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.

Playground ass whipping in Sergei Kovalev Andre Ward II

What happens in a playground ass whipping is simple.  In Kovalev Andre Ward II  the outcome was just as decisive. On the playground one kid beats hell out of the other. The victor dominates with the loser knowing he just isn’t as tough as his opponent.

Kovalev gets playground ass whipping
This was not a low blow. Andre Ward proved he could hurt Kovalev to the head, then finish him with crushing body punches that left Kovalev defenseless. Andre Ward inflicted an indisputable playground ass whipping to a terrific fighter, leaving no doubt as to which man is king of the ring. I contend that at 75 kilos, Ward, would take apart any prize fighter, regardless of his size

Which one is the Alpha Male?

Playground fighting is the same thing that occurs in the animal kingdom. Two male wolves fight for dominance over the pack, and once the issue is decided, there’s no question which wolf is the meanest, strongest animal. Or two bull moose lock horns to determine which male moose is going to be subservient over the other. Whether it’s in the animal kingdom or the playground, there’s no tabulation of points or 6 month rematches. Or penalties imposed for low blows. One male wins, while the other loses.

Which fighter will impose his will on the other?

And so it was in this epic rematch between the two finest boxers in the world.  One could already see it during the weigh in. With Kovalev and Andre Ward doing the obligatory stare down. But if you caught the tail end of the stare down, you would have caught Ward shrugging indifferently. Not once, but twice.   The body language spoke volumes as if Ward were saying, “okay, lets cut the crap. I’m winning this fight. Kovalev’s mine.”  (the subtle shrugs start at 3:31 in the weigh in video below).  Ward’s supremely confident here.  Now I knew who would win this fight.  If you caught it during the weigh in, there would be no room for doubt of  the playground ass whipping to come.

The fight started just as Kovalev–Ward 1 had, with Kovalev,  the aggressor, throwing out a lot more punches than his opponent. Trouble was, most of them didn’t land, and those that did failed to land with the same authority they did in Kovalev-Ward 1. Early on, Ward,  demonstrated a dazzling arsenal of defensive boxing skills of slipping and ducking punches.  This display of awesome talent no doubt convinced Kovalev that Ward was 100 percent certain  that there was no way the Russian could hurt him.

A playground ass whipping means total physical and mental domination over one’s opponent

Next came step II in Ward’s game plan of psychological dominance. Which was, “I ‘m now going to show you something that you totally never suspected”. Although he didn’t throw many, the punches to Kovalev’s head showed a snappiness and force that Kovalev had never seen before. And that he never suspected to exist. With only a 50 % knockout percentage, Ward’s never been known to have a knockout punch. Until now. The replays on you tube show Ward snapping Kovalev’s head back as the surprise registered in his Kovalev’s eyes and the Russian  could feel the pain.

I never knew that Ward can really punch

For the first time, Kovalev must have suddenly realized, “This man can really punch. I can easily be knocked out by this man.  I need to be very careful from now on.”

Kovalev already knew about step III in Ward’s game plan expecting Ward to impose his inside game of clinching, holding and body punching.   But Kovalev was ready for that.   He had learned Ward’s inside tactics well  from Kovalev Andre Ward I.  What he did not expect this time was for Ward to be able to deliver so many hard effective body punches. He expected Ward to be intimidated by his own powerful offense which he would continually slow down by holding and clinching to nullify the Russian’s powerful punches. Instead the American turned an inside game that had been mostly defensive into a very dangerous offensive weapon.

Fighting Dirty????  Nope.  I am only fighting to win

Throughout the fight, Ward would deliver one excruciating blow after the other into Kovalev’s midsection.. In my opinion,  Kovalev already expected a lot of effective body punching from Ward so he decided to impose his own mind game upon Ward.  I thought Kovalev was wearing his shorts substantially higher than they normally would have been worn.  In my opinion Kovalev had been hoping that the Ward would be thinking that he was delivering below the belt low blows and that the referee would severely penalize Ward for being a dirty fighter.  I think that at the very least Kovalev was hoping that this would discourage Ward from relying on his excellent body punching skills. And if the referee should disqualify Ward, so much the better.

The Russian’s strategy backfires

Unfortunately for Kovalev this did not work. To me, it seemed obvious that Ward was onto this trick, and that he decided to turn it against the Russian. Instead of tentatively punching Kovalev to the body out of fear of what the ref might do to him, Ward, went at Kovalev with reckless abandon. Throughout the fight Kovalev kept looking back at the referee to get him to do something about all those illegal dirty punches to the groin. And the referee, who was equally aware as Ward, to Kovalev’s strategy, kept ignoring the body blows, some of which might actually be considered as questionable.

But as the fight continued into the later rounds, Ward started to exhibit an ever increasing display of dazzling boxing skills that must have convinced Kovalev, I’m very fast, I have a great jab, I’m a terrific puncher and I have great boxing skills, but all of this, I cannot begin to match.” Ward continued to duck punches and to slip those that he didn’t duck. But when Kovalev did connect, Ward would hardly flinch at all, as if to say, “Is that all you got?” And then he’d snap Kovalev’s head back or deliver a punishing “low blow’ that might seem to cause Kovalev to crumple up in pain. But was Kovalev really only acting while trying to get the attention of the referee?

Kovalev finally faces the Inevitable

But it really didn’t matter. Either way, Kovalev was getting hurt. And if some of Ward’s body punches actually were illegal low blows, by then Ward had convinced Kovalev that there was nothing he could do about it. And by this time I could see that the Russian was becoming very frustrated by his own powerlessness.

Let’s recap all that I and others have said here.  Here’s the entire fight.

The playground ass whipping is sealed and delivered in the 8th round.  And to ANYONE who’s suggesting that Ward won because he’s a dirty fighter, I say, bullshit.

But to be certain, I downloaded the full fight from You tube.  Then I imported it into my video editing program, and ran key portions of it at 10 percent of the normal speed.   Especially the 7th and 8th rounds.

How Ward  dominated Kovalev

  • At 6:24 in the video, Ward clinches while picking Kovalev up off his feet, demonstrating, “I am stronger than you.”
  • 8:00 into the video, it is evident to the crowd that Ward is giving Kovalev a boxing lesson  which starts the crowd crowd chanting, “SOG, SOG, SOG (Son of God which Ward has embroidered into his shorts)
  • At 10:51 Ward delivers a body punch above Kovalev’s beltline.  Kovalev goes into a big song and dance protest hoping the referee will penalize Ward.   The crowd boos.
  • At 13:30 the crowd is enchanted with Ward’s incredible display of boxing talent as it cries out “Ali, Ali, Ali”.
  • At 14 minutes into the fight (on the you tube video) I’ve linked to, Kovalev is strong, but Ward’s snapping his punches with a force and speed Kovalev’s not seen before.  This has to be a nasty surprise from a man Kovalev believed lacked punching power.
  • At 17:00 Ward motions to the referee that Kovalev has been rabbit punching him to the head.  The video shows 3 rabbit punches inside one minute.  So much for all the protesting from Kovalev partisans and camp about “Ward’s Illegal low blows”.
  • By 19 minutes into this video, it’s pretty evident that Kovalev is not t going to be able to put Ward away unless he gets extremely lucky.

Ward takes control

At this point the scorecard is pretty even.  Kovalev is throwing more punches but Ward is displaying an awesome tool kit that’s thwarting Kovalev’s offense at every turn. Ward is also throwing the stronger blows.  It is evident to me that Ward will soon take complete control of this fight.

  • At 26:30 Kovalev turns his back on Ward.  (a complete no no in boxing)
  • At 28:21 Ward goes to Kovalev’s body twice.  Then he rabbit hits the Russian to the back of the head.
  • At 30 minutes into the video Ward clinches and pulls Kovalev around.  Disorientated, Kovalev turns his back on Ward while shielding his head from further attack.  His body language is of man who’s temporarily frightened and cowed.
  • By 30:30 Kovalev is looking tired, dizzy, and rattled from Ward’s offense.
  • By 30:52 into the 8th round Ward’s delivering a series of body punches (not to the testicles from my vantage point).  None of the punches appear all that hard yet Kovalev’s cowering down.   A look of pure disgust registers in Ward’s face.  In my opinion Kovalev’s  trying to get the referee to judge against Ward.

Andre Ward proves he’s a terrific finisher

  •  31 minutes into the video, Andre Ward’s eyes become those of a killer predator.  At 10 percent speed, the video shows that Ward is 100 percent focused on utterly destroying his opponent.
  • At 31:30, the American pummels Kovalev with body shots.  There is no fight left in Kovalev
  • At 31:45 Ward’s hitting Kovalev at will.
  • At 30:55 Ward punches Kovalev solidly to the midsection.  Then he rabbit punches him and follows up with another left to the midsection
  • At 31:32 Ward hits Kovalev with a devastating punch to the head.
  • By 31:35 Ward’s taken total control of the fight.  At this point Kovalev can do virtually nothing against the American.
  • By 32:02 Ward’s hitting Kovalev with three devastating body punches.  Kovalev’s almost on his knees now.  He won’t, or can’t defend himself.  The referee calls the fight a TKO for Ward.

Back to my playground ass whipping Analogy

In my own memory as a 12 year old, a much stronger boy who was 2 years older than I  is pummeling me to the ground.  There was no way I can beat this other kid.  I end up going home with two black eyes.  But most of the time I won, from the time I was six until I was fifty.  There was none of this, “Let’s fight again so I have a chance to beat you up when we meet again.” You either had the other guy or he had you.

Sergei Kovalev finally gets his playground ass whipping

And so it was with Kovalev vs Ward.  Kovalev was the bull, being larger and stronger. While Ward was the matador being completely aware of his total superiority over his opponent. With fifty seconds left in the 8th round, Kovalev knew that by then he had no chance whatsoever. The matador had his sword that amounted to a fantastic repertoire of both defensive and offensive weapons. By then, Ward had imposed both psychological and physical dominance over Kovalev. Ward would knock him out, if not this round, certainly the next.

Two magnificent fighters but only 1 is to be the best of the best

Kovalev is clearly a magnificent fighter.  Unfortunately, Andre Ward is an incredibly talented fighter without weaknesses.   Andre Ward Kovalev II proves to be a virtuoso performance from a man who doesn’t make mistakes.  By the time  Ward finally brings him to his knees , there is no longer any fight in Kovalev.   The final scene reminds me of a fighting bull waiting for the final thrust of the sword. Kovalev, is facing the finality of  ignominious defeat.   Like the kid being pummeled to the ground on the playground, there is no escaping the final outcome. One of these two great fighters had to lose.  While Andre Ward had finally emerged to become the undisputed champion of champions, and the el primo alpha of all alphas.

Time for a Guiness Naklua Surf Turf Restaurant

When Pattaya goes too far off the rails, it’s Time for a Guiness at the Naklua Surf Turf Restaurant

Time for Guiness Naklua Surf Turf Restaurant
Naklua Surf Turf Restaurant.  It is time for Guiness.  But a Sangria for the lady.

I don’t think there’s a better place in all of Thailand.  The restaurant’s just 150 yards from my condo.  But I am one lucky guy.  Naklua Surf Turf Restaurant is being rated here as the number one beach side  restaurant in all Pattaya.  And if you think I’ve cherry picked the Internet for a great review just because I love this place to death, think again.  And we’ve got the place call to ourselves.

It’s cool down at  Naklua Surf Turf Restaurant with the ocean breeze blowing.

I can walk just forty meters uphill from the restaurant and notice the difference in temperature.  The music’s tasteful.  There’s none of that Dah Dah noise that passes for music that you keep hearing down on Walking Street.  And there’s no cars or motorcycles trying to run me over.  Or polluting buses full of Chinese tourists.  Here the staff looks out for me and my friends so I usually am able to get one of the best tables.  The beer on draft is Singha and it’s good and cold.  We normally get it in pitchers so there’s no waiting for the next round.  But for some reason I keep going back to drinking the Guiness usually getting it in the large size bottles.

Tonight, am I here for the beer or is it because I”m testing my new Nikon D-750 camera?

I’ve got my tripod in hand, and I’m using the Sigma 50 mm F 1.4 lens.  It’s going to really blur my backgrounds if I set the aperture for 1.4, but I also want to test its video capabilities.  Unlike my trusty little Panasonic LX-7, shooting video with it is very tricky.  I have to set the camera just right and I don’t know just how to set it to do the best video yet.

This is absolutely my number one place to practice shooting video with my Nikon 750 and Panasonic LX 10 cameras (which just replaced my Panasonic LX7)  .  We spent New Year’s Eve here as I shot this video.    I keep getting better and every time I try, at least I have the Guiness to fall back on.

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.  Kovalev has a one track mind that focuses on 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 more menacing 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 the ring stripping him of his title Ward 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  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. Kovalev might not be as fast as Ward, but he’s fast. He fires his punches straight out in front of him. And Sergey 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 is quite the extrovert.

To get a better sense of this man, I watched several of his interviews on You Tube.  He speaks English, to a degree.  But 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.  But most important of all, Kovalev is obviously very talented at analyzing other fighters,  their ring techniques, and their strengths and weaknesses.

I can’t remember  a boxing commentator who was more believable than Kovalev.

I liked the man immensely.  He’s uncomplicated and he’s so spot on.  He reminds me of 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 Kovalev lose to Andre Ward?

From everything I’m reading on the internet, opinion seems to be evenly divided on the outcome of the upcoming Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight. It’s the classic match between the consummate boxer and the 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.

Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman

When he entered the ring against Muhammad 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 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 though he was on the down slope 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?” There is no doubt that both men have  committed themselves to establishing themselves as the greatest boxers to ever 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. (Could he become 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 ( this will ultimately have to be at Andre Ward’s expense), I can see him in the movies also.  As a Russian version of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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 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 out of range from his opponents so that he can jab them at long range.  His jack hammer jabs usually weakens them enough for him to close in and finish them off.

Golovkins utter willingness to take a punch belies his handsome visage.

Like Kovalev, Golovkin is very affable inside and outside the ring.  But one thing I noticed early on while studying Golovkin.  His corner handlers talk to him in English. 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.

A few years ago, Golovkin  moved to Big Bear, CA where he placed his children in American schools.   Gennady is learning 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.

Golovkin wants Andre Ward.

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 Americans will just have to 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.

Two updates on Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward

Fight 1 for the championship.  Andre Ward ekes out a narrow decision to win light heavyweight title from Sergey Kovalev

Fight 2.  Andre Ward demolishes Sergey Kovalev in the rematch but Kovalev supporters cry out “Foul”