Category Archives: Professional Boxing

Professional boxing classics is a series of video’s of some of the greatest champions of the ring.  You will find great fighting action from Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Sonny Liston, Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Gene Tunny and many others.

I would not consider most of the more recent heavy weight division champion to be worthy of such all time greats.  So I have added several more recent champions from the Middle weight and Light Heavy weight divisions such as Sergei Kovalev, Andre Ward, and Gennady Golovkin.
Having been an somewhat of an amateur boxer myself, I was inspired at a young age by Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, and by the time I was 14, I became a fan of Muhammad Ali.
When he was given virtually no chance of beating the terrifying Sonny Liston.

My step grandfather George Timmerman had  a gym back in those days.  Where I l learned how to keep the speed bag going with my elbows.  And sparred with my friends.  While hanging out at George Timmerman’s gym I got into constant discussions over how would Ali have fared against Joe Louis when both were in their prime.  And how could Tunny beat the ferocious Jack Dempsey?
Today there’s a lot of discussion on Quora Digest about how  much smaller world champion boxers would do against the giants in the current heavyweight division.
The answer can be found here in Professional Boxing Classics in just a single fight between Jack Dempsey and Jess Willard.  With Dempsey weighting just 188 pounds, and Willard at 245 pounds, Dempsey just took Willard apart.

Back in those days there were a lot more boxers training on a serious level than there are today.  My grandpa Timmerman used to spare a few rounds with his pals and then they would job 18 miles and he was just an amateur.

Harry Greb, one of the greatest Middleweight champions of all time had 298 professional fights in 13 years for an average of 23 fights a year.
In Professional boxing classics you will learn about the real Max Baer.
I’m sure you have all seen the movie “Cinderella Man” staring Russel Crowe as James Braddock and Craig Bierko as Max Baer.  Craig Bierko is both hilarious and terrifying.  Cinderella Man’s Max Baer has killed two men in the ring and he’s proud of it.  But the real Max Baer was nothing like Bierko’s Max Baer at all.

In Professional boxing classics you will see a lot of great fights during boxing’s golden years during the 1960s and 1970s.  When some of the greatest champions of all time fought against each other.  And when Muhamad Ali showed the world that he was the greatest of them all.

In the upcoming months I will be adding more fights to this list of all time classic professional boxing matches.  So stay tuned to the Jack Corbett Video Channel.

Larry Holmes Human Cobra of the boxing ring.

Calling him the Eastern Assassin doesn’t go far enough so I’m calling the former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes human cobra.

This picture has Larry Holmes human cobra of the boxing ring just right
Larry Holmes human cobra of the boxing ring comes off just right in this picture.

Notice his erect stance, and confident ever watchful eyes. This is the Larry Holmes during the first half of his career that made me think of him as Larry Holmes human tiger of the ring. Later as he became much older that look in his eyes disappeared. They called Larry Holmes the Eastern assassin. Which does not go far enough to capture just how formidable Larry Holmes was.

Larry Holmes human cobra fighting Ermie Shavers
Larry Holmes won real recognition as a great fighter when he defeated Ernie Shavers who is generally considered the hardest hitter in Heavyweight boxing History.

To watch Larry Holmes defeat Ernie Shavers Click here.

Larry Holmes had all the ingredients to make him one of the greatest heavyweight champions ever. Which more boxing experts agree on who often place him in the top 5 or 10 greatest heavyweight champions ever.

I’m elevating Larry Holmes to being the second-best heavyweight champions who ever lived. He’s got the eyes of the cobra snake, ever watchful, always watching his opponent’s every move. And every gesture. His eyes are confident showing his opponent that he cannot and will not lose.

But Holmes is a lot more than being just a very confident boxer. The Larry Holmes in his prime had the skills and ring intelligence to defeat any opponent with the exception of Muhammad Ali.

click on the picture above to watch Larry Holmes outpoint Ken Norton on Jone 9, 1978

HIs erect stance and ever watchful eyes made him appear like a cobra sizing up the right moment to strike. He was very fast, with one of the best jabs in heavyweight History. And he hit hard. He was six foot three and weighed 212 in his prime.

Let’s compare him for a moment to Joe Louis who is oftentimes rated the second-best heavyweight champion of all time. Louis’s was 1. and a half inch shorter than Holmes while weighing 197 pounds in his prime. Both men had formidable jabs. And while Louis could hit harder, Holmes footwork was better. I personally loved Joe Louis’s fighting style. He had great technique and ring intelligence. He would stalk his opponent, waiting for the right moment and then he would put him away.

I never liked Larry Holmes much because he was no Muhammad Ali until now, after watching a few of his fights on Dailey Motion or YouTube.

I did not see him make many mistakes whereas I’ve seen Joe Louis make a few such as his first fight against Max Schmeling when Schmeling knocked him out. Or his first bout with Billy Conn who probably would have won the fight on points had Conn not unwisely tried to out punch Louis in the final rounds. But Conn was a ramped-up Middleweight, and as we all know a good big man nearly always beats an equally good small man.

But as Mike Tyson said, “No One beats Ali,” Larry Holmes had been Ali’s sparring partner for years, had learned Ali’s boxing style and had become very successful at using Ali’s boxing techniques.

Years later father time got the better of Larry Holmes just as it does with all boxers who stay in the ring past their prime.

Larry Holmes vs Mic hael Spinks 1. On September 21, 1985 Larry Holmes was 48-0. Undefeated he was trying to best Rocky Marciano’s perfect record of 49-0. Instead, he lost the fight to the undefeated light heavyweight champion, Michael Spinks what was 24-0. Who became the first light heavyweight to ever defeat the reigning heavyweight champion. Spinks would win the rematch by a split decision.

Why did Larry Holmes lose to Michael Spinks?

In 1985 Holmes was 35, which was past his prime but not in my opinion why he lost. When I was just 26 getting my MBA in a statistics class, I wrote a paper on the statistical probability a reigning heavyweight champion faced when he gained weight over his optimum fighting weight in 5-pound increments. I also produced a statistical analysis of the probability a heavyweight champion had of retaining his heavyweight crown in five-year increments.

My premise was that a fighter seeking the heavyweight crown was at this peak and hungriest for his title on the day he won the title. He would be at his physical peak and at his optimum fighting weight.

Holmes weighed 212 pounds when he captured the heavyweight crown. But when he fought Michael Spinks, his weight had ballooned up to 225 pounds. He’s 13 pounds overweight and he looks it. Being much thicker around his midsection than he appeared in his earlier fights. I don’t recall the exact statistics I had compiled in my paper I did for the Saint Louis University statistics class. But I recall that if a champion heavyweight champion is 15 pounds over his optimum fighting weight, he has far less than a 50 % chance of keeping his title.

Although I only got a B in my statistics class, my professor who was Korean was totally enthralled with the paper I had submitted to him. He called me up to have me meet him in his office. Then he asked me, “Is this all your original work?”

I replied yes. Because who other than me would be so stupid as to write a paper about boxing in an MBA business school program. The professor then replied: “Let’s go to Las Vegas together. We will talk to Jimmy the Greek.”

“I had an appointment to see the professor again, but it snowed a lot that day and the professor could not come. I never asked to get my paper back, so it’s now lost forever.

LAS VEGAS, NV – JUNE 19: Evander Holyfield and Larry Holmes fight of the WBC, WBA, IBF heavyweight tittles on June 19, 1992 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Holyfield on the fight with a 12 round unanimous decision. When Larry Holmes faces Evander Holyfield on June 19, 1992. His weight has gone up from 212 pounds to 233 pounds. He’s 43 years old when he gets outpointed by Holyfield and is just a shadow of his younger years. To watch the video, click on the picture above.
On 1-22-1998 Mike Tyson knocks Larry Holmes out. By this time he is no longer Larry Holmes human Cobra. Long gone that look in his eyes announcing boldly to his opponents, “I am going to dominate you because I know I cannot lose.

So as great a heavyweight champion Joe Louis was, Larry Holmes was the bigger man, was just as fast, could dance around the ring and his opponents almost as well as Ali and in my opinion made fewer mistakes than the great Joe Louis. ironically, although I’m calling him Larry Holmes human cobra, I find this description to be almost equally appropriate for Joe Louis.

Party Animal Mike Tyson antics unsurpassed outside the ring

Jack Dempsey, Harry Greb, Jack Johnson, the list goes on, but party animal Mike Tyson was the greatest party king of them all.

picutre of Party Animal Mike Tyson

When Mike Tyson started training under Cus D’Amato in his early teens, he had a long way to go before becoming party animal Mike Tyson

Gus D’Amato met Tyson early on while Mike was in a reform school. From that point on D’Amato literally became a father to Tyson, adopting him while teaching him the boxing skills that would make him the world’s heavyweight champion. Under D’Amato’s tutelage, Iron Mike won 26 of his first 28 professional fights by either KO or TKO.

But when D’Amato died in November 1985, Kevin Roony continued on as Iron Mike’s long-time trainer. Under D’Amato’s and Rooney’s supervision, the short for a heavyweight 5-foot eleven Tyson’s signature traits started with the peek-a-boo technique Cue had taught former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson. With his hands in front of his face placed closely together, Tyson learned how to bob and weave while crouching down low from which he could use his entire body like a spring to inflict devastating blows to his opponent’s face or body.

Tyson gets a shot at the boxing WBC title soon after he knocks out Marvis Frazier in the first round. 7-26-1986

Although the fight between Marvis Frazier doesn’t even last one round, it sets the twenty-year-old Mike Tyson up for the WBA heavyweight world championship.

MIke Tyson KO’s Marvis Frazer

WIns WBC title from Trevor Berbick 11-22-1986

Nov 12, 1986

This WBC title fight ends in the 2nd round. But when you listen to the ring announcer at the beginning of the fight, the issue is not in doubt. Berbick, the champion comes in to fight, taking the fight to Tyson early on. Showing off a false bravado while Berbick throws away his 7 inch rich advantage to the five foot eleven Tyson. Halfway through the first round the announcer shouts, “He will get knocked out very soon.” The announcer continues, “Tyson throws his punches in bunches.”

In the second round Tyson knocks Berbick down. As the soon to be ex-champ gets off the canvas, Tyson continues his barrage until Berbick goes down a second time. At first it seems Berbick can get up and beat the count. His legs turned to rubber he falls back unable to rise as the referee counts him out.

Let’s keep in mind that Tyson weighted just 221 pounds when fighting Berbick and just 217 pounds when he knocked out Marvis Frazier. So Please note that Mike’s fighting weight goes up as he becomes party animal Mike Tyson.

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Party animal Mike Tyson’s odds of winning or losing a fight acccording to Jack Corbett’s “Principles of weight gain or loss applied to the odds of winning or losing Heavyweight championship fights.

Unfortunately I never was able to retrieve the paper I did on it in my college statisitics class while getting my MBA at Saint Louis University,

But what I did was to compile all the recorded Heavyweight championship fights from 1900 to 1975. I constructed a table. From the reference point of whether a heavyweight champion WON or LOSS, on the X axis of my graph, there’s just two possible outcomes for the heavyweight champion defending his title. Then on the Y axis I created four new columns. With the first column for figures of a weight gain of 5 pounds, the second for a weight gain of 10 pounds, the third column for a weight gain of 15 po0unes and the fourth new column for a weight gain of 20 pounds.

Tyson beats James Smith to win the WBA title on 3-7-1987.

I then assumed that when any fighter took the heavyweight crown away from the reigning Heavyweight champion, the challenger was at his optimum fighting weight. This is because the challenger is so hungry to earn the championship title that he is willing to do practically anything to get it. He will be training as hard as he can. So, he’s going to enter the ring in his best shape ever. While during the fight he’s going to go all out.

But once the challenger becomes heavyweight champion, a long barrage of temptations comes into play. Such as drugs and alcohol, women, and all those fake friends who view the world champion as their favorite milk cow.

So what happens is when a fighter defends his heavyweight title at over 5 pounds more than his optimum fighting weight, his chances of keeping his title is appreciably less.

While if his weight for a given fight lands in the third column denoting a weight gain of over 15 pounds, his chances of keeping the title are well below 35 percent. But if he’s over 20 pounds overweight his chances of keeping the Heacyweight belt are close to zero.

March 7, 1987 when Mike weighs just 219 pounds. Right at his optimum fighting weight.

Tyson now goes for the WBA title when he takes on James Smith.

As the fight starts my initial impression of the 233-pound Smith is of a lumberjack because Smith appears to be lumbering about the ring. My next impression of the stony-faced Smith is of Gerald Ford. My next impression is of Frankenstein. As for Tyson, it doesn’t seem like Iron Mike’s out for the kill. Although he’s come to the fight at a svelte 219 pounds, Mike just doesn’t seem to be his usual self as the fight drags on into the 12th and final round. The crowd starts to boo both fighters during throughout the final round as Mike wins a unanimous decision.

Mike Tyson gets the decision over Tony Tucker for the (IBF) International Boxing Federation Heavyweight title. 8-1-1987

Mike Tyson Knocks out Latty Holmes 1-22-1988

January 22, 1988.

Both fighters have a lot to prove in this match between Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson. According to the fight commentator, Holmes feels unappreciated. Although he had been champion for 7 straight years, while possessing one of the best jabs in boxing, Holmes is no Ali. While in my opinion, Tyson wants to avenge Larry’s technical knockout of an aging way past his prime Ali on October 2, 1980. But Larry was 31 when he defeated the 38 year old Ali. Now he’s 38. While weighing 225 pounds to the 215 pound Tyson who appears supremely fit. To me Holmes appears a bit fat and well past his prime.

The fight goes into the 4th round. Tyson knocks Holmes down 3 times before finally flattening him to win the fight.

While my impression of the two fighters is spot on. This is not the party animal Mike Tyson who will appear later in his career. As he admits in his book, Undisputed Truth, Tyson is out to avenge Holmes 1980 defeat of Ali. Because it so happens that Ali had been Tyson’s idoal from his boyhood on. In his fight to Mike’s out for blood. He wants to totally dominate and humiliate Holmes, much more than he wants to knock him out early in the fight.

Tysons weighs in at 215 pounds, which is five pounds less than his optimum fighting weight. He’s like a man-eating tiger that wants to tear apart its adversary from limb to limb.

Tyson vs MIchael Spinks 6-27-1988


At this stage of his career if anyone appeared to have a chance of defeating MIke Tyson that man was Michael Spinks. I remember when MIchael’s older brother defeate3d Muhammed Ali that Michael was then fighting as a Middleweight. And that back then a lot of boxing pundits were claiming that younger brother Michael was a much better fighter than Leon.

When Michael entered the ring with Tyson his record stood at 31 wins out of 31 fights with 21 knockouts. Spinks had become the only light heavyweight to defeat a reigning heavyweight champion when he beat the undefeated Larry Holmes by decision. But Spinks weighted 200 pounds when he fought Holmes after gaining 25 pounds over his normal fighting weight. The six-foot three-inch Spinks now weighed 212 pounds to Tyson’s 218.

Although Tyson stood only 5 feet eleven inches tall and normally fought at around 215 he appeared to be extremely well proportioned.

The result was Tyson slaughtered Spikes in one and a half minutes of the first round. Before the fight even started one of the commentators kept commenting, “Can Spinks survive the extreme pressure Tyson’s going to put him through?” During the entire short duration of the fight Tyson was all over Spinks. While showing what a fast talented heavyweight can do to a natural light heavyweight. Which usually can be expected.

At the end of the fight, Tyson’ said, “I won this fight because I am the better fighter. I am the best fighter in the world. I can beat anyone. People think I am only a slugger. ”

Now it’s my turn to comment. Tyson fought with the explosive power of dynamite in either hand. He could do it all. He was fast. While Mike could and did knock men out with one of the best uppercuts in boxing. Or with a body punch to the chest. He was relentless, fighting nonstop while taking the fight to his opponents. At this point in his career Tyson was unstoppable.

Against a natural heavyweight as talented as Tyson, Spinks fought at 212 pounds 37 pounds heavier than his natural weight at light heavyweight. Resulting in Tyson being able to explode right through Spinks as unstoppable as a tornedo.

As a proscript to Tyson overwhelming Michael Spinks, here’s another Michael Spinks when he outpointed Heavyweight champion Larry Holmes.


If there’s no question that Michael Spinks was one of the greatest, if not the greatest light heavyweight of all time, consider this. Michael is the only light heavyweight to ever defeat the reigning heavyweight champion. Holmes goes into this fight undefeated with 42 victories under his belt. Holmes is just one victory shy of equaling Rocky Marciano’s perfect record of 43 victories with no defeats. But Holmes is not up to it. Michael Spinks dominates the much more powerful Holmes. He’s fast. He’s elusive. He fights the perfect fight.

Although he will soon be devasted by Tyson, Michael Spinks will retire right afterwards. Retiring from the ring as a multimillionaire. Earning 13 million from the Tyson fight alone, Spinks will become one of the few affluent fighters to retire with his face and brain intact.

Loses to Buster Douglas 2-11-1990

On 2-11-1990 a 231`pound Buster Douglas stunned the boxing world by knocking out the undefeated Iron Mike Tyson in the 8th round. From the very beginning of the fight something seemed to be very wrong with the announcer commenting, “Tyson almost looks bored as he enters the ring.”

Which was 100 percent spot on. In his book, Undisputed Truth, Tyson admits he had not real interest in fighting anymore—only partying and women.

While the ring announcers announced in the early rounds, Douglas looks like he’s come to fight, Tyson performance is untypically lackluster. He throws very few uppercuts, his signature punch. While his timing seems way off.

In the eight round, Tyson finally connects with an uppercut to Douglas’s head and floors him, but Douglas rises at the count of eight.

In the tenth round Douglas stuns Tysson with an uppercut which he immediately follows with three successive punches.

So why did the previously unstoppable Iron Mike Tyson succumb to a man who had an unremarkable 29-4-1 record with 19 Ko’s?

At this point in his career Mike had hired Don Kong to promote his fights. And Don had insisted on Mike’s firing everyone associated with the Cus D’Amato team that had guided him to three world heavyweight titles. Cus, who had been a father figure to Mike until his death in 1985 had hired Kevin Rooney as Mike’s brainer.

Mike’s career started to fall apart once he hired Don King to promote his fights. By this time his marriage to Robin Givens had started to fall apart. And between Robin and Don King insistence Mike fired his trainer Kevin Rooney and practically everyone else on his training staff.

By the time Tyson came to Tokyo to fight Douglas, his life had become a sequence of endless every night partying, drugs and alcohol.

Tyson arrives in Tokyo 30 pounds overweight. And states in his book that he hardly trained at all for this fight. While confessing he had sex with two women the day before the fight and two more that night. Altho9ugh he is able to lose most of the excess weight, he still enters the ring heavier than he had ever fought at before.

With no Kevin Roony or Cus D’Amato to reign him in. While in facing Douglas Tyson was pitting himself against a man whose boxing style was all too wrong. His lack of training and top physical conditioning caused him to lose the ability to bob and weave to avoid being hit or to keep up the fast hard hitting volume punching that had given him the ability to overpower taller heavier fighters like Douglas.

But Douglas arrived in the ring in the best physical condition in his life. While hearing all about Tyson’s almost total lack of training for the right and endless partying. Unlike so many of Tyson’s previous opponents who were terrified of Mike’s punching prowess. Douglas was not intimidated whatsoever. By the time Tyson went down in the eighth round, the six foot four Douglas succeeded in cutting Tyson down to size in practically every single round.

In April 1992 Mike Tyson sent to prison for allegedly raping Desiree Washington

He serves less three years of his 6-year sentence. My take on Mike’s conviction. Although I had hardly ever viewed any films of Mike’s boxing matches, I didn’t care for him because friends of mine were telling me he was greater than Muhammad Ali ever was. Because Ali was my greatest hero favoring Tyson over Ali was heresy.

But as soon as I heard that Desiree Washington was accusing Tyson of raping her, I knew in my heart that Mike was innocent. As Heavyweight champion of the world Mike could have just about any woman he wanted. So why rape someone who didn’t want to have sex with him? The whole case reminded me of “in like Flynn” when Errol Flynn had to defend himself against two underaged women took him to court for having sex with them on his sailboat, the Scirocco. The judge dismissed the case when the judge determined that the two girls had never been on the Scirocco.

A key point was Desiree Washington admitted that she had gone to Mike’s hotel room with him. So if not for sex, did she expect to play checkers with Mike. Bake cookies? I figured she was a liar. And that like too many women she was out to get her name in the papers and to pad her bank account with money she had not earned or deserved.

Loses to Evander Holyfield 9-11-1996

Coming off three years of inactivity buie to his being in prison. Holyfield appears much stronger. Confident. Has all the tools. Lots of headbutts, hitting below the belt on one occasion. Clinching. Holyfield almost knocks Tyson out in the 10th round. Tyson looks like a dying fish at the beginning of the 11th round as Holyfield turns him into a human punching bag. Just past 30 seconds of the 11th round the ref calls it.

Holyfield tkos Tyson in the 11ith round.

In my opinion at this stage of his career, Tyson was not as good or strong as Holyfield was. He had just spent three years in prison. While his soon to be ex-wife, Robin Givens and her mother were trying to gold dig him for all that he was worth. They had convinced him to fire Kevin Rooney, who was largely responsible for instilling in Mike the bobbing boxing style from a crouch that Cus D’Amato had taught him that was accompanied by the volume punching that distinguished Mike from his peers. Once the unstoppable Iron Mike had become party animal Mike Tyson with his former trainers who might have helped him regain his former boxing skills now gone, Mike would never be the same again.

Mike Tyson bites Evander Holyfield’s ear off 6-28-1997

Tyson vs Lennox Lewis 8-6-2002


When he fights Lennox Lewis at 234 pounds, as a fighter party animal Mike Tyson’s about all used up. He’s 14 pounds over his optimum fighting weight of 220 pounds when he was going all out to win the WBC and WBA titles. As he admits in his book, Undisputed Truth, he’s no longer taking winning or losing in the ring to be all that important at this stage of his career.

In recent years a new Mike Tyson has emerged. A thoughtful well-read Mike. Who admits that he regrets the mistakes of his part. While becoming one of today’s most inciteful and respected boxing Historians. In his book, Undisputed Truth, he holds mothing back. For all the problems he’s encountered he puts most of the blame on himself. Even though he doesn’t spare his contempt for boxing promoter Don King, his ex-wife Robin GIvens, his ex-mother-in-law, and several other miscreants.

Click here to learn more about Jack Dempsey.

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
Sergey Kovalev vs AndreWard 2 (Landed Punches Count) on Vimeo

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

Andre Ward vs Sergei Kovalev 1.

Unfortunately, YouTube has a virtual monopoly on the second Kovalev Andre Ward fight. I cannot find it anywhere. I had it here, then YouTube blocked it and it looks like YouTube has blocked everyone else from linking this video. I was able to get thjs one from Daily

The Second fight

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.”

Andre Ward Training on the heavy bag
Sergei Kovalev sparring

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.

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.