The only reason the hype for the fight between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward hasn’t caught alight like shell suit next to a flame is because Ward has been tagged as dull. And it is true that most of his previous fights weren’t blood baths but this time he’s up against a Russian wrecking ball. A world title is on the line and make no mistake, these are two of the best boxers in the game.
Since Kovalev almost knocked Nathan Cleverly’s block off in 2013 he’s been the head honcho in the light heavyweight division. And Clev wasn’t the only one who was destroyed by ‘Krusher’, 16 of Kovalev’s last 18 wins have come inside the distance. Kovalev is 2/1 to get a KO win here but Ward is known as a master of defence, and he will need to be to stand a chance.
Ward’s star was brightest when he was the king of the super middleweight division in 2011 after beating Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler and a few other top pros in the Super-6 tournament. Since then the American has had a couple of injuries and too many boring legal battles to talk about, let alone live through. Now Ward has moved up a weight division and wants a new crown.
As an amateur Kovalev never quite got to the top of the Russian pecking order, as his compatriots were often winning global medals, but Ward won Olympic gold age 20. The Californian is almost untouchable and he’s well worth the 6/5 to win by decision. In fact, I am so confident in Ward’s dominance that I am also going to have a few notes on the 10/3 for Kovalev to be knocked down.
Cruiserweights Marco Huck and Dmytro Kucher are set to collide on Saturday too, and the German former world champion Huck is only 3/10 to take the win. Huck likes to smoother his opponents and you need to have either great power or great footwork to beat him. I think Ukraine’s Kucher will come up just short and 5/4 for the decision victory to go to the Berliner is a great price.
The big fight in UK on Saturday night is also in the cruiserweight division and features England’s Matty Askin and Northern Ireland’s Tommy McCarthy. 26 year old McCarthy is relatively inexperienced but Paddy has installed him as a 2/5 favourite. Betting on the bout to go the distance in this one is likely round up the weekend’s boxing with a healthy pay-off.