Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev: The Boxing Fight of the Decade
Boxing has been in a dearth of compelling match-ups for quite some time. While Pacquiao and Mayweather did eventually face each other in the ring, it was roughly five years too late and the exposing of Pacquiao by Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley diluted Mayweather's chance to be the first to kill the hype.
On November 19th, Andre Ward will face Sergey Kovalev in what will undoubtedly be the most exciting fight of the decade. Andre Ward is a gold medalist who has never lost in the ring and is considered by most to have been the #2 pound-for-pound fighter behind Mayweather. While Andre "Son of God" Ward has a similar, pure boxing, style of fighting of Mayweather, he always lacked the larger than life persona that turned every Mayweather fight into a P.T. Barnum spectacle.
Sergey Kovalev, on the other hand, is a boxer-puncher who has bludgeoned his way through the ranks and has the notoriety of being a fighter others avoid at all costs. His dissection of all-time great Bernard Hopkins showed that Kovalev has a style that may be able to penetrate a pure, defensive minded boxer whom usually are enigmas to forward moving fighters such as Kovalev.
'Styles make fights' as they say, and this fight is the epitome of that maxim. Unfortunately, these two fighters, who have destroyed and dominated their respective divisions don't have the marketability that is imperative to boxing promotion today.
Fair-weathered fans want a narrative, a good vs evil dichotomy that they can latch onto and identify in some nebulous way. There is nothing in Ward vs Kovalev that has that ready-made story.
What we have is no less than Hagler vs Sugar Ray Leonard for the next generation. This fight is an argument, a response to the Four Horseman fighters of the eighties and is, in my humble opinion, the most exciting fight to remind people of the beauty of the 'gentleman's sport'.