It’s officially the dead zone in the sports world. Happens every year at this time. We’ll call it the calm before the storm. Soon, we’ll have playoff hockey and playoff basketball, March Madness, Opening Day, The Masters, the NFL Draft, and yes, WrestleMania.
In the meantime, allow me to react to a few things that are currently going on in the world of sports.
—The Bruins are dealing with some serious injuries. Patrice Bergeron has a fractured foot. Charlie McAvoy has a sprained MCL. And Tuukka Rask is dealing with a lower body injury. Rask’s injury is being described as the least serious of the three. But who really knows.
What I do know is that Bergeron will be back playing hockey at some point this season, because he’s the toughest SOB on the planet. The Bruins better hope I’m right, because if Bergeron doesn’t return, the B’s will be in serious trouble in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
As high as I am on Rask and McAvoy, I actually believe the Bruins would have the capabilities to still make it interesting without them. But Bergeron is the heart and soul of this team. And without him during that playoff grind, I wouldn’t be able to put my money on the B’s to hoist the Cup.
But again, the good news here is that Bergeron is an animal. And if I did put my money on anything, I’d put it on a Bergeron return before season’s end.
—Over the weekend, we saw one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world retain his championship. We also saw Deontay Wilder retain his championship. You see, it was an action-packed weekend for fight fans. But it was also a confusing one.
Wilder is the WBC heavyweight champion. He knocked out (TKO) Luis Ortiz in the 10th round. But he wasn’t the best fighter that earned a victory on Saturday night. Sergey Kovalev was.
Kovalev is one of the best in the world and has been for a handful of years. He knocked out (TKO) Igor Mikhalkin in the seventh round, on Saturday, and retained his WBO light heavyweight championship.
But if you logged onto social media over the weekend, you wouldn’t have even known Kovalev was fighting. All the buzz was surrounding Wilder vs Ortiz at Barclays Center. Granted, Wilder’s opponent was tougher than Kovalev’s, the idea that Kovalev was suddenly being overlooked by the boxing world, in favor of Wilder, made little sense.
It spoke to a few things. For one, fight fans are desperate to see the heavyweight division be competitive again. Wilder undoubtedly brings an excitement level. I’m just curious to know why it took everybody so long to notice. Saturday night marked Wilder’s 40th win. He’s 40-0 with 39 knockouts. So, it’s not like he just showed up to main event status. He’s been the champ since 2015. But again, the desperation to make heavyweights relevant again has forced some into a false sense of excitement. If we’re being completely honest, the heavyweight division has some talent, but it’s still not as exciting as most tried to make it on Saturday.
And nobody in that heavyweight division is as good as Kovalev. Him being somewhat ignored and thrown into the Bingo Hall attached to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night has something to do with his opponent, sure. But the overall lack of attention he received over the weekend has more to do with his two losses to Andre Ward. Both were controversial. And in my opinion, both results were wrong.
Kovalev got screwed, twice. And then Ward ran off into retirement. It’s left Kovalev in a strange spot. He’s still dominant, but those two losses — the only two losses of his career — are major blemishes on what’s been one of the more dominant runs in the sport in recent years.
That combination of fans yearning for a competitive heavyweight division and Kovalev getting screwed in the Ward fights, has led to Kovalev getting buried by Wilder on a Saturday night in early March.
If it means anything at all, it means somebody should talk Ward into doing what’s right, and that’s coming out of retirement to face Kovalev for a third time.
Unless they just plan on screwing him again.
—While I have you here, I’d like to remind you to please subscribe to my YouTube Channel: youtube.com/DannyPicard. It’s received a minor facelift as of late, and I’ll be launching two new YouTube-specific shows in the coming weeks, to go along with some video clips of my podcast.
Listen to “The Danny Picard Show” at dannypicard.com and on the PodcastOne network. Also available on iTunes, Tunein, Google Play, iHeartRadio, and Spotify.