Kovalev says he’s signed contract for Ward rematch
By Allan Fox: Sergey Kovalev has announced that he’s signed his part of the rematch contract for his return fight against IBF/IWBA/WBO Andre Ward on Tuesday of this week. Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) says he’s now only waiting for Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) to sign his portion of the contract for the rematch to be on. Kovalev and Ward will be fighting on June 17 on HBO pay-per-view at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada .
The two of them fought each other late last year with Ward winning a questionable 12 round unanimous decision on November 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kovalev appeared to do the better work, but Ward turned the fight into a wrestling match and was able to win by the scores 114-113, 114-113 and 114-113.
“Couple days ago I have signed a new memo for rematch which was (sent) to me by Roc Nation,” said Kovalev on Twitter. “Still waiting on Son of Judges to sign it.”
This is definitely good news that the contract has been signed on one end. Kovalev at least found the terms for the rematch good enough for him to sign for the rematch. Kovalev recently said that Ward wanted new terms for the rematch, even though the rematch terms were already in the original contract for their first fight last November. There was a rematch clause for the fight.
Kovalev knocked Ward down in round 2 of their fight last November. It appeared that Kovalev had too much power and offensive skills for Ward in the first two rounds of the fight. However, Ward went to a Plan-B in turning the fight into a grappling contest by going to the inside and wrestling Kovalev for the next 10 rounds. The referee working the fight just stood and watched the wrestling and didn’t take points off from Ward. The referee didn’t do much in the way of separating the fighters.
It was prolonged mauling for 3 minutes of every round. It was hard to watch. As a boxing and MMA fan, I thought it was boring to watch for either sport, because all the wrestling got in the way of action. The referee probably should have taken points off from Ward in my opinion for the prolonged wrestling. At the very least, the referee could have done a much better job of separating the two because there wasn’t much fighting going on. It was just long periods of grappling.
I don’t think Kovalev realized what kind of fight it would be because he did not look prepared for the wrestling tactics from Ward. If Kovalev had studied Ward’s hardest fights of his career against Sakio Bika and Carl Froch, he would have seen the tactics that he would likely use on him and he could have been better prepared.
In a surprise move earlier this week, Ward was elevated to No.1 in Ring Magazine’s pound for pound ratings despite the controversy from his previous fight against Kovalev. Ring needed a replacement for the previous No.1 pound for pound fighter Roman Gonzalez, who had lost a close 12 round decision last Saturday night to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. What’s interesting is that Ring Magazine didn’t elevate unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin to the No.1 spot.
It would have made more sense to some boxing fans if Golovkin were given the No.1 spot, because his win last Saturday night against Daniel Jacobs was less controversial than Ward’s win over Kovalev. Golovkin didn’t maul Jacobs on the inside for the last 10 rounds like Ward did with Kovalev. Golovkin was landing jabs and power shots all night long and not holding and grappling. Kovalev is currently No.2 in Ring Magazine’s pound for pound list.