Kovalev Will Demand Immediate Rematch
The fight of the year lived up to expectations on Saturday, as Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward competed in a closely contested battle for the #1 pound-for-pound spot. The result however, has left many unsatisfied, none more so than Kovalev, who believes he was robbed of a victory.
Kovalev lost his light-heavyweight titles to Ward, who endured the Russian’s early pressure to take a unanimous decision victory. After Kovalev expressed his disgust with the outcome of the fight, his promoter Kathy Duva says that they will demand an immediate rematch.
"Absolutely," Duva said. "We have the right and we’re calling for it, yes."
Kovalev controlled the early pace of the fight, dropping Ward in the second round with a right hand. Though Ward was able to adjust and take many of the latter rounds, most media members and fans believed that Kovalev maintained enough of his early pressure to win a decision. Knowing that he had to get on the inside and make a dirty fight with Kovalev, Ward instigating many clinching exchanges that were not immediately broken up by the referee. Duva said that Ward’s grabbing of the champion was unacceptable and should have been stopped sooner in the fight.
"It’s close," Duva said of the decision. "And when it’s close like that I know you can’t yell too loud…but it’s just one of those fights where some of the rounds were so clear-cut. It wasn’t the kind of fight where the rounds were tough to score unless you’re a UFC judge and you were scoring points for the wrestling. The wrestling was abominable, it was abhorrent and the referee did nothing about it and I’m really upset about that…
"It was more wrestling than fighting, [Ward] could really have a great career in UFC."