Scorecard: Kovalev vs Ward

Luke G. Williams
20/11/2016 10:34am

Andre Ward was anointed king of the light heavyweight division on Saturday night via unanimous points victory against Sergey Kovalev. However, the Russian and many others have been disputing the scorecards. Here is how Boxing Monthly online's Luke G. Williams saw the contest.

Round 1: Tight opening stanza. Kovalev hurts Ward with a mighty jab though and generally lands more. Noticeable how much bigger and broader the Russian looks compared to his American challenger. 10-9 Kovalev

Round 2: More success for Kovalev as he staggers an uncomfortable looking Ward and then floors him towards the end of the round with a left-right combination. Ward is up but unsteady, Kovalev goes for him and the American survives the round, but barely. 10-8 Kovalev

Round 3: Excellent recovery from Ward. His legs steady and he nicks the round for me courtesy of a couple of smart jabs that make Kovalev think again. 10-9 Ward

Round 4: Smart countering from Kovalev and continued pressure and smooth movement and use of the jab see the Russian pick up another round. 10-9 Kovalev

Round 5: Kovalev takes a slight breather and isn't quite as industrious as in previous rounds. Ward edges the round for me, with superior movement and a couple of sharp shots but it's a tight round. 10-9 Ward

Round 6: Kovalev back in his groove with a couple of stinging combinations. Ward is going to have to pull this out of the bag in the second half of the fight. I have him three points behind right now. 10-9 Kovalev

Round 7: Ward lands a heavy left and right that seem to slow Kovalev slightly. He needs more of that if he is to haul his way back into this. 10-9 Ward

Round 8: Ward tries to take the fight inside with more success than in previous rounds, scoring well to Kovalev's body. Is the Russian slowing down? 10-9 Ward

Round 9: A third straight round for Ward. Can he turn this around? He's giving it a great try. His most accurate round of the fight as he out-works Kovalev and lands a good right hand too. 10-9 Ward

Round 10: A tight exciting round, both men have some success but Kovalev, who had been tiring it seemed, finishes stronger to take it. 10-9 Kovalev

Round 11: Such a tight round, both men land some decent shots, but Kovalev is the one whose shots look like they have more impact. 10-9 Kovalev

Round 12: Both men rouse themselves for the final salvo, and try and leave it all in the ring. Both looking fatigued, Ward lands some nice lefts to edge it. 10-9 Ward

Verdict: A fascinating contest that was never less than absorbing. Ward started slowly and looked in real trouble in round two as Kovalev showed mastery of distance and a jolting jab. However, the American fought back bravely. On my scorecard it was 6 rounds each, with the second-round knockdown edging the fight in Kovalev's favour. The judges saw it a little differently, as did many others - bring on the rematch!

(Judges' scores 114-113, all to Ward. BM online had it 114-113 to Kovalev).