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against Kovalev

  • 18 Mar
    导出博客文章LAS VEGAS -- Andre Ward, the new No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world?He
    made a case -- but not a convincing one -- as he won a razor-close but
    controversial unanimous decision against Sergey Kovalev to claim three light
    heavyweight world title belts before an adoring crowd of 13,310 on Saturday
    night at T-Mobile Arena.All three judges scored the bout 114-113 for Ward, who
    survived a second-round knockdown and some shaky moments. ESPN.com scored the
    fight 115-112 for Kovalev, who appeared to land the much more powerful punches.
    HBOs unofficial scorer, Hall of Fame judge Harold Lederman, had Kovalev winning
    116-111.?Many media members sitting ringside also had Kovalev winning.If judges
    Glenn Trowbridge and John McKaie had given Kovalev the final round, the fight
    would have been a split decision win for Kovalev. Judge Burt Clements gave
    Kovalev the 12th round but had Ward ahead going into the round.This is a
    beautiful thing. We did it, baby. Its a lot of hardware, Ward said as he was
    presented with the belts. Surreal. This is what we set out to do. Im a
    five-[belt] world champion in two different weight classes. Man, its
    amazing.This sounds good -- the new light heavyweight champ. This was my most
    important and satisfying win.There were many who believed that the Kovalev-Ward
    winner would be worthy of replacing junior bantamweight titlist Roman
    Chocolatito Gonzalez as the new pound-for-pound king. And some might elevate
    Ward into that lofty perch coming off the best victory of his career, which
    already includes wins against such top opponents as Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler
    and Chad Dawson.Ward said he was not startled that he got the nod.I was not
    surprised when I heard the decision, he said. I dont know where you got that
    from. I know it was a close fight. The crowd, you can hear they thought I
    won.[Kovalev] did everything I expected him to do. He started to show up as I
    expected. He started to fight like I expected. My coach [Virgil Hunter] did a
    great job.Kovalev, who was making his ninth title defense, strongly disagreed
    with the scoring.Its the wrong decision. I dont want to say my opinion, he said.
    The witnesses are here. They saw it. Its my job. It was a fight of my life. I am
    disappointed in the judges decision.[Ward] got maybe a few rounds. I agree with
    that. I kept control. I lost maybe three rounds the whole fight. It is the USA
    and all the judges were from the USA. Its a sport. Dont make it politics. Its a
    sport, and I won the fight.Main Events promoter Kathy Duva, Kovalevs promoter,
    also was not happy with the decision.My impression was that was the wrong
    decision, she said. We thought he was clearly ahead on points. I think Ward
    could have a great career in the UFC. I havent seen so much wrestling since
    Conor McGregor in the UFC card last week.Ward did initiate many clinches, and
    referee Robert Byrd did little to stop it, allowing the fighters to work their
    way out of it.I thought for sure it was not going to be a one-way fight, but the
    wrestling was outrageous, Duva said. The referee didnt do anything about it, and
    Im really upset. [Kovalev] won the first six rounds, and he had a knockdown. How
    the hell did he lose a decision??Ward will likely have to face Kovalev in a
    rematch. Duva said her side would exercise its right to an immediate
    rematch.Were going to get him back in the ring as soon as we can and right this
    wrong, Duva said.Kovalev agreed.Of course, I want a rematch, and I will kick his
    ass, Kovalev said. I want to show good boxing.Michael Yormark of Roc Nation
    Sports, Wards promoter, said it was too soon to talk about a sequel and declined
    to acknowledge the rematch clause.Its too early to discuss a rematch at this
    point, Yormark said. Andre will enjoy the moment, spend time with his family
    and, obviously, embrace those three belts. Well decide where we go from here
    over the next weeks.Ward offered his take.Of course, I would do a rematch, Ward
    said. I am not going to negotiate a fight right now. I will go home and relax
    and see whats next.Ward, a 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist, got off to a very
    rough start, as Kovalev appeared to hurt him midway through the opening round
    with a stiff left jab that forced Ward to grab on to him around the waist.Ward
    (31-0, 15 KOs) had blood coming from his right nostril early in the second
    round. Then a left hand and a right drove him into the ropes. Moments later,
    Kovalev connected with a booming right hand to the forehead, and Ward went down
    to all fours. It was only the second time in Wards career he had been knocked
    down. Ward made it out of the round but looked a bit shaky and tried to hold
    Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) in the third round.When Kovalev, who earned $2 million
    but stands to earn much more because of his percentage of the promotion, got
    rough in response to Ward holding him, Byrd warned them to knock it off.I knew
    it was going to be a tough fight, Ward said of the knockdown. I think after the
    second-round knockdown, he realized I wasnt going anywhere and I was stepping on
    the gas. Technically, theres always stuff I can pick apart. I wasnt happy about
    that knockdown, but I didnt panic. I was at peace. Now its time to really get to
    work. I wasnt hurt by it. As a matter of fact, I wasnt hurt by anything he
    threw.Byrd was busy throughout the fight, breaking hard clinches -- many of
    which were initiated by Ward?as he tried to come inside and avoid Kovalevs big
    punches.The great speed and slickness of Ward was not very evident, as Kovalev
    popped him with jabs and right hands. Ward got off some good shots, but Kovalev
    walked right through them. But whatever speed and defense Ward lacked, he showed
    immense toughness and guile under a constant assault from Krusher Kovalev, known
    as one of boxings most devastating punchers.Your last fight is always the most
    important, but I really needed this, said Ward, who has not lost a fight since
    he was a 13-year-old amateur. It was about those in-the-trenches moments. Sergey
    has no inside game, so I focused on my midrange and my inside game, and that
    made all the difference.Ward, who earned a career-high $5 million, had a strong
    seventh round. He landed a clean stiff jab that got Kovalevs attention and
    excited the crowd. Moments later, both fighters were warned by Byrd for hitting
    behind the head while in a clinch. And even though Kovalev landed a hard left
    hand late in the round, Ward, 32, of Oakland, California, returned fire.There
    was a lot of back-and-forth action in the ninth round, but Ward had some big
    moments, lashing Kovalev, 33, a Russia native living in Los Angeles, with shots
    that sent him ducking under the top ring rope and brought the crowd to its
    feet.They continued to go at each other in the 10th round. Ward landed a good
    left hand that backed Kovalev up, and Ward stuffed a left jab down the middle
    that connected cleanly. It was an exciting round that was hard to score.The 11th
    round was another close one, with Kovalev landing a hard jab and right hand but
    Ward coming right back with a solid left hook. Kovalev had Ward on the run in
    the final seconds of the round.Sensing the decision victory might be up for
    grabs in the 12th round, the boxers responded with toe-to-toe action and rough
    stuff on the inside during clinches. They did not let up until the final bell,
    and then they fell into an embrace when it was over.This is a good feeling,
    Hunter said. We were a little careless with that knockdown in the second round,
    but we landed the cleaner punches. Kovalev was aggressive but not effective.
    Thats why we won. Im happy for Andre.According to CompuBox punch statistics,
    Kovalev landed 126 of 474 punches (27 percent), and while Ward threw and landed
    fewer punches (116 of 337) than Kovalev, Ward landed at a higher percentage (34
    percent).Ward, who unified super middleweight world titles by rolling through
    the 2009 to 2011 Super Six World Boxing Classic, was fighting his first top
    opponent since a dominant 2012 knockout of then-light heavyweight champion
    Dawson, who dropped down in weight to challenge him. Ward had some long layoffs
    in the ensuing years because of injuries and a battle over his promotional
    contract, but he signed with Roc Nation Sports in 2015 and was fighting for the
    fourth time since then.But Ward, already a probable Hall of Famer even before
    the win against Kovalev, shied away from lauding himself.Its hard for me to call
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