Ward-Kovalev II: Round-by-round

June 17, 2017

Boxing

Andre Ward, right, fights Sergey Kovalev during a light heavyweight championship boxing match Saturday, June 17, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

By Jeremy Harness

ROUND 1

Referee Tony Weeks makes it clear that he will not allow prolonged holding and wrestling, making quick breaks before things get out of hand. Ward is the busier fighter inside at this point, although Kovalev is the one moving forward. Ward lands a straight right over the top with 30 seconds left.

Ward’s round, 10-9

ROUND 2

Kovalev is doing a better job of cutting off the ring, which was not the case in the first fight. His jab is also starting to find the mark. Kovalev lands a right –left combo inside. Ward lands a low blow in the final minute of the round, and Weeks gives him time to recover.

Kovalev’s round, 10-9

ROUND 3

Ward beats Kovalev to the punch twice with left hook leads. Moments later, Weeks warns both fighters for holding behind the head. However, Kovalev is no longer cutting the ring off but is instead chasing Ward round the ring. Toward the end of the round, Kovalev lands a left of his own to get Ward’s attention.

Ward’s round, 10-9

ROUND 4

Early in the round, Weeks warns both fighters again for holding behind the head. Ward is not only the busier fighter inside, but he is also the more effective one at this point, as he landed a series of quick rights as the round came to a close.

Ward’s round, 10-9

ROUND 5

Midway through the round, a big portion of the crowd chants “SOG, SOG!” Kovalev is already showing signs of fatigue, as his mouth is visibly open. The damage is also showing on Kovalev’s face, as there is a mouse underneath his right eye. Ward lands a hard right to the body followed up by a left hook to the head in the closing moments of the round.

Ward’s round, 10-9

ROUND 6

Kovalev has started to find Ward from long range, but his shots have no effect on Ward. Although clearly fatigued at this point, Kovalev is clearly the busier fighter in this round.

Kovalev’s round, 10-9

ROUND 7

Left hook lands for Ward early in the round, as he continues to effectively counter Kovalev’s aggression. In the final minute of the round, Ward lands a light shot slightly below Kovalev’s beltline, and after a few seconds of allowing the challenger to recover, Weeks signals for him to continue. He did not rule it’s a low blow, however.

Ward’s round, 10-9

ROUND 8

Midway through the round, Ward lands a shot to Kovalev’s beltline, causing the Russian to double over.

Seconds later, Ward bounces a right off Kovalev’s jaw, backing him up as Ward quickly forces Kovalev to the ropes. From that point, Ward has Kovalev hurt and is stalking the bigger man around the ring. Ward eventually traps Kovalev along the ropes near a neutral corner, landing a series of shots to his beltline, as Kovalev completely drops his hands and slumps against the ropes. Seeing this, referee Tony Weeks steps in and stops the fight with 2:29 left in the round.

 

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