(Las Vegas) From the beginning to the end, this would-be beautiful chapter for boxing kept turning pages of ugly. It brought out the worst in greatness and the best out of the worthless.
You'll have to decide who falls into what category.
As a writer, it is my objective to tell you the truth– no matter if a lie is easier, because what lies within all of us is a conscious that will ultimately bear our hidden truth.
Sergey Kovalev knows he lost to Andre Ward. If he has the balls- however sore they may be, he can just be a man and admit he wasn't the better man.
If she's a lady (and she is), Kathy Duva will show you that she's a far better woman than the one who'll no doubt be unfairly pegged a bigoted hater in urban barbershops.
In the middle of all of this is Andre Ward. A Man, who calls himself the ‘Son of God'. If he isn't, he fought like the son of somebody's God, maybe Kovalev's if he has one; seemingly fighting to knock the devil out of him – while honoring his late Irish father Frank, with the “F. W.” emblazoned on the side of his Michael Jordan trunks.
Oh yes, Ward went #23 on Kovalev, coming from behind to bounce jump shots all over his body and head before emphatically dunking from the baseline. But what happened afterwards from Team Kovalev (Eh, John David Jackson was a no show. Go figure.) was something like the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons just walking off the floor before the end of the game, in a show of grand disrespect.
It made me recall posing for a photograph with Andre in the ring after his media day workout near Oakland. I said him, “Do this for your father. He would be proud. Don't settle for a decision this time… You go out there and stop him.”
The fact that I watched him do it– basically on Father's Day, while emphatically picking him to win by stoppage only to turn my back on that pick, left me with a semblance of the shame Judas Iscariot must have felt.
I carried this guilty feeling of journalistic bile in my stomach to the post fight presser, a feeling that eventually morphed into great sadness.
The angry confrontation Duva had with a big minority indie media corps along with a lot of Ward fans, was disturbing. All anyone is going to deduct from that is Black V White. The foul play attributed to Ward's 8th round desecration of Kovalev in front of 10,592 fans at Mandalay Bay, came on the heels of what appeared to be a sucker punch 1st round KO for Guillermo Rigondeaux over Moises Flores.
Both proud and highly decorated fighters are signed under ROC Nation (in a big week, ROC had Kevin Durant's MVP title winning performance for the Golden State Warriors and Jay-Z's induction into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame), which has a right to be proud, but not so much that nothing about Andre's performance couldn't come under question.
“Oh no, we're moving on, we're not answering that question. Next question,” said ROC Nation brass from the podium, in response to my direct question to Ward.
“No, no… Wait a minute, hold on I'll answer it,” vetoed Ward, as the question simply pertained to my belief he'd had another slow start and the pointed adjustments he made to dispose of Kovalev.
“It's not a videogame in there. This is real life. It takes 3, 4, 5 or 6 rounds to get the gameplan to unfold,” Ward told NY Fights. “This isn't a C class fighter in there. It's nip and tuck. We were both breathing in there, but the body shots were getting to him. I train to be comfortable being uncomfortable.”
If this event was any indication, boxing had better get used to some uncomfortable discomfort. Nothing positive will come from any investigation into Saturday night's result, just as nothing but racial tension and ridiculousness will come from the farce that is Floyd Mayweather V Conor McGregor.
At least the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet ‘Krushed' another great fighter. And he needed “No Excuses”.