Tag Archives: Sergei Kovalev

Say It Ain’t So~Just Another Joe Smith vs Sullivan Barrera

Last time he was in action, New York Local 66 Laborers Union member, Joe Smith Jr, 23-1, 19 KO, spectacularly knocked Bernard Hopkins completely out of the ring and out of boxing. Now, mysteriously, he’s assigned the formidable task of prevailing against Sullivan Barrera19-1, 14 KO,  this Saturday, July 15th in a return to the scene of his last spectacle, the Forum, Inglewood, California.


                               >>>>>Going>>>>> Going >>>>>


While I expect this to be a good fight between quality contenders, it’s very interesting in how Smith is being shunted aside after two of the hottest knockouts of 2016 as the away limited “away” fighter against the touted hometown heroes. Andre “Maternity” Ward was busy delivering the Kiss of Death to Boxing in his two matches with Sergey Kovalev, as Adonis Stevenson was busy fighting fringe contenders to pad out his bank account, and that title record that is looking smarter and smarter every day given how Kovalev and his promoter Main Events were treated by the Vega suits. They were near run out of town by horrific officiating in those two Ward bouts in spite of Kovalev’s fan friendly knockout fights that spiked interest in the moribund Lightheavy division.

“Just Another” Joe Smith leap frogged over his opposition to net a #4 Boxrec rating to Barrera’s #12 rating, so on paper this promises to be be a competitive bout, all dependant however by Barrera’s using his traditional come forward boxing style. The WBC International light heavyweight title bauble is the minor trifle being fought for.

I’m picking Joe, but Barrera could prove to be a banana peel and the officiating? These days you’d be better counting on a roll of the dice in a craps game than count on boxing officials. Sad indictment of a noble sport empowered with fair and equitable rules they seldom enforce except in favor of their orchestrated result…only in boxing! 

Andre the Ward of Oakland vs Alexander Brand?

Yupsir, the current #4 Ring P4P fighter is taking on his 5th unranked fighter in his division over the past 5 years, yet is still The Ring’s favorite son. That is to more precisely say that Andre Ward, 29-0, 15 KO, is a 85 to 1 favorite in the US over Alexander Brand,  25-1, 19 KO, Saturday, August 6th at the Oracle Arena, Oakland, California. In Europe the odds are even more stupendous, -10000, that is to say if you bet $10,000 on Ward, you win…pause for a gasp of disbelief…

……….$100, and even more outrageous is this acknowledged grotesque mismatch is on HBO, so who ever said boxing was dying?

I wasn’t even going to bother with this little doohickey until I heard about the improbable odds. Brand has fought 24 of his fights in Columbia against nobody that anyone in the US would ever recognize, mostly local clubfighter types. The only name on his record was in the US, a supermiddle prospect, Badou Jack, who won a spare split decision before being knocked out by a journeyman though he eventually came back to win a split for the WBC supermiddle title. So that’s pretty much it for career supermiddle Brand who is near 40 years of age, yet here he is on HBO, and who could have ever thunk such a thing up but boxing?

Son of Who?

Son of Who?

As to Ward, it seems clear he no longer wants to compete at the high levels any more, looking for an easy out before his cash out against Sergey Kovalev if he can make it through yet another training camp without breaking a nail.  By the more impartial boxrec rankings, The Son of Who? ranks 19th P4P just over British featherweight Lee Selby. Yessir, he’s a bit delicate these days, developing an Imelda Marcus shoe collecting fetish on top of various other injuries on top of a rather disputatious reputation as one of boxing’s ultimate divas. Even his boxrec fighter pic looks more like a mug shot of the most boring personality and fighter on earth. His recent fights would have been worthy of a prospect looking for some good experience, not a veteran P4P fighter in his prime years, but then he did take a long time, 5 years, before he ever faced a ranked fighter, so maybe he has need to crawl before he can walk in his new division.

The odds would suggest this will be like watching fearless hunters shooting fish in a barrel and birds in a cage. Alas, there is a rare genetic deficiency that predisposes that some small segment of the population will be avidly watching this…only in boxing!

Son of Who? vs Who?

Son of Who? vs Who?

Sergei Kovalev vs Jean Pascal in Montreal

Surging WBO/WBA/IBF unified lightheavy champ Sergey Kovalev defends against fading former WBC titlest Jean Pascal at the Montreal Bell Centre in Montreal, Saturday, March 14. Sadly for boxing this is probably the best financial offer for Kovalev who will be fighting against his second straight stinker-stylist after surgically dismantling the propped up carcass of Bernard Hopkins who failed to land a single signature headbutt much less any punches of authority.

The storied lightheavy division has been the most densely populated division by both historical numbers and great fighters, yet is so weak today that poor representatives such as Hopkins and Pascal have been able to continue on well past their sell date as relevant light heavies. The physically fragile Pascal displayed some talent and natural attributes in his prime, but never put together the heart for fighting more than in spurts or the stamina or to pressure anyone over the distance. Lacking knockout power, his style needed to coast along after quick starts with running finishes to cop his usual hometown decisions.

Kovalev vs Pascal

Kovalev vs Pascal

Pascal needs to make things as ugly defensively as he can to survive, thus it’s difficult to see him pulling off such a blatant hometown robbery, but there have been worse robberies. Kovalev is very hungry and willing to risk his chances away from home because he’s a Russian expatriot always fighting in the other guy’s backyard not to mention very big and strong at the weight. He knows how to meld aggressive, effective boxing technique with spectacular power. The other Canadian, Al Haymon “advised” Adonis Stevenson, doesn’t want to know him, so poor Kovalev will be stuck fighting in the vacuum of club fighters left in the former storied lightheavy division even if he wins.

The subcard looks somewhat dreary with Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov, 19-0-1, 12 KO going against Steve “USS” Cunningham, 28-6-0, 13 KO. Glazkov is a legitimate contender with a non-dramatic plodding, pressuring style that will not be flattered by the fast running, tap, tap American style of the game but past it Cunningham out of his depth at heavyweight. Main Events and InterBox are the co-promoters and more power to them for keeping smaller promoters, contenders and champs busy.