Hall of Famer and legendary boxing announcer, Bob Sheridan, is still going strong in the sport more than forty years into a career that has seen him call some of the biggest and greatest fights in the history of the sport. I recently spoke with Sheridan to get his thoughts on the recent fight between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev and the controversy that happened with the ending. I also got Bob’s views on the upcoming Mayweather vs. McGregor bout and talk to him about this weekend’s Pacquiao-Horn fight. Here is what Bob Sheridan had to say.
Robert Brown: What were your thoughts on the rematch between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward?
Bob Sheridan: It was a brilliant fight again by Andre Ward, he worked the body. During the call of the fight, I made the point that the body shots were taking a toll, even though they were two or three a round, they were hard punches. Ward’s left hand jab is a hard punch, he steps up into it, and he was hitting him downstairs, and that’s what happened in the first fight. In the first fight Kovalev thought that he overtrained, in his mind he did overtrain, but in my mind the body shots took a toll and it was exactly the same as what happened in the first fight except there was no knockdown in the second round.
It was clear to me, even though I had Ward winning by only one point, I didn’t think the stoppage was bad, I thought it was a good stoppage because one more punch from from the right hand — at this stage Kovalev was on the ropes, he was defenseless and his hands were down — if Ward stands back and the referee lets it go on, he’s going to get clocked with the right hand that could have seriously injured him from the blind side. With that said, from what I could see and watching replays, all of the punches were not deep in the groin, they were all borderline right on the belt. They were a little bit low but not illegal punches.
Robert Brown: Do you see any reason for a third fight between Ward and Kovalev?
Bob Sheridan: I don’t know if a third fight is in order right now. Let them both go their separate ways until Kovalev wins a couple of more fights. Remember, Kovalev has lost his last two fights now and the fight before that with Chilemba, basically the same thing happened, he faded late in the fight even though he won the fight. Lets see where Kovalev is right now in his career and take it from there. I don’t take anything away from Andre Ward, all he can do is fight. Tony Weeks is a great referee and I have no problem with him whatsoever in the calling of that fight.
Robert Brown: Floyd Mayweather will be fighting Conor McGregor, what are your thoughts on this event?
Bob Sheridan: This is a profession and it’s about making money and the fight is going to make money. How good the fight will be or not, most of the time in victory Mayweather has disappointed in performance. Mayweather is one of the great defensive fighters and I don’t see McGregor being able to box with this guy, even though Mayweather has been out of the ring.
You can be sure that Mayweather will be in tip top physical condition, as he always is. While the other guy is a great MMA guy, fighting a pure boxer is a whole different kettle of fish. His punches aren’t going to have the same effect that they had in MMA because they’re using the championship gloves, which will take away from his power as an MMA guy. I think McGregor is in for a rude awakening when they do get in the ring.
The promotion will be hugely successful, a lot of people will want to see it, the comeback and potential fiftieth win for Mayweather. Mayweather’s position in the boxing Hall of Fame is solid and if this is his last fight, he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in five years. McGregor is a superstar around the world and the MMA people will want to see the fight and it will generate hundreds of millions of dollars. From the business end, it’s a great thing.
Robert Brown: Bob, there is the big fight coming up in Australia between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn, what are your thoughts on the event and Horn’s chances?
Bob Sheridan: The big crowd is going to be out to see Manny Pacquiao, but Jeff Horn in spite of the fact that he’s a terrific fighter, I don’t think that the Australian people have him in their sights like they had Danny Green and Jeff Fenneck and those guys. I wouldn’t be surprised if Horn surprises a lot of people in this fight.
I’m a big advocate of Jeff Horn and while Manny Pacquiao is an eight division world champion and one of the greatest who has ever lived, it will be real interesting to see this fight because anything can happen with a puncher like Horn. I guess there’s going to be about fifty five thousand people out there on that Sunday afternoon to see the fight, and I hope that they get their money’s worth.
This is going to be the biggest night of Jeff Horn’s life and something that he’ll never forget, and it might just be something that Australian fight fans remember for a long time if in fact he does upset Manny Pacquiao. With all that said, you can be sure that in the eyes of Top Rank Boxing, they didn’t select Jeff Horn to be a fighter that they thought could beat Manny Pacquiao, and I know that from talking to the match makers at Top Rank. They think it’s a walk over fight and I don’t agree with them because they haven’t seen all of the Jeff Horn that I’ve seen. Jeff is a terrific fighter, but is he in Pacquiao’s league? I don’t know, but we will fight out real soon.