Outside the ropes: Aug. 13, 2016
The following are the opinions of Boxing Don Dinkins and do not reflect the opinions of Undisputed Champion Network as whole…or do they?
Well, now that the dust has settled and the Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward fight seems to be set, here’s my early take on what’s gonna happen: To begin with, if “Oracle” fights anywhere near the way he fought this Alexander Brand character, he’s gonna go from being Andre Ward to ending up in the emergency ward – and I don’t wish that on ANYBODY. I saw an aging fighter who is no longer able to put his shit together over 12 rounds against a guy who fights as badly as Ricardo Mayorga. This off-Brand ended up on his face after throwing a punch. People say, “Numbers never lie.” Well, his (then) 25-1 (19) record is nothing BUT a lie. And before y’all start, I am not trying to hear that shit about Ward “needing rounds.” You get that in the gym and I’m sure Ward had better sparring partners than this guy. After repeating the fact that he’s been doing this for 20 years, hasn’t lost a fight since his first erection, won that “Super Six” round-robin tournament five years ago and won a gold medal after a ton of amateur fights, I can’t believe Oracle hasn’t seen a style like Brand’s. That is unless Ward is Tyrone Davis (Turn Back the Hands Of Time), he’s gonna be in deep ca-ca, come November.
If one didn’t see this dull-ass fight but only listened to the talking heads at HBO, they’d swear up and down that this was the Ward of five years ago. To THIS scribe, regardless of the reasons (Who cares?), Ward has let too much precious time slip away and it shows. He’s singing all the right songs. (“The layoff has made me better and sharper than ever.”) Really, you got better by NOT fighting? I doubt it. Oracle did land some flush shots on Brand but not once was the guy in trouble. That he switched to lefty after his wife brought it up is almost comical. He’d best not try that shit in November or he won’t have much to be thankful for. Call me Looney Tunes but I see Sergey Kovalev steamrolling Ward, once he learns the guy has no major pop and can’t put two shots together. For some people to say Oracle’s the favorite going in, I ask, on what strength? He’d better find a way to get younger and find some pop because he won’t have the luxury of doing to Kovalev what he did against Brand. To start, Ward won’t be stalking anybody on the 19th. This was a bad opponent against whom to get ready for the Mad Russian. He should’ve fought that heavy-handed Joe Smith Jr., a guy who actually punches hard, like Kovalev. To make matters worse, Ward’s trainer, Virgil Hunter is already talkin’ shit about Kovalev and we know how “Krusher” loves to punish people over a period of time before knocking them out. Honestly, I almost don’t wanna see Oracle take this fight.
Hunter has his work cut out for him and I noticed Oracle got a bit testy in the corner when Hunter said, “He (Brand) can’t take any more”. Any more WHAT? “Look at me, son; I’m talking to you!” barked Hunter and Ward just pushed his hand away. He KNEW he wasn’t raising any hell with this guy. He knew. It’s not supposed to happen but I can STILL see Ward taking another fight before November or coming up with some sorta “injury.” He does have some time but not a lot and, to me, Ward has a lotta work to do. Kovalev will probably send a driver to Oakland to make certain nothing happens to Oracle before the fight.
Of course, my fight buddies think I’m being too hard on the brotha but they also know that sorta dumb talk doesn’t faze me. I just see a shell of a fighter trying to convince himself he’s the same guy he always was or better. I predict Ward’s gonna find out, in a painful way, that his ship has sailed. Personally, I couldn’t care less who wins because, I assure you, neither guy is gonna say, post-fight, “Make sure Boxing Don’s check gets cut.”
Switching channels, what’s up with my boy, Floyd Mayweather Jr.? I haven’t heard or read shit about “Mr. Delusional” for a few weeks now. I haven’t even seen any comments on the Ward-Brand snore-fest. This can only mean ONE thing: Expect a major announcement real soon. Mayweather surely can’t let Manny’s “return” overshadow his.