Ward says he earned decision vs Kovalev, wants to fight at heavyweight

November 23, 2016

Things have calmed down a little bit, but many are still worked up over Andre Ward’s controversial unanimous decision victory over Sergey Kovalev last weekend.

Kovalev knocked Ward down in the first round and was generally in control through the first half.  Ward showed a lot of heart and battled back through the middle and late rounds, but many didn’t think it was enough.  When it was announced that Ward had won by unanimous decision, I personally was shocked as I didn’t see Ward winning enough rounds to come back from the big hole he dug himself in the early going.

Most of the boxing press agreed that it was a close fight, but Kovalev should have gotten the decision.  OpeningRound readers thought so as well.  76% of you thought that Kovalev won in our poll.

Upon second viewing of the fight, I did think that it was a closer fight that what I initially thought upon first viewing.  Kovalev really didn’t land that many clean shots in the second half, and I think much of what I was watching the first time was clouded by the second round knockdown.  Feeling like Kovalev could KO Ward at any point made it feel like he was doing a little bit better than he actually was.

However, even giving Ward every benefit of the doubt in the swing rounds, I still scored the fight 114-113 in Kovalev’s favor with the knockdown being the difference.  I just don’t know how all three judges gave that many rounds to Ward.

For his part, Ward maintains that he won the fight.  He said, “We did it.  We did what we set out to do.  Five time world champion in two different weight classes.  By the grace of God, we do what they say we can’t do.  We go further than they say we can go.  We beat who they say we can’t beat.  Phil 4:13,2, Corinthians 12:9-10, Zechariah 4:6.  I earned a hard fought decision.”

Related:

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“I came from behind.  I got off the canvas and showed the heart and determination of a champion, just like the greats before me.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to build a legacy.  I won’t apologize for this decision.  I earned it!  I want to thank everyone who came out to T-Mobile Arena Saturday night.  It was amazing.  As well as those who bought pay-per-view.  And those supporting all over the world.  Truly thankful.”

So pretty much what you would expect him to say.  Ward also had some pretty interesting comments on where he could take his career next.   He said that he wants to move up to heavyweight in the future.

“Listen, I’ve thought about this a lot and I know it’s crazy.  I feel like I have a Roy Jones type of situation before my career is over.  It’s got to be the right opponent.  There’s certain guys you just don’t mess with, they’re too big and I respect that.”

Ward said he wouldn’t face guys like Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua because they’re too big.

Personally, I am completely uninterested in Ward doing this.  Who would want to see Ward let a slow, mediocre heavyweight chase him around all night just so that Ward can say he did it?  I would much rather see him rematch Kovalev, face Adonis Stevenson for a unification, have a mega-fight with Gennady Golovkin, or battle one of the up and coming light heavyweights in Artur Beterbiev or Oleksander Gvozdyk.  I think him facing a heavyweight would be a waste of everyone’s time.

See also:

Lomachenko says Walters will only give him 4 tough rounds

Arum says Lomachenko-Pacquiao possible for 2017

Pacquiao feels like he’s in his 20’s, still wants to face Mayweather

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