Ward Stops Ravelo
By Jim Dower: Undefeated super middleweight prospect Andre Ward (16-0, 11 KOs) completely outclassed his opponent Jerson Ravelo (18-3, 12 KOs) stopping him in the 8th round of a scheduled 10-round bout on Friday night at the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal, in Georgetown, Cayman Islands. Ward, 24, the former 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist in the light heavyweight division, pretty much toyed with Ravelo for the entire fight before finally putting him away for good in the 8th round with a sweeping left hook, right hand combination to the head that sent Ravelo to the canvas.
Ravelo barely got to his feet and after receiving a standing eight count, the action was resumed. Ward, not wasting any time, landing six consecutive uninterrupted shots to the head at which time Ravelo’s corner threw in the towel and the fight was subsequently stopped by referee Steve Smoger at 2:27 of the 8th round.
Ward looked good for the most part in the 1st round, although a little dry and somewhat slow as far as his hand speed goes. Unlike some of the better super middleweights like Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler, Ward doesn’t look nearly as polished as either of them and seems to get by more on his basic boxing skills and a lot of ability.
Ravelo, 30, was rather a poor test in how good Ward is, for he only seemed to fight hard in the 1st round and after that he was essentially standing around and taking shots from Ward.
In both the 1st and 2nd, Ward mainly used his jab, hunting and pecking away at Ravelo’s body and head with it. Like I said, there wasn’t much coming back from Ravelo, who looked like a good fighter in appearance, but in terms of letting his hands go, it wasn’t happening for some reason. Without Ravelo throwing many punches, Ward seemed to be following his lead, fighting sparingly and picking his punches like he was playing chess with someone rather than boxing him.
In the 3rd round, both fighters barely threw anything at all and it was a boring round to watch because of it. At this point, I wasn’t even close to being impressed with Ward, who seemed to be a class below other good super middleweights like Allan Green, Librado Andrade and Carl Froch, to name just a few.
In the 4th and 5th rounds, there continued to be little in the way of action between the two fighters, though in fairness to Ward, Ravelo looked as if he didn’t want to be there. His whole body language seemed to indicate not being into the fight at all, and he often clinched Ward whenever he had an opportunity, which was quite often as it turns out. Ward only landed a handful of punches in the 6th round, hitting Ravelo with one shot at a time instead of throwing combinations. It looked bad, because Ward isn’t a knockout punches and he seemed to be loading up with shots, none of which seemed to faze Ravelo in the slightest.
In the 7th round, Ward seemed to get some fire under his backside finally, perhaps getting some useful advice between rounds by his trainer, for he landed a lot of punches in the round, a lot of powerful combinations especially down the stretch run in the round. In doing so, he looked good for the first time in the fight almost good enough to look like a legitimate top 20 contender. Not quite, though, he still appeared wide open in many of his attacks and would have likely paid for it big time against a fighter with more boxing skills than the limited Ravelo.
A short time into the 8th round, after controlling the opening minute of the round with ease, Ward nailed Ravelo with a huge left-right combination that dropped Ravelo to the canvas. The power that Ward had put on the shot was stunning, much more than he had on any of his other shots up to this point in the fight. It’s curious why he waited this long to show that kind of power, because I seriously doubt that Ravelo would have been able to stand up to shots like this in any of the other rounds of the fight.
After Ravelo, now badly hurt, got up off the canvas, the referee Steve Smoger checked him out and allowed the fight to continue. You could tell that Ravelo wasn’t going anywhere, that he would be getting knocked out if Ward even so much as breathed on him. That’s exactly what happened, as Ward unloaded with three separate combinations, left-right, left-right and left-right, which caused Ravelo’s corner to sail in the white towel in the ring.