Two of the world’s best boxers will meet this Saturday – something that’s becoming increasingly rare for the sport. Undefeated super middleweight Andre Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) will move up weight classes to challenge unified light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) in a battle that pits Ward’s superb technique against Kovalev’s explosive powerin this Boxing Predictions matchup.
Ward has fluctuated as a popular, from -125 to a low of -152. For the time being, he’s settled somewhere in between but he has never been an underdog despite the close odds. Kovalev was as high as a +135 underdog at one time, but has dipped slightly in recent weeks to his current +120 money line. It’s difficult to predict which way the sharps swing the line, but the typical betting public generally seems to favor Ward’s superior technique.
At 33 years old, Kovalev is one of the sport’s most powerful punchers – that 84% knockout ratio is no joke. But even with that KO power, he’s not a free swinger. Instead, Kovalev sets up his opponents and picks his spots. The question is whether he can set up somebody with as high a ring IQ as Ward.
Still, he is the larger man and has assembled one of the best divisional runs in recent memory. That features notable wins over Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins and two brutal victories over former lineal champion Jean Pascal. Lately, he organized Isaac Chilemba in a tune-up bout. His power needs to be respected.
Ward is just a boxing purist – a person who causes it to be look so effortless that it can resemble he’s coasting. Actually, he’s so conservative against lesser skilled men he has an very difficult time attracting casual fans. However, it’s obvious he belongs in the pound-for-pound discussion, but inactivity has further stalled his momentum with the fans.
It is a shame, since there really isn’t a fighter that’s as technically gifted as Ward right now. They can fight at any distance, whether it’s landing straight shots from distance or mixing it up inside. While he’s much less physically powerful as Kovalev, Ward has underrated strength.
This might come down to the defensive prowess of both fighters. Kovalev isn’t a bad defensive fighter, but it’s obviously not his strength. Ward is near impossible to hit. He is always moving, and his left jab is a fantastic disruptor that stops fighters mid-combination. While Kovalev might find some success early on, nobody has the mental and physical fortitude to successfully chase Ward for 12 rounds.
Boxing Prediction Andre Ward