Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward is a PPV boxing match. Three world light heavyweight titles (WBA super, IBF and WBO) were at stake. The fight took place on November 19, 2016 in Las Vegas.
In November 2015, Ward moved from super middleweight to light heavyweight and signed with HBO. This contract included the fight Kovalev – Ward. In April 2016, the fight was officially confirmed. The date of the event is November 19, 2016. Various experts called this fight the biggest fight of 2016. The winner, according to many, became the best boxer in the world, regardless of the weight category. Additional interest was also caused by the fact that athletes box in a completely different style. Kovalev goes forward, presses and throws hard punches. Ward is on the counterattack. Kovalev has a heavy punch, and Ward has an excellent defense. It is worth noting that Kovalev – Ward is only the third time in the history of boxing when two undefeated boxers from the top 5 P4P rating meet in the ring. Previous two fights: Chavez – Taylor (1st fight) (Eng.)Rus. in 1990 and De La Hoya – Trinidad (English) Russian. in 1999
Before the fight
Before the fight, the boxers had to fight 2 fights each. Kovalev: rematch with Jean Pascal and fight with Isaac Chilemba. Ward: fight with Sullivan Barrera and with Alexander Brand (English) Russian. Both boxers won victories in these fights.
On October 29, a mini-movie “My Fight: Kovalev/Ward” dedicated to the fight was released on HBO. On November 12, an episode of the program “Road To” (“Road To Kovalev / Ward”), also dedicated to the fight, aired on HBO.
The bookmakers had Ward as a slight favorite. Sportingbet, for example, set the following odds: 1.8 for the victory of Ward and 2.0 for the victory of Kovalev.
On November 17, the final press conference took place.
Guaranteed fees: Kovalev – $2 million, Ward – $5 million.
On November 18, the official weigh-in took place before the fight. Boxers met the limit, showing the same weight – 175 pounds (79.4 kg).
Main match progress
Kovalev started the fight well. In the 2nd round, the Russian knocked down his opponent. However, Ward quickly recovered and continued the fight. Gradually the fight leveled off. The champion pressed and delivered power punches. The applicant acted as the second number and worked mainly with a jab. When reducing the distance, Ward began to use the clinch and the referee had to separate the fighters. In general, both boxers had good moments. However, Sergei’s punches looked harder. As a result, the fight lasted all 12 rounds. The judges unanimously gave the victory to Ward with a score of 114-113.
Kovalev categorically disagreed with the decision of the judges: “I do not agree with the decision of the judges. Fans are in solidarity with me, they booed the judge’s verdict. I understand that I am visiting the USA and the judges were local… This is absurd. Ward was on the floor, and the maximum took a few rounds, the rest of the time I dominated. Of course I want a rematch. But I don’t consider myself a loser. I’m furious.”
Ward had this to say: “I know the fight was even and you could hear the audience thought I won… I was a champion before and I knew it was going to be a tough fight – it was the first time in my career I was sent to the floor. He did everything I expected from him. Started fighting the way I expected. My trainer did a great job. It’s hard for me to call myself great. But, in the end, I am a champion of two weight classes. Of course, I will agree to a rematch, but I won’t discuss it right now – I’ll go home, rest, and then we’ll see.”