*Folks, let me start off by saying that if there was any doubt in your mind that Andre Ward was capable of showing us why he deserved to be crowned the number one pound per pound king, the performance that he displayed in his fight with Sergey Kovalev that took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas this past weekend certainly put all those doubts to rest.
The last time these two got together it turned into a very grueling twelve round match in which Ward got dropped in the second round, but got right up and into the fight that went the full distance. And even though he ended up winning by a unanimous decision, there were quite a few ring observers felt that Kovalev really won the fight.
This time around things got off very different from the opening bell as Ward showed off his superb boxing skills landing his stiff jabs upstairs and going constantly to the body downstairs, and making sure this time that he didn’t make any mistakes.
And with this relentless assault continuing to take it’s full effect it all became a bit too much for Kovalev to take. And at two minutes and some change in the eighth round, referee Tony Weeks decided that he had seen enough and stepped in to call a halt to the bout.
Folks, I got to tell you something. I’ve been around the sport of boxing since the early eighties when I was blessed to be at the Roberto Duran vs Wilfredo Benitez match that took place at the old Ceasars Palace Sports Pavillion in Lsa Vegas and I was fortunate to be present when Larry Holmes fought Gerrie Cooney, Tyson vs Holifield I and II, Bowe vs Holified, Michael Dokes vs Mike Weaver, De La Hoya vs Whitaker, I could go on and on, but I think I’ve said enough about all that.
I’ve seen a whole lot through my relationships with various boxing figures like Don King, Bob Arum, and the late Dan Goossen who promoted Andre Ward after he won the gold medal in the Olympics and became professional. And I’ve never seen a fighter quite so rooted and grounded spiritually as him in the sport. He has managed to remain humble and focused throughout all that he has been faced with, and he deserves to be in the position that he’s in now.
At the post fight press conference he was asked what he would like to do next and he replied that he might consider going up in weight and fighting cruiserweight, or even heavyweight if it all made sense. As I always say, we’ll see what happens. My hat certainly goes off to him for all that he has accomplished so far.
“When the tide goes out, that’s when you’ll find out who’s been swimming naked”- Warren Buffett
Mohammed Mubarak with Gerrie Cooney at Ceasars Palace in June 1982