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Kovalev and Ward collide for career defining light-heavyweight showdown

Lee Gormley | 20 November 2016

Andre Ward v Sergey Kovalev

  • WBA undisputed, IBF and WBO light-heavyweight title fight
  • Sunday, November 20th
  • Scheduled for: 04:00 GMT
  • T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, Nevada
  • Live on Sky Sports 1

Kovalev v Ward odds for fight night

Nevada’s T-Mobile Arena plays host the biggest fight of the year this weekend as Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev finally collide, with light-heavyweight supremacy and potential pound-for-pound glory on the line.

Both Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) and Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) will take to the ring as highly decorated undefeated fighters, but with points to prove in what could be a career defining night for the elite pair.

Who are you backing from our Kovalev v Ward odds? The pair collide this weekend in Nevada.

Who are you backing from our Kovalev v Ward odds? The pair collide this weekend in Nevada.

Having dominated at super-middleweight in the past, Californian Ward will aim to dethrone the so far unstoppable force of Russian devastator Kovalev, after stepping up to 175lbs earlier in 2016 when beating both Sullivan Barrera and Alexander Brand.

Although, the reigning undisputed WBA, IBF and WBO light-heavyweight kingpin will provide undoubtedly his toughest career test to date, with Ward entering proceedings at 11/10 with Coral to earn a points decision success.

The defending champion is 2/1 to hand his American opponent a maiden defeat by knockout in the early hours of Sunday morning, in what is set to be the biggest match-up of the year on United States soil.

Ward confident of delivering goods

In boxing’s battle for 175lbs dominance and a possible climb atop the pound-for-pound rankings, Ward and Kovalev deserve credit for taking on such a high-stakes fight at the pinnacle of their careers.

Fans have sadly rarely been treated to meetings between two of the best from divisions at the height of their powers, with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin frustratingly put on hold until next year. Though this weekend encounter should provide a great spectacle of best versus the best.

Ward's defensive prowess and impressive ring movement could see him overcome Kovalev in their high-profile showdown.

Ward’s defensive prowess and impressive ring movement could see him overcome Kovalev in their high-profile showdown.

It’s now 32-year-old Ward that will enter proceedings as the narrow 4/6 favourite to prevail, and ‘S.O.G’ is confident of cementing his position as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.

“All the talking is great, I love it but, know one thing, I am not taking no mess come Saturday night,” stated the challenger. “I have never won big fights just doing one thing, being one-dimensional.

“I typically do the opposite of what people think I am going to do. We have a game plan and the bottom line is making the necessary adjustments. You have to be able to adjust on the fly and that is what the great ones do.”

With the Oakland native claiming a a less-than-usual approach, Ward is 6/1 to do what has so far seemed impossible to do and stop Kovalev inside the distance.

‘Krusher’ out to upset Ward following

Kovalev, rightfully known as ‘the Krusher’, is 5/1 to get the nod from the judges this weekend and is aiming to upset his foe’s following on American territory and leave the ring as he entered – as champion.

“It is my goal to break his zero,” the 33-year-old outlined. “Additional motivation for me is I like to disappoint somebody, you know? My opponents. His crowd.

Can Ward prevail and hand Ward his first defeat in over two decades?

Can Ward prevail and hand Ward his first defeat in over two decades?

“I have fought everywhere in the world. I won the title in Wales. I disappointed [Nathan Cleverly’s] fans then. Next is Ward.”

Many have labelled this bout as the power puncher versus the slick boxer, but Kovalev has proved in his career that he is more than just a powerful KO artist. Meanwhile, Ward’s ability to rough up opponents on the inside and time perfect counters also make him a potential KO threat.

With much at stake and this being a fight that has fans and pundits divided for what could possibly be a very close contest, a draw on the scorecards after 12 rounds in Nevada can be backed at 20/1. Though Ward is 12/1 for a late stoppage in rounds 10-12 or the bout to go the distance is 6/5.

WBC light-heavyweight title holder Adonis Stevenson could be lying in wait for the eventual winner of this awaited showdown, but both Kovalev and Ward will be fully focused on each other and the opportunity to secure their respective legacies this weekend.

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