Kovalev vs. Ward: Championship Boxing Or High Stakes Poker?

By William Trillo
Photo-Chop: Bret “The Threat” Newton

Andre Ward had just unimpressively defeated some unknown 40 year old Columbian and was standing in the ring with his proposed next opponent Light Heavyweight Champ Sergey Kovalev. In the interview conducted by HBO’s Max Kellerman, Ward said all the right things but his body language told a different story. I personally sensed a problem but I wasn’t sure what it was.

The truth was Ward and his promoter Roc Nation were already playing a game with Main Events promoter Kathy Duva. Just prior to the fight that night Team Ward informed Duva that he would not be attending an already scheduled press conference in Los Angeles early the following week to officially kick off the Kovalev vs. Ward fight announcement.

It appeared Ward was not very thrilled with the venue that was already agreed upon and set in place, that being The T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. At the press conference that was attended by only Kovalev and his promoter Duva, the media was informed that for whatever reason Ward and his team, who were not present, wanted to hold the fight back east with MSG and Barclays on the top of their list.

In a move that would make many poker players proud, Duva dug in her heels and called their bluff. Her fighter “Krusher “holds all the cards at Light Heavy. As we now know, Ward folded his hand and as originally scheduled this fight is set to take place in Las Vegas on November 19th. The PPV attraction should be aired by HBO PPV.

This in one fight that fight fans deserve and I am looking forward to it as much as any other fight in recent memory. I hope to be there and I hope it lives up to expectations.

That being said…I will believe it when I see it.

I am not worried about Kovalev, he is holding a Full House right now, he will be there come hell or high water.

I am not so confident when it comes to Ward. I mean, we are talking about a guy who squandered the prime of his career in a contract dispute with Dan Goossen that seemed to go on and on forever. Instead of taking that Super Six title and cashing in on it Ward pissed and moaned his way into very few lucrative (if any) fights after taking that tainted title.

There is also the fact that Ward, an undefeated World Class fighter has never set foot inside the squared circle in Las Vegas. It’s the boxing capital of the world, yet a high profile fighter like this has avoided it like the plague. For Ward, his home in Oakland and The Oracle Arena are where he prefers to conduct business. Unfortunately for him one of the first things Duva had written into this fight contract was the fight cannot be held in either fighter’s home town. Sucks for you Andre.

Another concern of mine is Ward’s injuries. Knee, shoulder…whatever. I’m not convinced right now that he won’t fold ‘em long before the fight with Kovalev is set to take place. If Ward isn’t holding the right cards his tendency is to sit the hand out and wait to see what will be dealt after that.

I’m just giving you the facts here, they are indisputable.

My gut is telling me Ward is still looking for a way to stack the deck. Experience tells us now that Kathy Duva will call Ward’s bluff every time and do everything she can to make this fight go down as scheduled.

In a perfect world the fight goes on without a glitch and come November boxing fans are treated to a fight they deserve to see go down. Let’s all hope for the best.

As Kenny Rogers would say:
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run…….

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2 Responses to “Kovalev vs. Ward: Championship Boxing Or High Stakes Poker?”

  1. David McGarry says:

    I get the feeling this will be a very negative contest and Ward will smother Kovalev.

  2. William says:

    If it goes down my hope is Kovalev tags Ward early just like he did with Bernard. Ward says if he goes down he will get up and fight on….GOOD…..I hope he gets up to take a beating. But I am still leaning heavily on SOG going AWOL.