Kovalev cries foul

NUMERO UNO . . . American Andre Ward survived a second-round knockdown to beat Sergey Kovalev on points and claim the Russian’s IBF, WBA and WBO light-heavyweight boxing titles in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

NUMERO UNO . . . American Andre Ward survived a second-round knockdown to beat Sergey Kovalev on points and claim the Russian’s IBF, WBA and WBO light-heavyweight boxing titles in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

LOS ANGELES. — Sergey Kovalev accused American judges of favouring Andre Ward after the Russian suffered a controversial defeat by decision in their world light-heavyweight boxing title battle on Saturday night.Many neutrals at ringside believed Kovalev – who scored the fight’s only knockdown when he sent Ward to the canvas in the second round – had done enough to retain his WBA, WBO and IBF crowns.But the three US judges scoring an attritional bout at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena all gave more weight to Ward’s disciplined display over the closing stages, when he landed scoring blows as the previously unbeaten Kovalev tired.All three judges scored it 114-113 in Ward’s favour, improving the 2004 Olympic champion’s record to 31-0 with 15 knockouts.Kovalev however was distraught at the loss, which he suggested was influenced by his nationality.

“It’s the wrong decision. But I don’t want to give my opinion. Everybody is here, witnesses are here, everybody saw what happened,” he said. “He got maybe a few rounds. But not the whole fight. I kept control. I lost maybe three rounds. Look at his face and look at my face.

“I’m a guest here in the USA and he’s a local, and all the judges are from the USA. I agree they support their boxer but honestly, this is sport. Don’t make it like politics.”The statistics from a gripping 12-rounder reflected the closeness of the battle.Kovalev landed more punches, 126-116, and more power punches, 78 to 61.

Ward however, who stepped up a division to take on Kovalev landed more jabs, 55-48. — Reuters

 

Pin It