Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 11/19/16
Kovalev vs. Ward
Boxing: Saturday, November 19, 2016 (T-Mobile Arena)
The Line: Kovalev +115 / Ward -135 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev fight Saturday night for the WBO World light heavyweight title at the T-Mobile Arena.
Andre Ward enters this fight with a 30-0 record that includes 15 knockouts. This will be Ward’s fourth fight since 2015, and he’s coming off a August win over Alexander Brand. Ward continues to beat whoever you put in front of him and is simply outboxing his opponent due to his high IQ and ability to make adjustments between rounds. Ward has the power and strength to produce knockouts, but he’s more of a technical fighter who relies on elite defense and taking advantage of his opponents mistakes. Ward doesn’t put himself in danger often, making it extremely tough to beat him, as he’s shown over the course of his career. However, the workload is interesting considering this will be the first time Ward has fought three times in one year since 2009. This will also be Ward’s first fight in Las Vegas.
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Sergey Kovalev enters this fight with a 30-0-1 record that includes 26 knockouts. This will be Kovalev’s fifth fight since 2015, and he’s coming off a July win over Isaac Chilemba. Kovalev will also make his third fight of the year and will be putting his belt on the line for the ninth time. Even at 33 years old, Kovalev is one of the best power punchers in the world and has a knockout percentage of 84 percent to back that up. But Kovalev is most dangerous because he picks his spots and sets his opponent up for this power shots that have hurt many notable fighters in the past. Kovalev isn’t a free swinger and it’s only a matter of time before he tests that chin. On the flipside, Kovalev can be hit and has had defensive issues in the past. This will be Kovalev’s third fight in Las Vegas.
This is possibly going to be the best fight of the year and you could make a strong case for either side. Kovalev has the clear advantage in power that tips the scales of the fight considering he can end this bout at any moment. Ward also hasn’t fought great competition recently and has never seen a guy as powerful as Kovalev at any point. On the other side of the coin, Ward has a higher boxing IQ, is more versatile and is the quicker mover, which are sure to keep Kovalev on his toes. Kovalev isn’t going to be able to lineup his target and punch him to the canvas.
I usually like picking the power punchers given that they can end things with one good shot and don’t need to win all 12 rounds, but Ward is the better boxer between the two. Ward can win multiple ways and has the timing, movement and athleticism to give Kovalev issues.
Kovalev loses his first fight and Ward remains unbeaten.