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Kovalev vs. Ward: Everything You Must Know About the Monumental Fight

KovalevWardFightEdit Small
Graphic by Liam Brady/Round By Round Boxing

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) and Andre “SOG” Ward (30-0-0, 15 KOs) are finally set to clash this weekend.

The pound-for-pound matchup is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and is sponsored by the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Corona Extra, Monster Products, JetLux and Zappos.

Read below to find out everything you need to know about Kovalev-Ward including the date, time, viewing platforms, betting odds and more!

Let us know who you think will win between Kovalev and Ward and if the winner should be crowned the new pound-for-pound king of boxing!


When Is the Fight?

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Graphic by Liam Brady/Round By Round Boxing

Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward is set to take place this Saturday, November 19, 2016. The fight begins at 9:00 pm, EST / 6:00 pm, PST.

Who Is the Champion?

Sergey Kovalev vs. Isaac Chilemba - Alexandr SafonovChampionat (37)
Photo by Alexandr Safonov/Championat

The 12-round mega-fight between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward will be contested for Kovalev’s WBO, IBF and WBA Light Heavyweight titles.

How Can I Watch Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward?

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Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward and its three undercard fights will be shown live on HBO Pay-Per-View in the United States.

The telecast will begin at 9:00 pm, EST / 6:00 pm, PST.

In the UK, Kovalev vs. Ward can be seen live on Sky Sports.

Who Else Is Fighting On the Card?

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Photo by Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Roc Nation Sports

The Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward undercard will feature Isaac Chilemba vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Maurice Hooker vs. Darleys Perez and Curtis Stevens vs. James De la Rosa.

HBO passed on the opportunity to broadcast Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas in favor of Kovalev vs. Ward so it’ll be interesting to see the fan reaction to this undercard.

On the non-televised portion of the card, two-time Olympic gold medal winner, Claressa Shields will make her pro debut against Franchon Crews.

How to Follow Round By Round Boxing’s Fight-Night Coverage

Kovalev vs. Ward Live Blog
Graphic by Liam Brady/Round By Round Boxing

Get all of your Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward updates and results by clicking here.

Where Is the Fight?

The Light Heavyweight class between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward will be take place at the at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Tickets are available on AXS.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.

What Are the Fighters Saying?

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Photo by Porfirio Barron Jr./Round By Round Boxing

Sergey Kovalev:

My tough life and how I grew up has helped me mentally. It has given me what I have right now. I got it all from Russia. America gave me the opportunity to show this. It’s two great countries for me. I love both of these countries. I have two houses, one in Russia, one in America.I will try to make a very interesting fight and kick his ass. He’s in my way now. I must clear the way to my dreams. I want to fight more and more fights. If Andre Ward will win this fight, the whole boxing world will lose. They won’t see interesting fights in the future. He’s a very boring fighter to boxing fans. If I win, I will show great fights again. If Ward wins, boxing fans will get boring fights in the future.”

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Photo by Porfirio Barron Jr./Round By Round Boxing

Andre Ward:

I am not putting too much stock in anything that he does well or does not do well. He is going to be the best version of himself Saturday night and I am just prepared for war. Whatever it is going to take to leave with those three titles and become a five-time world champion, is what I am willing to do. I would not say [it will be] a street fight. I don’t know how much of a street fight he is really going to want when the fight really starts. Just like the mistake that a lot of my opponents have made, he has this type of fighter that he thinks he is going to be fighting, and it is going to be different than what he thinks. He is a big bully and he talks a good game.”

Who Is the Betting Favorite?

 Bernard HopkinsJoe Smith Jr.
Record55-7-2, 32 KOs22-1, 18 KOs
Age5227
Height6'1"6'0"
Reach75"N/A
Weight175175
StanceOrthodoxOrthodox
HometownPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaLong Island, New York
AliasThe Executioner / The AlienThe Irish Bomber
Rounds Boxed43173

Sergey Kovalev’s Last Five Fights

Sergey Kovalev vs. Nadjib Mohammedi - Will Hart
Photo by Will Hart

 Jermall CharloJulian Williams
Record24-0, 18 KOs22-0-1, 14 KOs
Age2626
Height6'0"5'11"
Reach73½"72½"
Weight154154
StanceOrthodoxOrthodox
HometownHouston, TexasPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Rounds Boxed106123

Andre Ward’s Last Five Fights

Andre Ward v Alexander Brand Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Image
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

CategoryOleksandr UsykThabiso "The Rock" Mchunu
Age2928
Record10-0 (9 KOs)17-2 (11 KOs)
StrengthUsyk has knockout power in both hands and is a tremendous pressure fighter. He possesses possibly the most dangerous left hand in the division, as well as a jab that is consistently at work.Thabiso may have the fastest hands in the division. He throws lightning quick combinations and is a dangerous counter-puncher. He is also quick on his feet, making it very difficult to land clean.
WeaknessAlthough he had an extensive amateur career, he has just 10 pro fights under his belt. A majority of his bouts took place in Ukraine; this will be the first on US soil, where the crowd support may not be as much as he is accustomed to.Mchunu's stamina has gotten him into trouble in the past, most notably in his 2015 title eliminator bout with Illunga Makabu, a bout in which he was ahead on all cards before running out of steam in the championship rounds. 
ExperienceOleksandr has plenty of amateur experience, accumulating over 400 bouts and a 2012 gold medal at the Summer Olympics. He has only had 10 professional bouts, but in his most recent fight he won the WBO Cruiserweight title from Krzysztof Glowacki.The Rock has almost double the professional fights under his belt compared to his opponent. Along the way he has defeated credible opposition in former title contenders Eddie Chambers and Olanrewaju Durodola.
Power The Ukranian's power has been a force thus far in his young career. He delivers a relentless body attack and a ferocious left hand that can end the fight at any time.Mchunu has solid power that is primarily based off of his speed. His power will be felt most when he unloads his combinations.
SpeedUsyk has above average speed, both in his hands and his feet. He keeps a steady and consistent pace throughout the fight and really turns it up a notch when going for the finish.Thabiso's speed is his strongest attribute; he is very agile in the ring. His cat-like reflexes make it very difficult for his opponents to connect and steer clear of his counter-punches.
EnduranceUsyk may have a slight edge in endurance regardless of having only 10 pro bouts. He was forced to go the distance for the first time in his most recent bout for the WBO Cruiserweight title. He was able to go a full 12 rounds and earn a decision win in enemy territory.Mchunu's endurance has been his kryptonite thus far in his career. He will need to maintain a steady and consistent pace in this bout considering the relentless attack that his opponent is known to deliver. 
AccuracyUsyk has solid accuracy; he keeps his jab productive all night. He has been very effective in breaking his opponents down with his in-your-face style. Mchunu picks his shots wisely and is not known to waste punches. His accuracy could be on full display if he can get on the inside and unleash his quick combinations. 
DefenseUsyk's best defense is his rigorous offensive attack. He has made it very difficult for any of his prior opponents to get going offensively. Mchunu's defense is one of his finest traits as a fighter. His agility and quick reflexes make it difficult for any fighter to feel comfortable offensively.  
ChinUsyk proved in his last bout that he can take a shot. He took hard punches from Glowacki for 12 rounds and was able to stand his ground and deliver more of his own.Thabiso has been stopped twice in his career, with one of those stoppages coming against former title contender Illunga Makabu in 2015.
StyleOleksandr is an aggressive, in-your-face fighter who doesn't take his foot off of the gas all night. He is willing to take some to give some and will throw the whole kitchen sink in the process.Mchunu is a defensive-minded fighter who utilizes his hand speed and agility to keep his opponents guessing. He has also shown that he has no problem standing and trading shots with anyone in the division.
Crowd SupportUsyk has never fought in the US, but the hardcore fans in attendance will be familiar with him. Due to his exciting fighting style, those who do not know him may keep him on their radar by the night's end.Mchunu has fought in the US in the past and earned some big wins in the process. If he lets his hands go the way he has before, then he may very well share the crowd support here.
IntangiblesUsyk does not believe in tune-up bouts. He has been on a fast-track to the title since he turned pro and was thrown into the gauntlet to do so. Each of his opponents had winning records as well as more experience than him leading up to his bouts. With his first fight on US soil looming and the pressure to impress on HBO, he has chosen one of the more difficult fighters in the division to showcase his talents. He will face a young and experienced fighter who is hungry to get back on top and one who many believe to be the fastest cruiserweight in the world.Mchunu has earned big wins in his career, both on big stages and in front of live audiences. At the young age of 28, he has time to regroup and earn some easy wins until his name is called upon again. However, Mchunu accepted challenging fights his whole career and does not plan to stop now. There are less-challenging contenders in the division that he could have petitioned for, but he believes that he is the best cruiserweight in the world. He knows the fastest way to prove that is to defeat Oleksandr Usyk, who many believe is one of the best talents in the sport.
The Match-Up1. Will Usyk be able to handle the boxing ability of Mchunu?2. Will Mchunu be able to handle the power of Usyk?
3. Will Usyk be able to handle the pressure of fighting in the US and on HBO for the first time?4. Will Mchunu's stamina be a problem in this 12 round bout?

Tale of the Tape

Kovalev vs. Ward tale of the tape
Graphic by Liam Brady/Round By Round Boxing

Where Can I Read An In-Depth Breakdown?

Check out Merissa Dyer’s complete preview and prediction for Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward by clicking here.

Round By Round Boxing Staff Predictions

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Photo by Brant Wilson/Round By Round Boxing

Click here to read Round By Round Boxing’s staff predictions for Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas.

Who Are You Picking to Win?

 

Alejandro "Alex" Burgos is a former Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Round By Round Boxing. He is a professional blogger, SEO Consultant and Marketing Director at Capital Practice Consulting in Washington, DC.

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