Tonight’s match-up between Sergey Kovalev and former super-middleweight king Andre Ward takes on massive significance in the boxing shake-up.
Kovalev, the dominant force at light-heavyweight, puts his status on the line against the man who cleaned up at 168 pounds, with the winner certain to overhaul Manny Pacquiao as the number one fighter on the planet.
Both are undefeated in what looks to be a real boxer versus puncher classic which has split the masses of fans and media down the middle as to who they believe will come out on top at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
For me, I have to lean towards Ward, solely due to his ring ability as the American has the silky-smooth skills and solid punch power to keep Kovalev’s hard-hitting attacks to a minimum and possibly cruise to a wide points win.
Although he would certainly disagree, Kovalev just doesn’t have the same level of know-how between the ropes and relies too much on his one-punch devastation to make a firm dent in the Ward armoury.
Granted that if Ward switches off for a second it could be lights out for him, but whether Kovalev can land that one-in-a-million blow during the 36 minutes he has to do it is firmly up for debate.
For my money, Ward will be victorious somewhere between 118-110 and 116-112 on the cards and belatedly crown himself the pound for pound king, taking over from rejuvenated legend Pacquiao’s brief two-week reign.
World Boxing News will be scoring the fight live as it happens. Log on at around 10pm ET / 3am UK to follow the card as it happens.