box well as we say in his bouts with Agnew, Hopkins, and Chilemba. He loads up the power because he has it in surplus. Ward is a physical boxer when he wants to be, but I think we will see more technique than rough mauling to get over Kovalev. He’d beplaying right into his hands. When Agnew used his feet, the ropes, and countered, he had some early success against Kovalev. Ward could execute that game better. This is a close fight and I think we’ll see a tentative first six rounds from each man, but rounds that mostly go to Kovalev due to his pressure and bigger shots landing while Ward backs up to the ropes. If Kovalev isn’t careful, he could get stung by Ward, who understands timing and finding holes. Ward’s rounds build over the latter half of the fight while Kovalev does struggle to get his punches off and execute his game as freely. However, the championship rounds will see Ward undercover and looking to preserve himself for the next challenge. Ward never goes down, but loses 115-113 on all three scorecards.


Kovalev pts 12

Derek Bonnett







This will be a very interesting and entertaining fight to watch. Kovalev is a beastly puncher and Ward is a strategist, it’s basically the power of Kovalev the fighter vs. Ward the boxer. This fight has many factors, Ward is a master at frustrating his opponents, although he may not be known as a knockout artist. His ability to find a range, moving in and out, landing deadly blows with pinpoint accuracy is simply magic. Many questioned his layoff from the ring and his injury, Ward answered back by moving up in weight and winning. Ward will need all the skill and talent he has when he faces Kovalev Saturday night, he simply can’t afford to be on the receiving end of a Kovalev body shot. Should this happen, Ward could be in for a long night, possibility a short night if he is taken out of his element. It’s going to be a great fight, I see Ward winning by decision though. I think the experience and patience of Ward will make up for any power he may lack against Kovalev. Ward will set the tempo and find his range early, frustrating Kovalev and capitalizing on openings from Kovalev’s sometimes wide looping punches.


Ward w pts 12

Ron Valderrama






The outcome is likely to hinge on Ward’s ability to punch and hold and Kovalev’s ability to stand up to the physical pressure of an ugly, mauling fight without wilting. Ward is not unlike Hopkins; steady low-heat pressure, walk his man down and bust him up on the inside. And Bernard couldn’t lay a glove on Kovalev. But of course, that was Bernard’s swan song and Ward is still very much a live fighter. The counterpart in Ward’s case could be his injuries and resultant inactivity, while Kovalev should still be on top of his game. For Sergey, it’s in the timing; nail Ward as soon as he begins to step in. Kovalev by decision in a physically rugged struggle.


Kovalev pts 12

  1. R. Jowett








This is the most intriguing match-up I can remember. Two great fighters with 30-0 records and contrasting styles putting it on the line for three major titles is enoug‎h to excite casual fans let alone the boxing community. Andre Ward always finds a way to win and has the skills to match his intelligence. Sergey Kovalev is a threat to anyone that steps in the ring with him. His unique power quickly made him one of the most feared men in boxing. Ward will have to put on a career best performance and avoid not only the big punch, but also the dangerous follow-up the Russian can bring. His slippery defense, counter punching, and brain are certainly enough to do just that. If Kovalev cannot land a big shot early in the fight and gives away a few of the early rounds, he could be in for a long, frustrating night. I think Kovalev will have some moments but Ward will do enough to avoid the big punch and capitalize on Kovalev’s mistakes en route to a unanimous decision victory in the 116-112 range.


Ward w pts ‎12

Derek Gionta

Pittsburgh, PA





Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a fight. I am elated beyond words that such a meaningful, highly warranted and hotly anticipated bout is being presented to the boxing world without as much as a hitch. This is a big one and its significance cannot be overstated. This isn’t tagged as "Pound for Pound" simply to sell tickets. Other promoters as well as handlers should take note of this particular business model. Two unbeaten champions at the peak of their powers. Fasten your seatbelt. All things considered, let’s talk about the fight itself.


Distance and timing will be the key for Andre Ward to win this fight and he chooses to do so, then he’ll have to have to make Sergey Kovalev fight his fight. When’s the last time any of us asked whether or not "S.O.G." Ward can take a good, hard punch? Think about that for just a moment. Much like Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Andre doesn’t lose too many rounds in his contests. Can he keep up a frantic "hit and move" pace for 36 minutes? It’s hard to forecast and remember, he’s fighting an absolute beast who can easily obliterate anything he hits.


It’s really quite simple. If Andre Ward tries to test his mettle and draw "The Krusher" into a firefight, then he’ll lose by knockout....quickly. Kovalev will stalk and Ward will do laps in defense. He’ll fight slick enough to get a close but clear unanimous decision.



Ward w pts 12

Marc Livitz







Full Disclosure: Sergey Kovalev’s career took off when he fought three televised fights at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, USA. He was gracious enough to take a post-fight picture with my Mom, and thus she has a new favorite fighter. For her, I would like to predict that Kovalev will catch and hurt Ward in the third. One minute won’t be enough for Ward to recover, and Kovalev will stop Ward in 4. However, when I close my eyes the only scenario that I see is for Ward to grapple, grab, and frustrate Kovalev early. Eventually Kovalev will become frustrated, forget to box, and become easier for Ward to hit and not be hit from the outside. Kovalev will land his share of single punches that will keep him in the fight until the final bell, but the scorecards will reflect a Ward boxing lesson.


Ward – UD12

Jason Pribila

Bethlehem, USA



A great way to end the year in boxing , the perfect contrast boxer vs puncher. It’s a tough fight to pick with both having being able to come out victorious. Ward is a master boxer and has moved up to Light-heavyweight nicely and not asking for a catch weight like others would when there is a super fight to be made. He knows how to use his ringmanship and fight smart. Kovalev is a monster and can knock you out with a single punch. He is brute strong and has good strength . If Kovalev can cut the ring off and catch Ward he can have success, but I he didn’t look good in his last fight fighting a slick fighter, this is to Wards advantage. I see Ward edging out Kovalev in fighting smart and winning the claim to pound for pound fighter . Kovalev can win but not tonight

Ward by hard fought close unanimous decision.


Ward w pts 12

Andy Rivera

Albuquerque nm USA




This fight between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev was in the making for a long time. And we could see little progress in what Andre Ward has been able to show, while Sergey Kovalev’s talent developed and we could witness his growth.. Don’t get me wrong, I respect a lot Andre Ward, smart fighter and mature personality. I love his unique style and respect him a lot. However, I see Sergey Kovalev as tremendous and also very unique talent and strong personality. That’s why I believe he’s bound to hand Andre Ward over the first loss in his carrier. It’s going to be a very tough fight for both with


Kovalev w pts 12

Dimitro Mossienko






Most people have dubbed this as the boxer vs the puncher, whilst this is somewhat true there is much more to both men inside the ring than that. Whilst Sergey Kovalev is undoubtedly the bigger threat in terms of a potential stoppage, Andre Ward poses a bigger threat if the bout goes the distance. It will ultimately come down to how well both men carry their gameplans out on the night. Most people expect a Ward masterclass - which could well happen - we all know he has it in him, but, can he avoid the sheer power and direct nature of Kovalev? Will Kovalev even go straight for him, or will he come in with a different gameplan?

This, is where John David Jackson and Virgil Hunters guidance will come into this. We’re expecting cat and mouse, just don’t be surprised if Kovalev is playing the part of cat instead.

I have no rationale for it, as it’s something which has been said will stop Ward before, but, I’m slightly leaning towards the power of Kovalev.


Kovalev KO (7-9th round)

Stuart Plant






Kovalev = 4

Ward = 6


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November 19, 2016

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