In front of more than 13,000 people in Las Vegas, Andre Ward showed the heart of a champion and defeated Sergey Kovalev to win the unified WBA, WBO and IBF light heavyweight titles.
Ward was hurt in the first round and knocked down in the second and was being out-hit in the following couple of rounds. Ward, needing to win almost every single round from that point onwards, did almost just that and was awarded the unanimous decision victory. All three judges scored the fight in favor of Ward 114-113.
Ward was having early trouble dealing with the stronger Kovalev’s signature left jab and paid for it with getting knocked down early in the second. The new champion then started landing body shot after body shot, which seemingly wore Kovalev down towards the second half of the fight.
Kovalev was not exactly happy with the decision, as HBO broadcaster Harold Letterman, who served as an unofficial fourth judge, gave Kovalev a 116-111 victory and told HBO broadcaster Max Kellerman in the post-fight interview that he wants a rematch.
When asked if he also would like a rematch, Ward said that he would give him a rematch, but would not negotiate it right now.
The fight was being advertised as the final say on who would be the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world and while that may still be debatable, Ward did walk out as the new light heavyweight champion and Kovalev is no longer undefeated as a pro boxer.