Kovalev: If Ward Retires, He is “a Coward”

Sergey Kovalev refuses to accept the controversial decision he lost to Andre Ward last November. While he expects to rematch the new champion to prove he is the better fighter, he has grown even angrier after learning that Ward is contemplated retirement.

Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) defeated Kovalev on Nov. 19 in Las Vegas, handing Kovalev (30-1, 26 KOs) his first loss and capturing his IBF, WBA and WBO light heavyweight titles.

Many believed that Kovalev, who knocked Ward down in the second round and controlled much of the fight’s first half, deserved to win the decision. Kovalev and his team expressed their plans to exercise the immediate rematch clause in their contract.

Ward, however, has said that only an enticing financial offer would motivate him to take the rematch with Kovalev. Otherwise, he would be content with retiring from boxing altogether.

“Of course he realizes [that we have to fight again],” Kovalev told reporter Elena Sobol, per BoxingScene, “and so he starts saying that he can just leave. Well, if he leaves then everybody will realize that he is a coward.”

According to Kovalev, Ward’s reaction to the decision in the ring is proof that he himself didn’t believe he won the fight. Kovalev has been taunting Ward on social media with clips of Ward’s seemingly surprised reaction to hearing he had won the fight.

“I can show you the videos on my Instagram account. He was shocked that he was awarded the victory. You can clearly see, the man was walking around like he lost, and then when the official made his announcement [his entire demeanor changed].”

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