The dust has settled tonight in Las Vegas. Time for our Kovalev vs Ward full fight review.
It’s not the first time that the sport of boxing caused controversy in one of it’s most highly anticipated. It probably won’t be the last.
When judges are involved in determining the outcome of a professional sports event things will always be open to human interpretation.
Andre Ward came away with the light-heavyweight titles tonight in Vegas after been awarded a controversial unanimous points decision victory over Sergey ‘Kruser’ Kovalev.
All three judges’ scorecards read 114-113 in favor of the American.
Punch stat figures after the fight showed Ward had a higher punch accuracy ratio of the punches he did throw. Although Kovalev landed slightly more punches overall and many thought he did enough to get the win on the night:
OH MY GOD. This is the worst robbery I’ve ever witnessed. #boxing #KovalevWard
— Douglass Fischer (@dougiefischer) November 20, 2016
The reality however was that it was an incredibly close fight that could have went either way. Surely a rematch will come into play for both men next up.
Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva said as much afterwards that they will be activating the rematch clause Kovalev had built into their fight contract.
As of the fight itself, it certainly surprised me in some regards. The Kovalev power is quite the force. Against anyone.
In his last fight before tonight against Issac Chilemba he struggled to nail Chilema down. I thought Ward a much trickier operator than Chilemba, would be nearly impossible for Kovalev to hit.
But hit him he did. In the very first round he hurt Ward with a thudding jab. Then in the second round something that took many by surprise happened:
Kovalev with a knockdown in Round 2. #KovalevWard #boxing pic.twitter.com/vVOppMBkuf
— Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) November 20, 2016
A chopping, short right hand on the inside. A beautiful punch.
To his credit Andre Ward recovered well though and like all great champions do – got up from the knockdown, got his senses back together and boxed on.
As the early rounds progressed Kovalev’s boxing ability and jab came across well but Ward had some good success with his own jab in some rounds that were very close.
In the middle of the fight and indeed down the stretch in the closing rounds, you got the sense that Ward knew he had to come back with something impressive and had some good success overall to the body and with some eye catching hooks.
Although it’s fair to say that Kovalev never looked hurt by any of Ward’s attacks. At any point.
Looking back at the Kovalev vs Ward full fight overall, on the balance of things, it was a very, very close fight that undeniably deserves a rematch in 2017.
(For the 3 preliminary undercard fights tonight in Vegas you can watch them here).