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Kovalev vs. Ward: The rise of the true champion


By Yannis Mihanos: Light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward will be battling tonight on HBO pay-per-view. Grit, guts, iron will, hunger, these are some of the elements that a true champion has.

To be a champion you must face another champion, that’s one thing to consider. To be a true champion is slightly but significantly different. A true champion reacts different when under pressure.

This Saturday night a very much anticipated battle has most of the fans glued in their seats.

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30 -0-1, 26 KOs) and Andre “SOG” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) face each other tonight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Predictions for this fight are hard to make because these two, have the credibility of a true champion both in and out of the ring.

They both arose to stardom from very difficult upbringings and different backgrounds.
Each one for sure has his reasons to succeed. HBO’s latest 24/7 series explains a lot about this. So it’s not just another title on the line but much more.

On the line is the name of the true champion.

If you ask me to predict who’s going to win the fight I will be forced to enter into the same territories that so many others have gone before and honestly is unfair.

It’s unfair to take sides, that will do a massive injustice for both of these fighters that I have the outmost respect.

Kovalev is a killing machine but is not a reckless fighter, a go for the kill kind of guy, he can wait for the right time like he did against Hopkins and then unleash one of his crushing punches.

Ward is a great student of the sweet science of boxing when he fights he choreographs. He is a true artist.

But most of all, this fight is not about my personal preferences or predictions, what I would really love to see in this fight is the reaction of the true champion.
Because it’s not just who wins here. No sir. That’s going to happen anyway. At the end of the day one will win and one will lose. That’s not the point that I want to make.

If let’s say Ward gets hit by a mighty blow I want to see how he reacts, how and if he gets up from a knock down, how he beats the count and continues. That shows what he is made of.

Same reaction about a different thing I expect to see from Kovalev, if he gets out-boxed and outsmarted by the slick Ward I also want to see how he reacts, how he turns his frustration into a plan, how he turns his game from A to B or C.

Reaction to adversity is what makes true champions. This one of the most important things not just in boxing but in life in general.

So this is one thing that gets me so excited about this Saturday night. I’m sure you have your own reasons for watching it too.

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