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The Sports Daily > Undercard Superstar
Kovalev vs. Ward Picks

 

WBA/IBF/WBO World Light Heavyweight Championship: Sergey Kovalev (c) (30-0-1) vs. Andre Ward (30-0)

Nolan Howell: Kovalev is going to look to prevent Ward from getting inside early on and try to catch him with a big punch for the finish. However, I think Ward will be able to get inside and dirty it up with clinching and body work while avoiding anything too major from Kovalev. Kovalev will be frustrated, try to push the pace more, while Ward continues to rack up the blows and take the rounds. Kovalev slows down as the second half of the fight goes on and Ward cruises down the stretch to a very late stoppage, but more than likely clear decision. Andre Ward by unanimous decision.

 

NABF Light Heavyweight Championship: Oleksandr Gvozdyk (c) (11-0) vs. Isaac Chilemba (24-4-2)

Nolan: Chilemba has been a gamer in his last few times out, but has come up short in his last two. Gvozdyk is taking a gradual step up here and Chilemba is the perfect combo of name value after coming off the Kovalev loss and in limbo after dropping two. Chilemba will trouble Gvozdyk a bit early on, but he gets figured out and Gvozdyk stops him late. Oleksandr Gvozdyk by eighth-round TKO.

 

WBO NABO Junior Welterweight Championship: Maurice Hooker (c) (21-0-2) vs. Darleys Perez (33-2-1)

Nolan: Perez is a long ways removed from fighting Gamboa as he bounces between semi-relevant fights and cans. Perfect for a fighter in his athletic prime like Hooker. Maurice Hooker by sixth-round TKO.

 

WBA Continental Americas Middleweight Championship: Curtis Stevens (c) (28-5) vs. James De La Rosa (23-4)

Nolan: Nothing better than a Curtis Stevens fight. Nothing worse for Curtis Stevens fans than a Curtis Stevens fight. Stevens should put this one away early before he fumbles the ball. Curtis Stevens by third-round TKO.

 

Super Middleweight Bout: Claressa Shields (0-0) vs. Franchon Crews (0-0)

Nolan: Not really a fight than needs picked, but more that this could be the start of something big for women’s boxing. Claressa Shields by unanimous decision.