Andre Ward defeats Sergey Kovalev on points in ‘biggest fight of the year’ in Las Vegas by a unanimous decision.
Ward surprised the final decisions of new light heavyweight champions, Andre Ward camp willing to have a rematch against Sergey Kovalev which Kovalev asked for rematch.
Andre Ward scored a comeback decision victory over Russia’s Sergey Kovalev to claim the defending champion’s unified light heavyweight title on Saturday.
Round by Round play by play updates
|Andre Ward||Final Decision||Sergey Kovalev|
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Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward Play by Play Final Decision Result
The three judges scored the fight 114-113, 114-113 and 114-113. I scored the fight 9 rounds to 3 in favor of Kovalev.
Robert Byrd is the referee for this light heavyweight world championship and we are under way. Kovalev comes right after the challenger with jabs as Ward backs off, looking to create space. Ward jabs to the body twice. Kovalev misses a chopping overhand right just as he’s tied up. Ward remains safe on the outside as he jabs to the body a few more times, but Kovalev returns with a pair of hard jabs to the face. Ward is rocked by them and stumbles back before lunging in to clinch. A pair of jabs, followed by a right to the face buzzes Ward again with about a minute left and early on, the power is massive for the Russian. Ward pops the champ with a counter left hook late but Sergey shakes it off. A sizzling left jab cracks Ward in the mouth at the bell. 10-9 Kovalev
Kovalev picks up where he left off with the jab. Ward tries to get inside and is forced to tie up. When they split apart, “S.O.G.” drills Kovalev with a powerful jab to reset, but the Russian walks through it. A nice left to the dome clips Ward, who backs off. A left-right and ward is hurt. Ward backs off while Kovalev chases after him and the power is clearly shaking the American. Ward eats a few jabs and then is dropped by a perfect straight right. Ward is hurt badly but he is laughing while Byrd still counts. The fight continues and ward is rubbery. Kovalev is all over him with a storm but Andre survives the round. 10-8 Kovalev
Ward is skittish to begin the frame but he pops the champ with a jab. They tie each other up and then Ward shoves Kovalev across the ring, drawing scorn from Byrd. A triple jab and right hand rock Ward, who clinches. Ward is visibly shaken and perplexed at this juncture as he can’t get anything going right now. A nice, snappy jab from Ward at the midway point and then they clinch again. Andre paws with a series of jabs before timidly tying him up. On the break, a left hook snaps Kovalev’s head back, Ward’s best punch of the fight. A double jab-right cross combo from the Russian, who is tied up again. Very, very close round. 10-9 Kovalev
As soon as the round begins, they clinch and opt to grapple in it. The fight is getting dirty, but Ward is the one initiating almost all of it. “S.O.G.” misses a wild left hook and is clipped by a right, but it’s barely touches him. Ward gets his jab to the head and body going, but it’s not keeping Kovalev away. Still, Sergey isn’t landing anything cleanly at this point. A left-right from Ward is mostly blocked with 35 seconds left. Andre swallows three powerful jabs late in the frame but he did enough overall to win the round. 10-9 Ward
Ward goes back to the jab to begin the round but ties the champ up once he is jabbed to the melon. A hard counter left hook on the inside from ward, who catches Kovalev just as he lands a hook. A hard jab from Ward, but Kovalev counters with a slapping overhand right. “Krusher” just misses with a counter right cross as ward misses a left hook. A missile of a jab stings Ward, but the American answers with a left hook on the button. A pair of jabs by the Russian just before the bell and again, it’s another toss-up round. 10-9 Kovalev
Kovalev misses a left hook to begin the stanza and they clinch. They trade jabs to the head and when Ward jabs to the gut, the Russian ties him up. They maul each other in the clinch a minute in. Ward ducks in to get inside but he’s tagged by an overhand right. Ward looks to get inside again and eats another right and this one shakes him. Ward is moving well now as he’s making Sergey miss late, but a sweeping left hook lands on the jaw for the champ. Ward closes the round with a pair of body shots. 10-9 Kovalev
Ward misses a combo and quickly ties his foe up. Ward backs off and paws with the jab and though he looks timid at this point, Kovalev is unable to land anything clean. Ward digs a pair of shots to the body and then pops the champ with a jab to the head. They clinch again and Kovalev jams a few lefts to the body. Ward has woken up and is popping his jab out nicely. Kovalev has slowed down and tied the challenger up. A hard left jab to the face buzzes Ward late and he’s hurt by it. However, it’s not enough to steal the round. 10-9 Ward
Ward is braver in the fight now, but his two early left hooks miss. They tie each other up and Ward digs plenty of shots downstairs. Kovalev appears to be growing frustrated with Ward’s renewed energy and the movement is benefitting the American. A left hook by Ward answers a stiff jab from the Russian but he can’t follow it up with anything. Ward eats a nasty jab but he unloads a powerful left and right to the intestines. Another good round for Ward. 10-9 Ward
Kovalev stays back as he’s looking to bait Ward in. Ward is playing it safe as he continues to move and circle to his right. The champ pops Ward with a slick combo upstairs and now Ward backs off. A jab stings the American, who ties Kovalev up. Ward opens up with a right to the body on the break and then pops the Russian with a right to the head. Both men are starting to slow down a bit with a minute left. Ward cracks Kovalev with a straight right. Ward goes with the bolo punch-jab, but he is tagged by a right to the head in return. A left hook to the head is clean by Ward, but Kovalev finishes the round with combo. Very, very close round again. 10-9 Ward
Ward goes with the jab early and it keeps Kovalev away. They trade some leather before tying each other up, but Kovalev cracks him with a stinging right to the melon. Ward sticks the jab out there and it snaps Sergey’s head back. The Russian responds with a powerful jab of his own. A jab-straight left the head by Kovalev, but ward shakes it off. They trade hooks during an exchange and Kovalev backs off, his nose bloody. Ward swallows a powerful jab as he tries another bolo punch. A bomb of a right from Kovalev, but ward rolls with it perfectly. 10-9 Kovalev
Kovalev misses a sweeping jab early and is quickly tied up. Byrd warns the American for excessive holding. Ward is now warned for a low blow in the clinch, but it was hard to tell how low it was from this angle. Ward misses a huge left hook and then has his follow-up hook blocked. Kovalev pops the challenger with a sharp left hook but he eats one in return. A nice right to mouth from the champ, who is then tied up. Ward responds with a left hook upstairs after another powerful body shot. Ward ducks in and accidental knocks Kovalev down. A perfect left jab from Ward late, punctuating a critical round. 10-9 Ward
Ward might need a knockdown or a knockout in the final round. They miss left hooks as soon as the frame begins. Kovalev digs a pair of jabs to the body but he eats a left hook in return. Sergey blocks a shot to the body and counters with a left hook up top. Ward ties him up. Ward swings and misses with three bombs to the head., but Kovalev’s return fire misses. Ward comes inside and it tagged by a glancing left hook to the head. Sergey digs a furious barrage to the body in the clinch. Ward digs a left hook to the groin but Byrd doesn’t see it. A hard Kovalev by the champ and ward backs away. Byrd catches a low blow by the Russian with 35 seconds left but there is no penalty. They trade some leather at the bell but Kovalev’s left hook to the head and body nail it. 10-9 Kovalev