Category Archives: Prize Fighters Andre Ward Sergey Kovalev Gennadi Golotkin

With the undefeated Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward about to fight for the Light Heavyweight Championship in November 2016, boxing is about to get much more interesting very soon. Especially when undefeated MIddle Weight Champion Gennadi Golotkin has knocked out his last 17 opponents and is biting at the bit to tale pm the light heavyweight winner.

Is a New Boxing Golden Age upon us?

Andre Ward in the movie Creed
My interest in Andre Ward started when I first saw him play a small part in the latest Sylvester Stallone movie, “Creed”. There were perhaps a half dozen professional fighters in the movie, but right now Andre Ward is knocking on the door of the Light Heavyweight Championship of the World.

Three talented champion boxers, Sergey Kovalev, Andre Ward, and Gennady Golovkin, seem destined to bring the Boxing Golden Age  back.   If they do, the Boxing Golden Age might even have to be redefined. During the 1960’s and 70’s the Heavy weight division in particular was extremely talented. Sonny Liston, Muhammed Ali, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, and George Foremen were the creme de la creme in those days with Muhammed Ali becoming the undisputed “Greatest”, beating all of them. Ali was the most charismatic heavy weight champion of all time. He was perhaps the smartest heavy weight champion who ever lived even though he ranked just 376 out of his high school class of 391 and finished with a D- average. He was named the “BBC” and “Sports Illustrated” Sportsman of the Century. So how does one eclipse the Boxing Golden Age when Ali reigned as the king of kings?

Let’s start with the combined records of this hugely talented three some of 92 wins and zero losses. Now let’s put some Cold War anti Soviet Union rhetoric into this mix. Andre Ward’s American. Sergey Kovalev is Russian. Gennady Golovkin’s from Kazakhstan. So he’s not Russian. But since Kazakhstan was part of the Soviet Union before 1991, I can easily imagine myself rooting against Golovkin as an evil Soviet bastard fighting for the glory of the Evil Empire.  Keep this thought in mind now–evil Soviet bastards fighting for the glory of the Evil Empire as I paint menacing pictures of both Sergei Kovalev and Gennady Golovkin.

Sergey Kovalev could be a major cause for a new boxing golden age
If the Russian Light Heavyweight champion looks like an American country boy, there’s good reason for the resemblance.

Kovalev is the reigning light heavyweight champion with a record of 30-29-1 with 27 of those wins by knockout. He’s a killer in the ring with a one track mind geared to the total destruction of his opponent. And he’s not a native English speaker which makes him nothing more than a primitive lout with a devastating punch that can level buildings.

Gennady Golovkin
Respectfully, Andre Ward called Gennady Golovkin a pretty boy. Andre meant this as a statement of fact—“Gennady is after all a handsome man”. So it’s hard to believe that Gennady oftentimes sticks his head right in front of his opponent enticing him to give him “his best shot” so that Gennady can get in a punishing counter punch. IT is also hard to believe Golovkin has knocked out his last 20 opponents.

Gennady Golovkin’s even worse with a perfect record of 34-0 including 31 knockouts, without even a tie to blemish his record. Even more depressing is he’s knocked out the last 20 of his opponents which makes him super inhuman. Although he’s fast and has impressive boxing skills, Golovkin’s attitude seems to be “Why bother” as he wades right into his opponents as he heedlessly ignores the punches pounding his face.

Andre Ward
Although not renowned for his knockout punch, Andre Ward is a strong boxer, and has recently shown he can throw his weight around quite well on the inside even after moving up from the Super Middleweight class to the Light Heavyweight division.

So who’s the good guy in this bunch? That would be Andre Ward, a man who used to be the Super Middleweight champion who had his title stripped from him because of inactivity in the ring due to injuries and disputes with his manager.  Ward has movie star credentials as evidenced in his role in the latest Sylvester Stallone Rocky movie, “Creed”. His record is 29-0 with just 15 knockouts. But he’s a brilliant ring tactician who simply doesn’t make any mistakes. Until that layoff that led to his being stripped of his title he was ranked the second best pound for pound fighter in the world. (Now he’s ranked only number 4 with Golovkin being ranked number 3) They call him SOG–Son of God. He’s articulate, and he’s a total gentleman. He’s the perfect representative for the U.S.A. and everything that’s good in this land of freedom of ours against those louts from the former Soviet Onion (makes my nose wrinkle in disgust even thinking about them).

Until recently, Andre Ward fought as a Super Middleweight (168-175 pound weight class) versus Golovkin who’s the present champion of the Middleweight division (147-160 pounds). If it had not been for Ward’s long layoff, the two would have probably already have met in the ring by now. But Ward has recently moved up to the Light Heavyweight class (168-175 pounds). On March 26, 2016 he decisively defeated Sullivan Barrera who had won 17 fights in a row with 12 knockouts. This was an important win for Ward because it showed that he had the right stuff to win in the light heavyweight division, and that the two year layoff had not seriously eroded his impeccable boxing skills. Ward’s spectacular win pleased Russia’s number one ogre, Sergei Kovalev, who was sitting at ring side in the front row cheering Andre Ward on.

So what about this ogre status of Sergei Kovalev? He’s the Russian monster or isn’t he? For one thing, like Ward, Kovalev has a lucrative contract with HBO Sports. And according to the contracts both fighters have with HBO Sports, they are to meet in the ring for the Light Heavyweight championship, probably in November–if Andre Ward should defeat Sullivan Barrera. Which he has.

I love Kovalev’s technique. He might not be as fast as Ward, but he’s fast. He fires his punches straight out in front of him. He has a devastating left jab that lands like a sledge hammer. When he gets his opponent in trouble, he goes for the kill, and finishes the job in short order. What’s not to like about this man’s style? He’s the complete fighter. Moreover, he smiles a lot. Kovalev seems to be quite the extrovert.

To get a better sense of this man, I tuned into several of his interviews on You Tube. He speaks English, although not as well as you and I, he speaks it well enough to make himself clearly understood. He’s not a braggart at all and he isn’t into all this political nonsense of my country is better than yours or “I don’t like Americans”. Kovalev always speaks very respectfully of Andre Ward, who he apparently has some genuine affection for. But most important of all, Kovalev is obviously very talented at analyzing other fighters, of their ring techniques, their strengths and weaknesses. I cannot remember ever listening to a commentator of the ring who was more believable than Kovalev.  I liked the man immensely.  He’s uncomplicated in his speech and so very much spot on.  He reminds me a lot of many farmer friends of mine, good ole boys, each and every one. It will be very sad to see him lose.

But will he lose? From everything I’m reading on the internet, opinion seems to be evenly divided on the outcome of the upcoming Kovalev–Ward fight. It’s the classic match between the consummate boxer and the overwhelmingly powerful puncher. But as the old saying goes, Speed kills, or as Muhammed Ali put it, “You can’t hit what you can’t see.” George Foreman was just 24 when he fought an over the hill 32 year old Ali.

When he entered the ring against Muhammed Ali for the Heavyweight championship of the world, Foreman was 40-0 with 37 KO’s. He had knocked out Joe Frazier in the 2nd round, and Frazier had beaten Ali. Then he knocked out Ken Norton also in the 2nd round, and Norton had also defeated Ali. Ali stood no chance. Yet Ali knocked Foreman out in the 8th round after supposedly withstanding an onslaught of Foreman punches that no other man could have survived. Or so many have thought. Regardless, Ali was able to slip most of Foreman’s heavy punches to his head. He was awfully quick, even on the downslope of his career. It has been said that Muhammed Ali’s jab was even faster than Sugar Ray Robinson’s. So, if this were true, then I really can’t see why anyone would have rated Sugar Ray Robinson as the greatest fighter (considering all weight classifications) of all time. Comparing the hand speed of a Heavyweight to a Middleweight, if both were equal, one would have to go with the Heavyweight.

We now know just how great Ali was. What we don’t know is “How great is Andre Ward?” or how great is Sergei Kovalev?” It appears to me, however, that both men are firmly committed to establishing himself as being one of the greatest boxers to live. Korvalev’s attitude resonates with “If Andre is good enough to beat me, all the power to him.”

In the video above Andre Ward talks about his upcoming fight with Kovalev, how good a fighter Golovkin is, and what kind of legacy Andre hopes to achieve (Heavyweight Champion of the World).  If Andre continues his unbroken record of successes, it is likely that he will once again  move up in weight to lead the way to a New Boxing Golden Age

There is huge mutual respect between these two. Andre’s been in one movie already. He’s good on the screen, but if Kovalev continues to win, and this will ultimately have to be at Andre Ward’s expense, I can see him in the movies also. In an Arnold Schwarzenegger sort of way. Which leads us to the third man, Gennady Golovkin.

In an interview, Andre Ward referred to Golovkin as a “Pretty Boy”. That he is. In fact, the first time I saw him on You Tube, I thought, “This guy is too handsome to really fight well.” Then you see him in the ring, a model of unrelenting aggression. Oftentimes he will get in close to his opponent in order to inflict maximum damage. But he’s got his head right in there, absorbing punches, which seem to have little affect on him. Kovalev’s style is altogether different. Sergei stands back in a classic boxing stance nailing his opponent with heavy jabs at long range until he’s crippled him enough to close in and finish him off. Golovkins utter willingness to take a punch belies his handsome visage.

Like Kovalev, Golovkin appears to be very affable both inside and outside the ring. But one thing I noticed early on while studying Golovkin. His ring handlers talk to him in English in the corner. Which means his corner men are not Russian. An even closer study of the man reveals that his father had been a Russian coal miner while his mother is Korean.  In the last few years, Golovkin has moved to Big Bear, CA where he’s placed his children in American schools.  It appears that Gennady is getting used to our American ways real fast.  There are pennants around the ring with the lettering GGG. The lettering is also on Gennady’s belt.  His nicknames are Golden G and God of War.

He wants Andre Ward. Meanwhile Golovkin’s fought as both a Middleweight and Super Middleweight and has world titles in both divisions. Meanwhile Andre Ward’s recently moved out of the Super Middleweight division into the Light Heavyweight class. It’s only going to take Andre Ward dropping a few pounds or Golovkin gaining a few to fight as a light heavyweight to find out which man’s the better fighter. But Golovkin must first wait until after Ward has fought Kovalev. In the meantime it looks like Golovkin is Americanizing real fast. I think we’ll claim him. But wherever these three champions hail from, each of them is a fantastic fighter, and all three are truly charismatic men.  Over the next one to two years the fighting game  is going to be very interesting.   We might even see  a New Boxing Golden Age.