Questionable decision Victory for Andre Ward

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Questionable decision Victory for Andre Ward

BoxingGlove Notes

Distinio Lois, Jr.

“All 3 judges have agreed on the same unanimous decision of 114-113”-when I heard that opening statement by the ring announcer I had a foreboding feeling that Sergey “The Kruscher” Kovalev was “Crushed” out of his well-earned decision victory over Andre “Son of God” Ward and his 3 Light Heavyweight Crowns, the W.B.A., W.B.O, & I.B.F. were taken away from him, Saturday night, November 19, 2016.

The final segment of his announcement in front of 14,000 fans at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, plus the thousands watching on pay-per-view, of course was, “and the ‘new Light Heavyweight Champion’ of the World, Andre “Son of God” Ward”. Sad and Touching!

When the final bell of the 12th round sounded which also Kovalev won, you could see Ward’s first ring defeat amateur and pro etched on his battered face as he walked towards his crest fallen trainer-mentor, Virgil Hunter.

Upon hearing he was the winner, Ward’s eyes opened up wide like a deer caught in the headlights and smiled looking like a child who found his number one Christmas gift under the tree.

How could 3 world re-known veteran fight judges, Burt Clements, Glenn Trowbridge, and John McKale, make such a horrendous decision is beyond my comprehension. Even if they called it that close which it wasn’t, the wrong hand was raised in victory.

Throughout the decades of the sweet science there have been some very wrong boxing decisions similar to this that make you question the competence of some fight judges, and why they are not periodically sent to a fight judge refresher course mandated by each State Athletic Commission.

From the very first round, you could feel Kovalev’ dominance over Ward, as he hurt him almost immediately forcing Ward to keep his distance to survive. In the 2nd round Ward was knocked down by a counter-punch right hand by Kovalev similar to 3G Golovkin’s right hand counter-punch knockout of Danny Geale.

Andre Ward valiantly survived the knockdown sheepishly smiling but back-peddled in a defensive mode as Kovalev advanced and reigned knockout intended punches on a hurt Ward.

Kovalev won the first 4 rounds as Ward began to fight back sporadically in the 5th round perhaps listening to the pleas of his trainer Hunter, “don’t blow this son, keep jabbing, move, don’t trade punches with him. Remember what we did in camp. Look at me, look at me, are you listening? Remember we came here for those 3 belts”.

Throughout the fight round after round you could hear trainer Hunter, talking and sometimes scolding Ward to listen to him to remember his mission and what he was there for, “to win at all cause!” Verbally and psychologically Hunter was perhaps more victorious than Ward.

Kovalev seemed to tire by the 7th round as Ward bloodied his nose with his hard piston-like jabs and body punches forcing Kovalev to back up and sometimes hold.

It was not enough for a Ward victory since I saw Kovalev win 7 rounds by a combined effort of hard punches to Ward’s head and body plus a strong jab, and winning most of the give and take exchanges.

Black Star News scored the fight 116-112 for Sergey Kovalev since in the 10th round both combatants threw few punches as they clinched repeatedly making it an even round.

I was surprised that referee Bird did not penalize Ward for holding so much during the fight. Ward would punch and then grab Kovalev continuously without a warning.

This so-called mega fight between 2 giants of the ring evidently demands a re-match as Kovalev demanded for March/2017. “I know I kicked his ass”, stated a disgusted Kovalev.

“Maybe a Russian fighter has a difficult time getting a fare decision against an American Olympic Hero here in the United States. Maybe next time we should fight in Russia. Ward knows I beat him and all he did was grab and hold and run away, and the referee didn’t warn him at all,” Kovalev stated further.

A delighted and relieved Andre Ward stated, “I know that I won, you can hear how the fans are cheering for me although, yes, it was very close. Kovalev is entitled to a re-match and I will give it to him, but I will first enjoy this victory that I worked so very hard for all of my life with my family. I am now a 2-time world champ.”

Ward stated further, “I rose to the occasion despite Kovalev’ strength and I used my boxing skills to outclass him even by the slimmest of margins because I wasn’t leaving Las Vegas without those 3 belts.”

Although the purses were surprisingly questionable, Kovalev the champ, $2 million and Ward the challenger $5 million, the rematch will certainly reap more revenues for both fighters.

I would hope that in the future fight promoters billing these particular special fights like Ward vs. Kovalev, as mega, pound for pound, for ring supremacy in particular weight levels, and globally, which includes the costly pay-per-view, would consider to then promote them, at a 15 round distance instead of the regular 12 round distance.

Those 3 extra rounds would perhaps solve the problem of these questionable decisions, and perhaps place these mega ring wars on an upper level.

Since there is another recognized Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, 28-1, 23 knockouts who owns, the W.B.C., Lineal, & Ring Magazine titles, Ward cannot be named Pound for Pound until he wins all of the belts.

If Sergey Kovalev wins the re-match scheduled for March / 2017, then it will be Kovalev who will then challenge Superman Stevenson in a winner take all ring classic.

Almost forgotten in this light heavyweight mix was the pro debut of 2-time Gold Medal Olympian London-2012 & Rio de Janeiro-2016, Claressa Shields, 21, Flint, Michigan. Shields, who idolized Laila Ali defeated Franchon Crews an amateur rival from the Olympic Trials in 4 rounds.

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