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Andre Ward sweeps Brand in snoozefest

Andre Ward

In the era where politicking, egos and tough negotiating seems to make super-fights almost impossible to come together, Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev was together like a piece of pie; but there was one hurdle left to make sure it happened after Kovalev successful retained his WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles against Isaac Chilemba in mid-July – Ward had to take care of his business against Alexander Brand.

With little worry, Ward took out the massive underdog on Saturday night in his home Oracle Arena in Oakland, California with a clean-sweep on the scorecard as all three judges scored the fight 120-108.

Now nothing stands in the way of the highly-anticipated Ward-Kovalev fight.

It’s incredible to think that an undefeated fighter as great as Ward could have his entire career hinge on one fight against a 39-year-old, 100-1 underdog with no notable opponents or fights to show anything that he could challenge one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but he knew it that had he looked past Brand and lost a shocker, there was no big fight against Kovalev and his quest for a mega-fight, mega-payday and chance to be crowned the sports pound-for-pound best in the world would go away.

It was truly a must-win situation and he easily took care of business.

Brand really had nothing to challenge Ward with other than the classic ‘puncher’s chance’ that every boxer has in a fight. He did not seem too willing to stand there and try anything either. Brand continually moved backwards to avoid Ward’s power. Ward did not step in aggressively like he typically does, but he was swinging some very hard shots that did shake Brand up when he landed them.

Saving Brand as long as he lasted as his awkward stance, awkward punching, and awkward movement that Ward had to figure out, but in the fifth round Ward started to settle in, went to his natural southpaw stance and was landing with a hard left-hook. In the sixth round, Ward continued to pound Brand with those left hooks, but he wasn’t following up like he should have been and combined with a tough chin shown by Brand, he wasn’t able to end the fight.

Ward really push up his intensity to try to get the knockout at the start of the seventh round, storming across the canvas and connecting on a straight left, but Brand would hold up. The only time Brand would ever go down in the fight was in the ninth round when he flew back after a slip. But even though Ward couldn’t put out Brand despite landing hard shots that would have ended most fighter’s night early, Brand clearly wasn’t in the same class as Ward, who just kept pushing forward, landing shots as he figured out how to attack Brand’s style.

Maybe it does not look good for Ward going into his Kovalev fight that he couldn’t put Brand away, but he was able to display his crisp punching, aggressiveness, ability to attack in both a southpaw and orthodox stance and ability to adapt in a fight against a poor stylistic matchup. And as he usually does; displayed his tremendous defense as Brand was only able to land about four punches per round.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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