LAS VEGAS — Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward faced each other this past November in Las Vegas as undefeated champions looking to unify the light heavyweight titles. The match was highly anticipated and lived up to the hype with Ward winning a controversial decision.
The rematch took place last night at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino and was equally hyped with both fighters looking to prove a point. Ward wanted to prove that his previous win over Kovalev was not a gift and Kovalev wanted to show that he was a victim of poor scoring.
In the end, Ward was right. He won by TKO in the eighth round.
The first half of the fight was similar to the first fight with the early rounds being difficult to score. Some watching had Kovalev ahead on the cards and some had Ward ahead.
The difference this time around may have been Ward’s ability to effectively counter the aggressive Kovalev as he pressed the action.
In round 7, Kovalev was showing some telltale signs of fatigue by fighting with an open mouth. The most notable punch in round was a border line punch on the belt line towards the end of the round.
Going into the 8th round two of the three judges had Ward ahead on the cards 67-66 while the third judge had Kovalev up 69-65.
Round 8 would prove to be the last round of the night. Ward landed a clean counter right hand to the chin of Kovalev that had the boxer nicknamed ‘Krusher’ visibly shaken. This was by far the hardest punch Ward would land in the 19 rounds against Sergey.
About 30 seconds later, a questionable body shot had Kovalev doubled over in pain or perhaps he was just trying to catch the attention of referee Tony Weeks. Either way, his hesitation allowed Ward the opportunity to land two more left hooks to the body.
At that point, Tony Weeks stepped between the two boxers and waved the fight off, declaring Ward the winner.
As expected, Ward was all smiles and thanked God for the victory while Kovalev took exception to the low blows that ultimately decided the outcome of the fight.
In the end the fans were again left questioning the outcome.
Las Vegas wasn’t cheated because both fighters brought their ‘A’ game and was willing to lay it all on the line.
Both also left the ring ready knowing they were in there to prove a point.