Friday, 16 June 2017 14:58

Ward vs Kovalev 2 prediction: Will the Teddy Atlas Curse strike again?

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Famed boxing trainer, philanthropist and commentator Teddy Atlas recently chimed in on Saturday's superfight between WBA, IBF, WBO light heavyweight champion Andre Ward and rival, Sergey Kovalev.

“As I look at this rematch between Kovalev and Ward, the first thing I think of is timing,” Atlas told

“Simply put, Ward’s was slightly off in their first match due to inactivity he was a millisecond late pulling the trigger, which I believe will be different this time."

Ward's keys to victory, per Atlas
“I see Ward feinting at the front door to get the right hand out of the way, then either coming in the side entrance or just countering in front after he eludes the right."

"Also Ward will recognize that although Kovalev’s right is the danger point, it is his jab that must set up its delivery, so I think Ward will look to take Kovalev’s jab out of play by dominating with his own, perhaps a little slip of his head to either side with a sharp jab will do the trick then once he owns the jabbing war he will have easy access to the inside where he is just simply better suited to be effective then Kovalev is," Atlas informed

Kovalev's keys to victory according to Atlas
“As for Kovalev to win the second time around, he must do a better job of acting like the longer, taller guy and not just the more explosive guy. In other words, he must consistently control range and use both his jab and feet to do that."

"Ward comes in four inches then Kovalev should be back seven inches. Make him earn his way in. Make Ward take chances. And make him pay for every inch of real estate in that ring. If you are going to lose, make him beat you on the outside, not in the trenches. And finally, when the moment’s right, throw three-, even perhaps four-punch combos, instead of the one-two punch action you settled for in the first fight."

Teddy Atlas's Ward vs Kovalev 2 prediction
“In the end, I see a sharper and mentally more aware Ward winning a unanimous decision.”

Is that bad news for Ward?

His selections make perfect sense and he offers insightful and accurate analyses. Unfortunately for Teddy, though, his predictions are usually wrong.

Remember when he so adamantly predicted Manny Pacquiao would defeat Floyd Mayweather?

Ward vs Kovalev 2 News
Date: June 17
Broadcast: HBO PPV
Location: Las Vegas
Venue: Mandalay Bay

Division: Light heavyweight
Titles: WBA, WBO and IBF
Champion: Ward 

Here are more error selections made by Atlas:

  • Margarito over Pacquiao
  • Cotto over Margarito in their first meeting
  • De la Hoya over Mayweather
  • Mosley over Cotto
  • Tony Thompson over Wlad Klitschko
  • Ricardo Mayorga over Oscar DLH
  • Mikkel Kessler over Joe Calzaghe
  • Margarito over Shane Mosley
  • Jermain Taylor over Kelly Pavlik
  • De la Hoya over Pacquiao
  • Pavlik over Bernard Hopkins
  • Roy Jones Jr. over Joe Calzaghe
  • Zab Judah over Floyd Mayweather
  • Juan Diaz over Juan Manuel Marquez in their first meeting
  • Zab Judah over Miguel Cotto
  • Sultan Ibragimov over Wlad Klitschko
  • David Haye over Wlad Klitschko
  • Manny Pacquiao over Tim Bradley in their first meeting, and
  • Tim Bradley over Manny Pacquiao in their second meeting

Ward vs Kovalev I
To his credit, he was uncharacteristically spot-on in his prediction for Ward vs Kovalev I.

"Kovalev will win the early rounds with his ability to control distance," Atlas told Ward will then do what he's done since he was 12: adjust and find a way to win. He will counter some and press some." (Ward by split decision)

Will the Teddy Atlas Curse strike again or will Ward provide him right, again?

Leroy Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.