Ward-Kovalev fight coverage in SF Bayview

Photographer and writer Malaika Kambon has been covering Andre’s fights for years – here are some of her photos and her recent article in the SF Bayview

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Kovalev’s inability to outbox Andre Ward showed in his used of illegal head locks, wrestling tactics, and tying up Ward’s arms by holding the ropes

Victorious!

Post fight press conference

Ward Delivers in Vegas!

Andre Ward defeated Sergey Kovalev at the T-Mobile arena tonight, November 19th, 2016. In our opinion this was Andre’s most exciting and challenging fight.

At the Fight for the WBA, WBO and IBF Light Heavyweight Championship ANDRE WARD VS SERGEY KOVALEV
Nov 19, 2016 12 Rounds – T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Nice crowd tonight, fans are excited. Andre comes into the arena first. Both fighters look good. Andre looks a bit lighter. Both fighters are 6′. The big screen above the ring shows Andre doing a muscleman pose; chest and arms look great. That was the first time I ever saw Andre do that, but he ‘is’ a Light Heavyweight now.

Round Notes
Round 1: Kovalev throws the first punch of the fight; nothing to it. Both boxers do not feel each other out much, soon go right to fighting. Andre works his jab. They both trade right hand punches and then Kovalev connects with a couple of good jabs. Sergey follows with a one two that backs up Andre. Kovalev looking much Better than Andre. Round 1 to Kovalev.

Round 2: opens with Andre throwing several nice jabs. Kovalev then gets a left and a hard right. He moves forward and hits Andre with a right that knocks Andre down. Right hand punches get to Andre. Is it time to worry? I worry. A good score for Kovalev.

Just into Round 3: Ward ties up Kovalev with a tackle, both boxers get a warning by the ref. Andre connects with a good jab, Sergey punches, backing up Ward. A clinch and some feinting closes the round. Kovalev looks the better fighter. I give another round to Sergey. Will this be Andre’s first loss? This ‘is’ only Andre’s second fight as a pro at Light Heavyweight.

Round 4: opens with some nice jabbing by Andre. Kovalev is not as aggressive this round, but he still connects cleanly, landing several hard. There’s good action by both boxers. Andre a bit more defensive. I’m calling it Even.

Andre is dancing around Kovalev this Round 5. He continues to use his jab while Sergey works the stomach. Andre lands a good body punch and after a jab he lands a right punch that make Kovalev feel it. Ward avoids a right. Andre takes this round; his first of the night that I give him.

This Round 6: Andre is looking better than the earlier ones. There are fewer punches thrown in the round. Kovalev lands several rights, Ward a nice body shot. Andre continues jabbing away. Call the round Even.

Round 7: has Andre getting 3 head jabs in a row, but Sergey is ok. The fighters trade a couple of good ones and at the end trade a left jab by Kovalev and a right by Ward. Andre is moving and boxing better and I give the round to Andre.

There seems to be more clutching going on here in the 8th Round. Some of the crowd boos the ref for allowing too much. Andre continues to move around, using his jab to good effect. Kovalev is jabbing more. He lands a left; Andre lands a hard right to Kovalev’s side. Ward looks more in command now, but
I call it Even

Round 9 has Andre showing more of his boxing skills; starting to outbox Kovalev. Sergey connects with a combination. Ward is working on the body more, but also lands some sharp rights. Kovalev bangs another combo and Andre taking punches fine. Andre wins another round.

The fighters are trading some decent punches here in Round 10, going back and forth, both landing counter punches. Kovalev looks like he is bleeding a little over his left eye. Andre is carrying his left down, without worry of Sergey. More punches by Andre are landing. Andre wins round and is winning the second half of this fight.

Round 11: opens with a hard left that moves Kovalev back. After a couple of jabs Kovalev puts a hard right to Andre’s jaw. Some more jabs and Ward connects a left to Kovalev’s jaw. Kovalev goes to the canvas with a push. Andre get a warning. Ward gets the round.

I’m thinking in this Round 12 that Kovalev will need to do some damage to win this fight and keep his belts. Andre goes forward, looking like the great fighter he is. Kovalev is carrying his hands down; he is tired from all the punching he has done. Referee warns Kovalev for a low blow, maybe two. As the round comes to a end Ward counters a right with a left blow to the body. I call this round Even

My score is 4 rounds even, 3 round to Kovalev, and 5 to Andre Ward, now Light Heavyweight Champion and Number 1 pound per pound. (Of course, I am a Andre Ward fan.)

All three judges scored it 114-113 for Ward. I would have not been surprised if it went the other way. It was a great fight and exciting. It was close.

Andre Ward Post Victory Quotes

“What a beautiful thing! We did it baby! It’s a lot of hardware. Surreal! This is what I set out to do. Now I’m a 5X World Champion in 2 weight classes. Man, it’s amazing!

“I thought I won and it sounded like fair scoring.

“Your last fight is always the most important. But I needed this.

“It was about those in the trenches moments. Sergey has no inside game. So my mid-range and inside game is what I focused on.

“After that second round knockdown, I think he (Kovalev) realized I wasn’t going anywhere and I was stepping on the gas.

“The new light heavyweight champion. That sounds good! This was my most important and satisfying win.

“Technically, there is always stuff I can pick apart. I’m not happy about that second round knockdown but I didn’t panic. I was at peace. Now, it was time to fight. It was a flash knockdown. I wasn’t hurt by it. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t hurt by anything he threw.”

VIRGIL HUNTER, Trainer of Andre Ward:

“This is a good feeling. We were careless with that knockdown but we landed the cleaner punches. Kovalev was aggressive but not effective and that’s why we got this win. I’m happy for Andre.”

JAMES PRINCE, Manager of Andre Ward:

“It went just like I said. We crowned David at the end of the night. And Andre would hold those belts up just like Goliath’s head.”

MICHAEL YORMARK, Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy:

“Great night! Great performance by Andre! Terrific fight by two great champions. It’s a great moment for Andre and his entire family. Roc Nation is very proud of what he accomplished tonight. On to the next one…”

Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward “Pound For Pound” Trainers Debate

ward-kovalev

LAS VEGAS, NV (November 17, 2016) – World renown trainers, John David Jackson and Virgil Hunter, squared off in a debate moderated by HBO Boxing Insider Kieran Mulvaney on Wednesday, Nov. 16, ahead of Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward “Pound For Pound” showdown on Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

John David Jackson is the trainer of WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs). Virgil Hunter is the trainer of Two-Time World Champion and 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs). Here is what the trainers had to say:

Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos

John David Jackson, Trainer of Sergey Kovalev:

“Alright, thank you very much it’s nice to have the press out here and I’m glad you made it out the Sergey Kovalev – Andre Ward fight is a fight that I am glad was made for a lot of reasons, but one reason is for the fans because this fight was deserved. In boxing today, there’s too many fights that aren’t being made these are the best fighters in the world so it definitely had to be made.

“Decline I say because when you look at his past (Ward’s) last five years and the way he dominated 168. He fought different fights and he fought a different way.

“In Andre I see many thing but you know what on that night they might not show. He may become totally different but we are prepared for what he brings to us.

“Andre has a lot of strengths. You know when you look at him or when you really study him he’s a well schooled fighter he listens to everything Virgil preaches and he definitely absorbs it. The one beautiful thing I’ve noticed from that is he trusts Virgil. When you trust your trainer that speaks volumes for you, you listen to everything he tells you to do, so any game plan that Virgil advises he’s gonna follow.

“I really studied Andre these past few weeks I have a great appreciation for what he does because looked and I said you know what his style was similar to mine. I was busy in my fights, I was very captivated in my moves, I set traps for my opponents. As soon as I sat down and recognized what he does, I like what he (Ward) does he’s very smart.

“Once I really sat down and studied Andre and Virgil I had to sit back and give them all the credit they deserve I kinda sold them short a couple years back.

“He don’t need to worry about the knockout if the knock come it come but if it doesn’t we are prepared to go 12 hard rounds to get the victory by decision.

“We knew going in that this was the fight that would make Sergey a household name his names good but being in a fight with a name like Andre ward makes it even better.

Virgil Hunter, Trainer of Andre Ward:

“Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward ‘Pound For Pound’ is going to be a historical initiation. As far as preparing for this fight, we’ve been preparing for it from the first time that he started boxing.

“Each fighter is different but you have the masses, the critics who need to be impressed by a certain way that a victory comes up. We came out of the garage from a one-and-a-half-year layoff and fought Sullivan Barrera. He was the number one contender at the time, so it was a dangerous fight until the fight was over, then Barrera was garbage. Nobody is ever going to be satisfied. That’s just the nature of the game so you have to be satisfied with yourself.

“I’m very attuned to body language, I’m very attuned to tone of voice, and from what I hear, from what I see, it’s safe to say that there is a lot of disarray in that camp. What I mean by that is I don’t even know if Coach Jackson is getting the respect he is due in that camp but time will tell. For instance, why do we have to make an excuse for Kovalev in Russia for selling tickets and things. Don’t you have a team who could have taken care of that? You’re supposed to have a team to take care of that to take the pressure off the fighter.

“I believe somebody probably told Kovalev to say that Ward is a dirty fighter because you go eight, nine weeks and all of a sudden he is a dirty fighter? Kovalev will learn, one day, to not be everyone’s robot and do what they tell and ask him to do. He does it because he’s loyal. It doesn’t even sound like him. That’s not him saying that. That’s not in his character. That is his promoter saying that. It’s nothing but if he kicks Ward, he’ll get kicked back. Simple as that.

“We know Kovalev is a dangerous fighter, we give him all he’s due. I give Coach Jackson all he’s due. The coaching fraternity is a very tough fraternity. We are the first ones to get the blame. The fighter never takes full responsibility for his shortcomings. The fighter always has other people in his ear, telling him there is a better way, so I understand what he goes through as a coach.

“I just want the best Andre Ward and the best Sergey Kovalev. If Kovalev wins the fight, my respect goes out to him. If we win the fight, my respect goes out to him because they can’t be great unless they fight each other. Sometimes two people come out of that situation looking great. I wish the best to both of them regardless of what happens.

“‘Do I believe that Ward will exhibit mental toughness? Yes, without a doubt. Do I believe that Kovalev will exhibit it? I’m sure he will as well, and that’s the making of a great fight.”

Kovalev vs. Ward “Pound For Pound”, a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and is sponsored by the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Corona Extra, Monster Products, JetLux, Zappos, Jordan Brand and Shoe Palace. The championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.

Grand Arrival, Las Vegas – Kovalev-Ward

KOVALEV-WARD “POUND FOR POUND” SET FOR SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 AT T-MOBILE ARENA IN LAS VEGAS, NEVADA PRESENTED LIVE BY HBO PAY-PER-VIEW®

LAS VEGAS, NV (November 16, 2016) – WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) and Two-Time World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) made their grand arrivals at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Nov. 15, ahead of their ultimate showdown on Saturday, Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Kovalev vs. Ward “Pound For Pound”, a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and is sponsored by MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Corona Extra, Monster Products, JetLux and Zappos. The championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.

Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos

Kevin Durant Visits Andre Ward’s Training Camp Ahead ofFight

Taking advantage of Golden State Warriors’ home stretch, NBA All-Star Kevin Durant visited fellow Roc Nation Sports athlete Andre Ward at his training camp on Wednesday, as he prepares for upcoming fight of the year, Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward “Pound For Pound” on Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena, distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.

The Two-Time World Champion was seen courtside at Oracle Arena on Nov. 3, cheering on his hometown Warriors and friends, in a much anticipated matchup against 2015 postseason rivals, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Photo credit: Khristopher Sandifer/Roc Nation Sports

Kovalev vs. Ward “Pound For Pound”, a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and is sponsored by the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Corona Extra, Monster Products, JetLux and Zappos. The championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.

Follow the conversation using #KovalevWard.