Sergey Kovalev Loses Controversial Decision to Andre Ward

Andre Ward Wins UD Against Sergey Kovalev
Photo Credit To HBO Boxing Twitter Feed

In a battle of unbeaten fighters, Andre Ward managed to eke out a close unanimous decision win over Sergey Kovalev for the WBA, IBF, and IBO light heavyweight belts.

Andre Ward versus Sergey Kovalev was everything people expected it to be. After all, it featured two of the best light heavyweight fighters in the world and they didn’t disappoint. What was disappointing for some though was the outcome. Despite being behind on the unofficial score cards, Ward somehow managed to end up winning a very close unanimous decision victory.

Sergey Kovalev starts out strong

While not as favored to win as his opponent, it couldn’t be argued that Sergey Kovalev dominated the first half of the match. He started stalking Ward right off the bat in the first round and managed to hurt him with a jab. For his part, Ward didn’t look like he wanted to have an exchange this early with his opponent. Kovalev ended up winning the round thanks to his activity and Andre Ward’s being too tentative.

Seeking to continue his momentum, Kovalev again went on the offensive in the second round. Ward tried to stave off his opponent’s advances with jabs but ended up eating a right-left combination that staggered him. A couple of seconds later, Kovalev again let go of a right that downs Andre Ward. Although he was able to get up, it was evident that Ward had taken a lot of damage. Unfortunately for Kovalev, he couldn’t finish what he started thanks to time running out.

Andre Ward tries to fight back

Despite finishing the second round, it was evident that Andre Ward still wasn’t recovered enough in the third. Sensing this, Sergey Kovalev continued pressing his opponent. On the other hand, Ward relied on his jabs to create a little space between him and the champion. In close exchanges, Ward would then try to hold on to Kovalev in a bid to lessen his advantage.

The rest of the first half of the bout continued in the same manner with Sergey Kovalev scoring more damaging hits and Ward jabbing and protecting himself. By the seventh round though, things started to look up for the challenger. Ward’s jabs were now followed by hooks with one combination hitting its target. From this point to the 9th round, Kovalev was looking gassed and it was Andre Ward who dominated.

Controversial decision

Even with Ward getting the momentum going into the 10th round, Kovalev still didn’t look like he was bowing down any time. Instead, he started fighting back and figured in some exchanges in the last 30 seconds that brought the crowd on its feet. By the 11th round, the momentum again shifted to Kovalev. Now back to being the aggressor, Krusher was able to force Ward to the ropes. Not wanting to lose the round, Ward tried to fight back.

Round 12 was more or less the same with Sergey Kovalev again putting his strength and size advantage to good use. Not to be outdone, Ward used his wits and agility to also score some points with the judges. By the time the round ended, both fighters were raising their hands for what they felt was a victory in their favor. Unfortunately for Kovalev, the judges somehow scored the fight a unanimous 114-113 in Ward’s favor.

What’s next for Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward?

Personally, I think that the win should have been Kovalev’s? At best Ward had only won 5 of the 12 rounds. Not only did Kovalev land more punches (126/474 compared to Ward’s 116/337), he also scored that knockdown in the 2nd round. Thankfully, he has opted to use the rematch clause in his contract to settle this question. There’s still no date announced for the rematch though. Regardless, I’ve no doubt that it’s going to be as hyped as this fight.

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