Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Ward, Kovalev do it again in light heavyweight title bout

Ward, Kovalev do it again in light heavyweight title bout

The two were staging a tense, tactical fight until Ward popped Kovalev with a left at the beltline, which seemed to stun the former champion.

Both Ward and Kovalev would open up with a hard-hitting intensity that channeled the weeks of verbal sparring the fighters went through leading up to the fight. Close round I give it to Kovalev.

"I am looking forward to making a statement in this fight and answering any questions that may be out there and removing any doubt that may be out there, so I'm excited". "We had a good camp last time, we had some physical issues". I am thankful for Virgil and my team.

There was a great deal of bad blood between the two after Ward won a hotly contested decision last November. This adds to my legacy.

"I could have continued", the Russian said.

"We want to talk about low blows tonight". Kovalev connects with a right hand, then they clinch. "I did what I had to do that's not my fault, I did my job". Ward followed up by digging to the body with a trio of left hooks, some of which appeared borderline in terms of being low.

Kovalev would not be the first boxer to drive a Hummer through standards of common decency, but the racist overtones and hints of homophobia leave him on the wrong side of public sentiment in this fight.

The pro resume he's compiled had already included a super middleweight cleanout that claimed the top-end likes of Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch, not to mention a champ-vs. -champ erasure of Chad Dawson that effectively ruined the one-time light heavyweight king's career. "No disrespect to Stevenson but I haven't even been thinking of him".

"There are some things about Joshua that I see. I'm not ruling it out".

Kovalev's promoter, Kathy Duva, said she would protest to the Nevada Athletic Commission on Monday to try and erase the second straight loss Kovalev suffered at the hands of Ward. And they laughed at me.

The fight itself played out early somewhat like the first one, with Kovalev starting out aggressively and Ward trying to find his rhythm. "Now we have quieted all those who were whining and thought we didn't get it the first time".

Kovalev apologised for likening the image of a Gorilla depicted on a t-shirt to Cuban opponent Adonis Stevenson two years ago, arguing that where he came from, the town of Kopeysk deep in the Russian hinterland more than 1,200 miles to the east of Moscow, that kind of stuff passes for humour. He is really lucky son of judges.

"Maybe cruiserweight, I don't know". And STOP with this low blow BS. I believe he can outbox Anthony Joshua. He started slowly, as he did in his unanimous-decision win here in November, but kept gaining strength as the rounds went on. I didn't feel it.

Ward, who is promoted by American rapper Jay Z's nascent Roc Nation Sports, has been guaranteed a minimum purse of US$6 million (S$8.2 million).

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