Kovalev Files Protest Over Ward Rematch
Sergey Kovalev has filed an official protest with the Nevada State Athletic Commission – to reverse the outcome of last month’s TKO defeat to IBF, WBA, WBO light heavyweight champion Andre Ward.
The former champion is looking to have the outcome changed to a no-contest. The bout took place on June 17 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
The fight was a rematch of last November’s clash, which happened at the T-Mobile Arena and saw Ward win a close twelve round decision to capture Kovalev’s three titles.
Kovalev’s lawyers have stated to the NSAC that Ward closed the show last month, in the eight round, by landing numerous “intentional” low blows and referee Tony Weeks made the wrong decision by stopping the fight.
During the eight, Ward countered with a huge shot that caught Kovalev on the chin and had him in all sorts of trouble. When Ward pinned Kovalev against the ropes and started landed punches to the body, Kovalev began to bend over and sat down on the ropes in pain, which promoted Weeks to wave off the fight. Kovalev complained afterwards that Ward landed several low blows that Weeks missed in the final sequence of punches.
“It is very important that the Commission understand that a protest is not an attack upon the competence of the referee, any more than a video replay in the NFL, or MLB is an attack on the competence of the officials in those leagues,” the letter read, according to the paper. “It is an opportunity to ‘get it right’ where error may have been made. Mr Weeks is in our list of highly competent officials and nothing herein should be constructed as an attack on his overall competence.”
There is also a claim that every time Ward got into trouble, he would throw what Kovalev’s team are claiming were intentional low blows to get out of trouble.
“From that misinterpretation of the rules, seemingly every time Mr. Ward got into trouble, he hit Sergey low. We are submitting video showing a large number of low blows,” the letter continued.