Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev II Fight Betting Preview

Posted by Michael Hunt on Friday,June 9, 2017 10:48, EST in

When Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev met last November, it ended in a very controversial unanimous decision in Ward’s favor to claim three light heavyweight world title belts in Las Vegas. Many called for an immediate rematch of the very close fight and that will happen June 17, also in Las Vegas, on HBO pay-per-view. Up for grabs are Ward’s WBO, IBF & WBA light heavyweight titles. The champ is a -160 favorite on boxing odds with Kovalev at +135.

Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev II Fight Betting Preview

In the first go-round, Ward rallied from a second-round knockdown and won the final round on two judges’ scorecards to take WBO, WBA and IBF light heavyweight titles from the Russian-born champion. All three judges had Ward winning 114-113. HBO’s unofficial scorer, Hall of Fame judge Harold Lederman, had Kovalev winning 116-111.

Ward, who was the WBA super middleweight champion from 2009 to 2013, improved his record to 31-0, including 8-0 in world title fights. Kovalev, who outlanded Ward 27-13 through the first three rounds (according to CompuBox), lost for the first time in 32 fights. Kovalev (30-1- 1) went past the fifth round for the ninth time in his pro career. He complained after the bout of hometown favoritism for Ward from the three American judges.

CompuBox showed that Ward connected on 34 percent (116 of 338) of his punches. Kovalev threw more punches but connected on a smaller percentage (126 of 474, 27 percent). Kovalev landed more power shots (78) than Ward (61), according to CompuBox. The initial battle saw Ward enter as a -135 favorite. Kovalev had the right to an immediate rematch in his contract and exercised that right shortly after the bout. Kovalev won a light heavyweight world title in 2013 by dominating Nathan Cleverly in a fourth-round knockout victory. Kovalev made eight successful defenses (six by knockout), including winning a shutout decision against Bernard Hopkins in 2014 to take both of Hopkins’ belts in their unification fight, before losing to Ward.

Ward was a 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist before winning a super middleweight world title in 2009. He took fighter of the year honors in 2011, when he capped his Super Six World Boxing Classic run by easily outpointing Carl Froch to unify 168-pound belts. He followed that with a one-sided 10th-round knockout in 2012 against then-light heavyweight world champion Chad Dawson, who had dropped down in weight to challenge Ward for his super middleweight title. Ward then moved up to light heavyweight.

Ward believes he out-gutted Kovalev for the win after getting off the deck in the second round. Kovalev admits he faded late in the fight but said that was due to overtraining. Nevada regulators have said they will not be swayed by the calls of the Kovalev camp for an international judge to be added after an all-U.S. panel gave Ward the victory in the fall. Kovalev said in his only review of the bout that he believed he won eight of 12 rounds. This time, Americans Glenn Feldman, Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld will have the scorecards.

“I don’t like this guy and I want to punish him because he puts his nose really up right now,” Kovalev said of Ward. “I don’t care if he shows respect to me or not. I know only one thing: I will kick his ass! I want to destroy him.”

These two camps just don’t like each other, and to make things more interesting reports are that Kovalev’s trainer, John David Jackson, reached out to Ward after the first fight to inquire about swapping teams. Ward has repeatedly referenced intel he received before their first fight about problems in Kovalev’s camp.

“I’m going to let the fans know a basic truth of the first fight,” Jackson said. “Honestly, Sergey brought another guy in from Russia [into the corner] to speak and during the fight I was limited to what I could say. So how are you going to limit me on what I am going to say when I devised a plan for you to fight this kid?”

Ward vs Kovalev 2 Betting Pick: Ward By Decision

More than half of Ward’s 31 wins have gone to points and that will be the case here.