Kovalev-Ward II: The Hate that Hate Produced

Kovalev-Ward II: The Hate that Hate Produced

By Hector Franco

Editor's note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author(s) and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of FrontProof Media, the FrontProof Media staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

April 5, 2017


Andre Ward won a controversial decision over Sergey Kovalev last November. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Andre Ward won a controversial decision over Sergey Kovalev last November. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

After much speculation and uncertainty, the rematch between Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) and Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) has been signed, sealed, and delivered. The fight will take place on June 17th at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The venue is smaller than the T-Mobile Center that held the first match last November. Big fights such as the Oscar De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad welterweight unification bout took place at the Mandalay Bay. 

As soon as the scorecards were read awarding Ward the controversial unanimous decision the only thought on the minds of boxing fans was when the rematch would be taking place. The scores highlighted how controversial the fight was as Kovalev lost only by one point on each of the judge's scorecards after having scored a knockdown and seemingly dominating the first half of the match. Afterward, Ward spoke to some publications about the thought of retiring and leaving boxing altogether. Now that the rematch has been officially announced the full attention can be put on what will happen inside the ring rather than outside the ropes. 

The first fight between Kovalev and Ward highlighted the large division between boxing fans that has a strong racial component. Art imitates life, and in America, race and racism have always divided people. Maybe more so with a lack of discussion and understanding having caused more derision. Regardless, lines have been drawn within the Kovalev-Ward fight. This has brought fans to create correlations between how one scores a fight and their race and political values. 

In this era, one does not need to be able to write an article to cover a sport. All you need is a social media account on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter. Anyone can cover the sport that has an agenda against certain fighters or fans of certain fighters. Racism takes place on the front stage and the backstage. The Internet has allowed many to express their often racist opinions publicly while hiding behind a screen name or Twitter handle.  This has led to more hatred being spewed between fans. 

This hatred between boxing fans has stemmed over to the fighters themselves. No one would have considered Kovalev and Ward friends before their first fight, but there seemed to be a mutual respect between the two. The rematch will be different; the level of respect has gone down the drain. Both men have gone to social media expressing their thoughts on the match. Many may remember that Ward as the challenger had the higher purse in the first fight. Now that Ward is going into the fight as the champion the difference in purses may be greater than the first time. 

For Kovalev, this was inconsequential as the important aspect was to get the fight signed so he can get Ward back in the ring. The Russian was never known as a nice fighter before facing Ward and now with the added motivation to win back his titles against a man he doesn’t particularly care for makes him dangerous. Going into the rematch, with Kovalev the 2004 Olympic gold-medalist could be the underdog for the first time since facing Mikkel Kessler (46-3, 35 KOs) in 2009. There was a perception that Ward was the better boxer between the two but through long stretches of the first fight, Kovalev was able to out jab Ward. Ward isn’t the bigger puncher, and Kovalev could equal him in boxing ability. 

The build-up and the press conferences for the rematch should be interesting. The tension between the two camps could be as high as boxing fans have seen in quite a while. The first fight showed how hatred could spill over to fans and the fighters themselves. Without a clear winner in the rematch, hate will be stronger than love when it comes to Kovalev, Ward, and boxing fans. 

Below is a look at a tally of boxing media that scored the first Kovalev-Ward fight. 

46 Scores for KOVALEV = 73%
16 Scores for WARD = 25%
1 Score for a DRAW = 2%
Shaun Brown (TalkingBoxing.uk): 115-112 Kovalev
Harold Lederman (HBO): 116-111 Kovalev
Chris Mannix (Yahoo Sports): 115-112 Kovalev
Boxhard Podcast: 115-113 Kovalev
Dan Rafael (ESPN): 115-112 Kovalev
Andy Paterson (Boxing Asylum): 114-113 Kovalev
Cliff Rold (Boxingscene): 115-112 Kovalev
Daniel Vano (Checkhookboxing): 114-113 Kovalev
WorldBoxingNews: 114-113 Ward
Lance Pugmire (LA Times): 115-112 Kovalev
Ryan Burton (Boxingscene): 115-113 Kovalev
Kevin Iole (Yahoo Sports): 114-113 Ward
Daniel Attias (AUSboxing) : 114-113 Kovalev
Victor M Salazar (Boxingscene): 115-112 Kovalev
Scott Christ (BadLeftHook): 115-112 Kovalev
Wolfgang Schiffbauer (German Freelancer): 114-113 Ward
Beau Denison (The Boxing Truth): 114-113 Kovalev
Ramon Aranda (3MoreRounds): 114-113 Ward
Brian Campbell (ESPN): 114-113 Ward
Gareth A Davies (The Telegraph): 115-112 Kovalev
Boxing Monthly Online: 114-113 Kovalev
Kevin McRae (Bleacher Report): 115-112 Kovalev
Steve Zemach ( FoxSports640): 115-112 Kovalev
Bernardo Osuna (ESPN Deportes): 115-113 Kovalev
Mark Ortega (Freelance): 115-112 Ward
Michael Montero (Montero On Boxing): 116-111 Kovalev
Mike Coppinger (USA Today): 114-113 Ward
Ben Weismann (BoxingAsylum): 114-113 Kovalev
Tom Craze (BadLeftHook): 116-111 Ward
Danny Richardson (Script Media): 115-112 Ward
Jorge Hernandez (SW Fight): 115-112 Kovalev
Tim Starks (Queensberry Rules): 115-112 Kovalev
The Guardian Online: 115-112 Kovalev
New York Post Online: 114-113 Ward
G. Leon (Boxtalk): 114-113 Kovalev
Tim Dahlberg (AP): 116-111 Kovalev
Fraser Coffeen (Bloody Elbow): 115-112 Kovalev
Steve Kim (UCN Live): 115-112 Kovalev
Bokser.org: 115-112 Kovalev
Bob Velin (USA Today): 114-113 Kovalev
FightersRated: 115-112 Kovalev
LA Times Online: 114-113 Ward
Allan Fox (Boxingnews24): 117-110 Kovalev
Kieran Mulvaney (HBO): 114-113 Kovalev
Ron Borges (Boston Herald): 116-114 Kovalev
Tony Bellew (Sky Sports): 114-114 DRAW
Eric Raskin (HBO): 114-113 Kovalev
Heavy Bag Boxing: 115-112 Kovalev
Andrew Harrison (Boxing Monthly): 117-111 Kovalev
Stephen A Smith (ESPN): 114-113 Kovalev
Paul Smith Jnr (Sky Sports): 116-113 Ward
John Angus MacDonald (Boxing Monthly): 114-113 Kovalev
Adam Abramowitz (Saturday Night Boxing): 115-112 Ward
Mark Butcher (Boxing Monthly): 114-113 Ward
Doug Fischer (Ring Magazine): 117-110 Kovalev
Alex Morris (Next Big Pod): 114-113 Kovalev
Queensberry Rules: 115-112 Kovalev
Danny Winterbottom (Boxing Monthly): 114-113 Kovalev
Tom Gray (Ring Magazine): 116-115 Ward
Sam Sheppard (Next Big Pod): 115-112 Kovalev
Bobby Davis (The13thRound): 116-111 Kovalev
Ken Pollitt (The13thRound): 114-113 Ward


(Feature Photo: Ed Mulholland/HBO)

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