Since Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s recent win over Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev on November 2nd for the latter’s WBO Light Heavyweight title belt Alvarez has now challenged Andre “S.O.G.” Ward to come out of retirement after 28 months of inactivity. Some challenge.
This writer felt both Alvarez, 53-1-2 and Ward, 32-0, have both fought and defeated Kovalev so to make a comparison is the object of this article. I didn’t feel Ward deserved the decision in the first fight. In reviewing the fight I counted 46 times that Ward forced a clinch to under 10 by Kovalev without being losing a point by referee Robert Byrd. All 3 judges, Bert A. Clements, John McKaie and Glenn Trowbridge scored it 114-113 for Ward. I the referee had taken at least one point from Ward for holding it would have been a draw. Normally after 3 warnings a fighter loses a point. The bout took place in November 2016.
In the rematch which warranted a rematch due to the closeness of the fight not the quality Kovalev was hit low 3 times by Ward. The fourth time it was border punch dropping Kovalev in pain. In reviewing it I felt Ward should have been DQ’d. Referee Tony Weeks didn’t take a single point from Ward and ruled the final punch was above the trunks. Needless to say both fights were in Las Vegas, a city this writer feels has more controversy with officials than any in the country. This bout took place in June of 2017. Ward immediately retired.
Now after 28 months since his retirement Ward is working for one of the networks so of course Ward isn’t coming out of retirement. I was surprised Alvarez is staying at 175 having won the WBA 168 title stopping Rocky Fielding, 27-1, in 3 rounds at MSG in New York and dropping back to 160 to defend his 3 titles in May of 2019 defeating Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 35-2, in Las Vegas. Judges Glen Feldman had it 116-112, while both Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld had it 115-113.
In the Kovalev fight which was ended in the 11th round I had Kovalev ahead while the judges Julie Lederman and Dave Moretti had it 96-94 and Don Trella 95-95. I also felt that Alvarez put his left forearm in front of the eyes of Kovalev and came down with a chopping right hand that Kovalev didn’t see which is fair to do. This bout also took place in Las Vegas.
Alvarez is 14-1-1 in Las Vegas drawing with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in September of 2017 in a highly controversial decision that seemed to be a sure win by Golovkin. This brought about the rematch. I had Golovkin ahead by 4 points. The judge Adalaine had Alvarez ahead 118-110 and should have been suspended but was right back judging a month later. Dave Moretti gave it to Golovkin 115-113 while Don Trella scored it 114-114. The only time Alvarez lost in Las Vegas is when Floyd “Money” Mayweather gave him a boxing lesson over 12 rounds in which this writer didn’t give Alvarez a round in the fight back in September of 2013 scoring it 120-118. Judge Craig Metcalfe had it 117-111 while Dave Moretti scored it 116-112 and CJ Ross 114-114.
In the rematch with a new trainer Golovkin decided to box unlike in their first fight whereas he had Alvarez running in the last 7 rounds not willing to mix it up. Even though I had Golovkin ahead by 2 points in the rematch though when it was over I thought “now it will probably be a draw”, I could see it have ended in a draw.
The bottom line is Alvarez should challenge one of the other light heavyweight champions instead of someone not ranked like Ward. Artur Beterbiev, 15-0, just added the WBC title to his IBF title defeating Oleksandr Gvozdyk, 17-1, October 18th in Philly. Dmitry Bivol, 17-0, is the WBA light heavyweight champ who has said he would fight Alvarez. Bivol defeated Lenin Castillo in October in Chicago in his most recent defense.
Alvarez brings in the money but who wants to fight him in Las Vegas?