Ward defeats Kovalev to retain light heavyweight titles
Ward defeats Kovalev to retain light heavyweight titles
20 Junio, 2017, 23:31
In a rematch to one of the most controversial world title fights of 2016, Ward and Kovalev had another battle in Las Vegas for the unified light heavyweight championship. Referee Tony Weeks did separate Ward and Kovalev twice and advised Ward to keep his punches off Kovalev's trunks, but the shot that began Kovalev's demise in the 8th round landed right on the beltline.
Kovalev contended the blows were fouls and demanded another immediate rematch, but his less-than-fearsome posture prior to the climax indicated the intangible tide had already turned and effectively took the teeth out of yet another "I'll kick his a- (next time)" post-fight promise.
So Kovalev becomes the 31st and 32nd fighter to have a bad night against Ward, who has never lost and now has a legitimate chance to retire unbeaten. "You've got to raise your game to the next level and thankfully that's what we did tonight". I got him with the right hand, then I went back to the body a few times.
If someone told you before the fight that the fight would end by TKO, you would have thought it would be Sergey Kovalev that would be victorious since he's one of the hardest punchers in boxing, and had knocked Andre Ward down in their first fight in November. Referee Tony Weeks stopped it at 2:43.
Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 knockouts) sent Ward to the canvas in the first fight, and, while he landed several big shots in the rematch, he once again failed to close the deal.
Speaking to HBO after the fight, he said: "Let me ask you the question: Can I get on the pound-for-pound list now? Why stop the fight?"
The clinches initiated by Ward, most of the time, were an avenue for his body punches to find their way home from the inside. But Kovalev was fading, just as he had in the first fight, and he picked up the pace. Yes, he punched me but I didn't feel it. "I always do well against bigger fighters".
"The right hand started it all", Ward said. Ward was the victor by unanimous decision after 12 rounds, becoming the undisputed light heavyweight champion. Ward's powerful forehand seriously shook Kovalev, who had a panicky step back in the hope to endure till the Gong at the break.
During the 8th round /Ward made a superb right hook, hitting Kovalev in the chin.
"I really don't have a lot to say about whatever they said", Ward said.
Andre Ward: "I think it was plain to see that I broke him mentally and physically". Now he's a good kid, he's swell but I'm telling you. The fight seemed to be going the way of Ward, the superior athlete, the better conditioned athlete, the unflappable presence.
In the fifth round Kovalev bloodied Ward's nose. In his last two outings, he moved much more, jabbed more defensively and fought in close quarters less often. "He didn't hurt me". A great night for the Wards. Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) fought tooth and nail with his Russian counterpart as they connected with powerful punches to the head and waged a war of attrition on the inside. This makes this controversy even bigger, because who could have known what would happen.
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