Boxing

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Two Weeks Out: Ward Vs. Kovalev Rematch

What promises to be the fight of the year, Andre Ward versus Sergey Kovalev, will take place on June 17th at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Light-heavyweight boxers Andre “Son of God” Ward and Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev will go head-to-head once again after Ward beat Kovalev in a very close fight last November. Even though the judges came to a unanimous decision, there has still been talk about the fight being “close,” lending to it being considered a controversial win by Ward.
 
Ward has answered these comments by agreeing to a June rematch. In a phone interview with the L.A. Times, he stated, “This is necessary. This is….to set the record straight once and for all. It’s less about me. I’m secure with the first fight. It was no robbery. It was a close fight that I won.” Indeed the fight was close, with all three judges scoring the fight 114-113 in Ward’s favor, but many, including Kovalev, believe the win should have gone to the him instead. Insight into the fight has been brought to you by Chantilly Martial Arts.
 
Ward, who won a 2004 Olympic Boxing gold medal, announced his bid to rematch Kovalev back in April of this year, but Kovalev, who was undefeated until November’s upset delivered by Ward, states it was only a matter of time due to a rematch clause inserted into the original contract.
 
Ward does not seem worried at all about the rematch and insinuated in an interview with the L.A. Times that it has to do with the “mentality” and “heart of each fighter.” He furthered this notion by stating that he has learned a lot about Kovalev over the past several months by observing his behaviors and responses to adversity. Ward named these as weaknesses and stating bluntly he would be “tapping into that weakness from round one.”
 
Ward did not stop there. He went on to criticize Kovalev’s handling of defeat, stating he makes a lot of excuses, insinuating that it was this tendency in Kovalev that caused him to lose the fight last November. He then gave credit to his own trainer, Virgil Hunter, for instilling in him the drive and perseverance necessary to successfully navigate the tough parts of the fight to see things through to a win. Indeed, during November’s fight, things were not looking up for Ward in the second round, but he came back to earn a unanimous decision by three judges.
 
There is definitely a lot of tension between Ward and Kovalev. Kovalev believes he performed well enough in November’s match that he should have won and, apparently, many fans seated ringside, also, felt this way. To add insult to injury, Ward was a no show to a publicity interview with Kovalev on the HBO “Face Off with Max Kellerman.” Kovalev states he had taken time off of training to show up, only to find out it was postponed due to Ward’s absence.
 
Kovalev has responded to Ward’s agreement for a rematch by stating he “really hopes” that Ward will step back into the ring for the June rematch. He states his fans will see the “real Krusher” in this upcoming match, going on to insinuate that he has not performed at his optimal level in the last couple of fights. Kovalev stated in an interview, “For me, this rematch is very important as no other bout in my entire boxing career.”
 
CBS Sports deems Ward to be the “best pound-for-pound fighter,” but Kovalev follows this ranking closely at spot number four. It remains to be seen if Kovalev can redeem himself from the November 2016 upset. Adding to the excitement is Kovalev’s threat to end his career if he loses the rematch, according to TMZ, fueling Ward’s desire to put forth his best effort during the upcoming rematch. Ward states he is not threatened by Kovalev’s threats and states he “has big problems” come June.
 
Considering how close the original match was and how devoted each boxer is to his sport and to winning this rematch, no doubt this will be the fight of the year, if not the decade, with lots at stake for both boxers. Both are ready and willing to square off once again and it will, if nothing else, be a very exciting match up. The Andre Ward versus Sergey Kovalev rematch has been set for June 17th at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, but can also be seen on HBO pay-per-view.

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Mayweather V. McGregor Off Again?

It’s been several months now of non-stop on and off negotiations and speculation about whether or not Connor McGregor will actually end up squaring off in a boxing ring with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather. Last month, the story was that Dana White of the UFC had finally thrown his support behind the fight which was the one big snag in the whole process. So, it looked like it was finally going to happen pending all the details getting hammered out on paper. Now, we have reason to believe that it may not be that simple.
 
The story now is that the UFC and Dana White may be reconsidering their stance. This is because of the simple and very real possibility of McGregor choosing to stay with the WBC after the Mayweather fight due to the large discrepancy in the money he can earn in Boxing versus the money he can earn in the UFC. McGregor fought a couple of times last year in the UFC and earned 40 million dollars for those fights. For this one fight in boxing he would stand to earn 75 million which is almost double for one third of the fights.
 
Now, will McGregor stand to earn that sort of money in boxing no matter who he fights? No way. However, in regular fights against other lesser know but still big name fighters he would still pull in almost double what he was earning in the UFC. White and the UFC will now, likely, need a tangible reassurance that McGregor will in fact return to the UFC within a year of the Mayweather fight. This would most likely mean Conor re-signing with the UFC before the Mayweather fight is cleared with an allowance for him to participate in that fight as a special condition. He will also still need to pay White and the UFC a considerable sum of his earnings from the fight.
 
The question then becomes: What happens if McGregor does the impossible and beats Floyd Mayweather? Will there be a rematch? Will he get the chance to defend his title against other boxers in the future? Could he ever possibly split time between boxing and MMA? Only time will tell.
 

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Will Triple G Actually End Up Fighting Canelo?

There hasn’t been much in the way for Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez recently. Both fighters have been absolutely dominating their respective weight classes. Canelo at light middleweight and Triple G at middle weight. Less than ten pounds separate the two champions yet a fight between the two seems a distant possibility. Apparently, in order for a fight between the two to happen both would need to agree to fight at Golovkin’s weight of 160 pounds – no difficult feat for Canelo who walks around at 170 pounds. The issue, as always in the WBC, is money. Canelo’s team is concerned that the fighters might not be making their maximum purses if they decide to fight each other too soon.
 
Regardless, if the fight doesn’t happen it would surely hurt Canelo’s reputation in the boxing community at large because, since his loss to Floyd Maywheather in 2013, he has been often criticized for fighting down to opponents whereas a fight against Triple G would surely be a step up, not only in weight but also in stature for Canelo. Golovkin on the other hand would not suffer much criticism, if any because he has been making fights happen that fans have wanted his entire career. That almost cost him in his most recent bout against Daniel Jacobs which ended his eight year knock out streak but still ended up in a decision victory.
 
Both fighters can continue to act like their other upcoming fights really matter (and a few may, mainly for Golovkin) but the cold hard fact is this: Canelo Vs. Golovkin is the fight the whole boxing world is ready and quite eager to see. Canelo is set to square of with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr soon. Golovkin is set to fight Billy Joe Saunders in June. If they were to fight each other, September would be prime time for them to step into the ring finally.
 

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Nonprofit Organization Helps Keeps Kids Out Of Harms Way With Boxing

Beating Up Bad Habits is a local Boston-area boxing and community program that offers boxing instruction to kids and teens while also offering mentoring and whatever general help they may need. This program works much like the local boxing gym did in HBO’s The Wire where troubled youth were given a physical and emotional outlet to deal with their problems while simultaneously keeping them off the streets and away from trouble. The program was started by philanthropist David Villada and offers help to all children eight and above.
 
Villada says that he founded the program because he felt that he couldn’t stand on the sidelines while kids were out on the streets having their lives ruined by crime and the culture of the inner city. At the moment, he has seventy five children enrolled and almost fifteen percent of them are fighting amateur fights in the USA Boxing League currently. And that’s not even the most important part of all of this: almost all the kids enrolled in his program have shown positive increases in their grades and huge decreases in school absences.
 
That’s the real point of the program according to Villada – keeping kids in school and off of the streets. Since the tremendous success of his program has gained some national notoriety other similar programs are showing up all around the country. One such place is the Plano martial arts academy in Plano, Texas. Be sure to check around you locally for these gyms as they can always use volunteers and donations. For more information you can visit this link.
 

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Floyd Mayweather Jr has been pretty critical of knockout artist and fan favorite Gennady Golovkin recently and many people think that this is a clever way of Mayweather challenging the middleweight champ to a bout sometime in the not so distant future. This makes sense as the interest is no longer there for a second bout with Manny Paqiuao or Canelo Alvarez – Mayweather, by far, stands to make the most money coming back to fight Golovkin. Mayweather said of Golovkin:
 
“He’s a guy that is straight up and down. [He] Really [has] no special effects. He’s got good punching power, but no special effects. You guys already know what would have happened if it was me [facing Golovkin].”
 
Strong words for someone out of the fight game for over a year at this point. Nonetheless, this super-fight has already generated super amounts of interest from fans with trends on social media regarding the potential fight. It would be the ultimate end to Mayweather’s career to go out with a victory over the best knockout fighter since, arguably, Mike Tyson. It would also square Mayweather’s record away at 50-0.
 
Golovkin has yet to respond to Mayweather’s remarks but likely won’t in the near future being the man of few words he has always been. A fight between these two would truly be a clash between opposite ends of the spectrum both as fighters and as personalities. On Mayweather’s side you have the greatest defensive tactician that boxing has ever seen and who does half of his fighting out of the ring with words. On Golovkin’s side you have one of the best pure knockout champions who is as straight to the point with his boxing as he is with his simply worded press replies. A fight between these two could single-handedly revive the sport of boxing and would be quite the spectacle to watch.
 
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