Fight of The Year, Decade or Century?
Boxing is a lowly sport some say.
Yet in the amateur ranks,with the Princely sounding Queens berry rules to guide us,Boxing is defined as the Noble Art of Self Defense.
Perhaps the stigma of being paid to fight,the derogatory name of “Prize fighter”,or the Cock fights and Dogs fights in Pits a long time ago in old U.S.A for betting money all added up to make Boxing a lowly sport.
Bull fighting is also termed lowly,while Golf is Regal.Lawn Tennis too perhaps.
A Boxer’s life is tough.
At the very highest level the stakes are high,Tens of Millions of United States Dollars may be earned,Hundreds of Millions of United States Dollars even,in one instance last year,but a defeat,two defeats then lead to a down ward spiral whereby a Champion (Titlist) becomes a “Gate Keeper”,then a “Journey man” then a “Washed up” fighter.
There is risk of injury,deaths have occurred,grievous brain injuries too.Sad but reality.
Football is by comparison a safe heaven.Teams can loose as many times as circumstances permit and still remain relevant.Teams with little or no hopes have won Championships,Premierships.
Then again the fact that Football is a team event helps,Players are supported by team mates,losses and wins are shared,the agony of defeat not as real as a beat down in Boxing.
Several Great boxers have retired after a beat down: Michael Spinks after Mike Tyson,Nassim Ahmed after Marco Antonio Barrera,Felix Trinidad after Bernard Hopkins,although he later came back.Many more,but Footballers lose,and a week later are back to contend.
Enough said; This Saturday the two best Boxers,Pound for Pound in the World will do battle.
Fight will be in the Light Heavy Weight,175 Pounds,79.54 Kg maximum weight category.
Light Heavy weights are next to Cruiser Wieights who in turn are next to Heavy weights.
Light Heavy weights are above Super Middle Weights,who in turn are above Middle weights,then Light Middle,Welter Weight and so on.
Floyd Mayweather was a Welter weight ideally although he started off as a Light Weight.
Manny Pacman started off as a Fly weight.
So why do I think this fight may well be the Fight of the Century?:
Well for one the immense talents involved,but more importantly the complications!.
Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman to me qualified as a fight of the decade.Not so much due to the actions,but to the intrigues in the build up.
This same fight is same and more.Much more.
Andre Ward is incredibly talented.Not a puncher,not a knock out man,not a Mike Tyson,not a Roy Jones Junior,but a package as total and complete as no other.
Sergey Kovalev is another incredible talent.A knock out king,with good enough boxing skills.
A boxer is like a Floyd Mayweather or Mohammad Ali.A puncher is like a Mike Tyson,a slugger is like a George Foreman.
Fights between boxers and Punchers or sluggers are the stuff of Legends and fights of the year,decade,Century.
Ward the Boxer,moving up in weight vs Kovalev the Puncher-Boxer,a wicked combination.
Purists think Andre Ward has the edge.
The casual observers think Kovalev has the edge.
I am worried that inactivity may have eroded Ward’s incredible skills,or at least reduced his leg movements.
If stationary,(the way Ali was stationary against Foreman),Kovalev,with better boxing skills than Foreman,will capitalize and may hurt Ward.
My mind goes back to about Two years ago,when Kovalev fought Bernard Hopkins.The same feelings I had then are coming back: I hope Ward does not get really hurt,or beaten down.
Ward could win,could slow down the fight and win.But then again he could get hurt,get knocked out.
For once in a long while,I see a fight that could swing to one of two extremes: an Andre Ward win on Points or a Kovalev Knock out win,or a Kovalev points win due to a hurt,ineffectual Ward.
Before Mike Tyson and Michael Spinks almost Thirty years ago,Twenty Eight years ago actually,I thought along same lines.A Spinks points win or …..
The result of that fight,and the memories and records,will haunt the Great Michael Spinks all the days of his life.
Photo Credit :- Boxing Betting, Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev Odds