Ward Pulls Off Comeback, Defeats Kovalev

Some say it’s a great upset, a come-from-behind victory, and others say it was the robbery of the century.

Either way you look at it, Andre Ward is still undefeated and a unified light heavyweight world champion, as he narrowly defeated Sergey Kovalev by unanimous decision at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Ward claimed the WBA, WBO and IBF light heavyweight titles with his victory.

Ward seemed to struggle early on in the first round, as it appeared the power behind Kovalev’s punches overwhelmed him. At one point, he even grabbed on to Kovalev’s wrist. Those events led to Ward being knocked down for only the second time in his career, which took place in the second round of the bout.

Ward initiated several clinches over the next couple of rounds, trying to avoid Kovalev’s hard blows by coming in on the inside. Ward got off some good shots of his own, and it seemed his chin warmed up to the heavy hands of Kovalev.

The seventh round was noteworthy for one particular hard jab thrown by Ward that caught Kovalev right on the button, getting his attention and sending the Las Vegas crowd into a frenzy. After some more back-and-forth action in the eighth, Ward caught Kovalev with several blows in the ninth that forced Kovalev to seek shelter through the ropes.

The final three rounds were some of the closest boxing battles there could have been, with all three being hard to score. Neither man let up until the final bell sounded.

When the judges’ scorecards were revealed, all were 114-113 in favor of Ward, many felt Kovalev had been wronged by the judges. A re-match between the two, however, seems to be highly likely, and Ward even said he would welcome another encounter with Kovalev.

Original story: http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/18092303/andre-ward-defeats-sergey-kovalev-via-unanimous-decision

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