Re: Ward V Barrera
Well wards a potential earner for HBO, they wont bash him on a performance regardless because he's on their banner. They did mention the time out of the ring for various reasons. Whether that was a slight or setting up for possible underperformance or the contrast of an over achieving.... they did mention it.
I didn't really rank Barrera high. As I said there was a reason he was chosen for Ward. Ward definitely had the opportunity to run away with it if barrera started slowly. Barrera seemed really stiff to me also. As for the foul, the hitting on the break and blind side Hopkins tactics, its par for the course with Ward, so I didn't expect it to highlighted. To my surprise he got called and the ref gave barrera a gimme because Ward was pitching the shutout. If it was a close fight, that's a warning at best.
That being said, ward did a good job of controlling distance on Barrera. I didn't see too many significant shots from barrera land, no matter what Abel Sanchez said. I can see Kovalev having fits with Wards, technique of staying outside, trying to counter, bridging the distance and clinching and trying to shoulder and then waiting his opponent out and throwing flurries when he tries to free his arms or steps backs to regain his leverage. and then repeating to stifle offense and create opportunities for himself.
Now more than ever, part of me is begging for Kovalev to stop this "I want to beat him in Oakland" nonsense. Not that I think the scoring for this fight was swayed by the overplayed cheering at every blocked punch or flurry by Ward, but could be... and just for the sake of acting more like a pretty much unified Champ and not like a challenger in accommodating a primadonna off a long layoff who never fights out of his home town. Ward isn't on house arrest and is perfectly capable of leaving the vicinity to prove himself. The fight doesn't have to be in russia or Florida? (is that where kovalev planted himself) Just not Oakland.
They want your @$$ beat because upsets make news. News brings about excitement, excitement brings about ratings. The objective is to bring you up to the tower and tear your @$$ down. And if you don't believe that, you're crazy.
Roy Jones, Jr. "What I've Learned," Esquire 2003