Welcome to Fightful.com's live viewing party of Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward for the unified WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight world championship. We'll be bringing you recaps and full, round-by-round coverage of the main event fight which will be broadcasted on HBO pay-per-view.
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Here's the main fight card:
Andre Ward defeated Sergey Kovalev via unanimous decision (114-113, 114-113, 114-113) to become the unified WBA, WBO, IBF light heavyweight titles.
Darleys Perez and Maurice Hooker tie (97-93, 93-97, 95-95)
Oleksandr Gvozdyk defeated Isaac Chilemba via referee technical decision after 8 rounds
Curtis Stevens defeated James de la Rosa via unanimous decision (96-92, 96-92, 98-90)
Curtis Stevens vs. James de la Rosa: Stevens begins the fight crushing de la Rosa and putting pressure on him throughout the first round of the fight. Stevens knocks his opponent down with seconds remaining in the first round. De la Rosa gets cut in the following round, but he did battle back and won a few rounds to even the fight. Halfway through the fight, Stevens said that he hurt his let hand and de la Rosa now begins to pounce on him.
Stevens' injury is affecting his performance tonight. His punches are not doing much damage and de la Rosa is utilizing the jab to win rounds. Stevens is trying to use the hook to put some pressure and damage, but de la Rosa brushes him off and is constantly moving around the ring. Stevens eventually hits a low blow in the 8th round of the fight. The last three rounds were much more even, with Stevens gaining a lot of momentum and de la Rosa did not hit any strong punches towards the end.
Official result: Curtis Stevens defeated James de la Rosa via unanimous decision (96-92, 96-92, 98-90)
Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Isaac Chilemba: The fight begins with little fanfare as there was not a lot of activity in the early going. Gvozdyk is throwing a little more punches in the first few rounds, but there isn't anything exciting going on until almost halfway through the fight. Chilemba eventually starts punching at Gvozdyk's body. Gvodzyk is now counter punching starting from the start of the sixth round. Chilemba is trying to use the jab to set up some a few combos, but they don't a whole lot to convincingly win rounds late in the fight. Chilemba complains after the eighth round about some sort of injury and asks the referee to stop the fight and it is stopped. Turns out that Chilemba suffered a broken right hand.
Official result: Oleksandr Gvozdyk defeated Isaac Chilemba via referee technical decision after 8 rounds
Maurice Hooker vs. Darleys Perez: Already in the first two rounds we have probably have more activity than most of the previous fight. Perez spends the vast majority of the first portion of the fight in the center of the ring while Hooker dances his way around the ropes. In the third round, Hooker starts to fight back seriously and the two begin to exchange various hooks and combos, easily making this fight far more exciting than the Gvozdyk and Chilemba fight.
Outside of that exchange in the third round, Hooker has not really shown much in this fight after four rounds and he has been getting beat in all aspects of boxing against Perez. Hooker finally starts to fight back a lot more consistently in the second half of the fight, leading with either a left hook or jab, but now is visibly frustrated. Hooker had a fit during a tie-up in the 6th round, landing an overhand rabbit punch and shoving Perez in the face and getting a stern warning from the referee. Perez remains steady and collected, still leading comfortably in this fight although Hooker probably won a couple of rounds in the second half of the fight.
Official Result: Darleys Perez and Maurice Hooker tie (97-93, 93-97, 95-95)
That was a horrendous result. Perez clearly won at least 7 of the 10 rounds, no doubt about it. Everyone had Hooker lose by a WIDE margin, but the two people that did not think so just happens to be the judges.
Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward: Unified WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight world championship bout
Round 1: Kovalev and Ward begin the fight staring at each other for the first minute, not really throwing a punch. Kovalev hurts Ward with a stiff left jab and Ward almost stumbles to the mat, but hugs Kovalev to stay up. Ward throws wild punches afterwards, but Kovalev comes out unscathed. Ward is trying to take the fight to the inside, but is not successful as the round ends. Not a lot of activity in this round.
Fightful scores round 1 for Kovalev 10-9
Round 2: Kovalev starts the round leading with his left jab again. Kovalev is connecting on hard rights and is putting Ward on the ropes. Ward lands a good right hand, but Kovalev still attacks. Kovalev knocks Ward down with a swift right jab! Kovalev now is trying to end the fight right here and Ward gets out of the round nearly out of the fight.
Fightful scores round 2 for Kovalev 10-8
Round 3: Kovalev is hurting Ward again with the jab. Ward is trying to survive by reaching in on the inside until the referee repeatedly separates them Kovalev is using his footwork to push Ward to the ropes. Kovalev is easily going through 2-3 punch combinations. Ward hits a strong jab, but doesn't do a ton of damage. Ward and Kovalev get tangled up again and the round ends with Ward pacing himself throughout the ring with Kovalev standing firm in the center of the ring.
Fightful scores round 3 for Kovalev 10-9
Round 4: Ward continues to grab Kovalev. Kovalev is still using the left jab to punish Ward and create openings for combinations. Ward responds with a left jab, and Kovalev responds with a left hook. Ward is now throwing more punches, but they're barely connecting. Kovalev hits various successive left jabs to Ward's face.
Fightful scores round 4 for Kovalev 10-9
Round 5: This round begins somewhat similarly to the first with both men taking a wait and see approach. Ward does hit a solid body shot, but Kovalev responds with a couple of stiff jabs. The two men clinch once more and Kovalev is trying to sneak in a punch upstairs. Both men throw punches, but they are mostly inconsequential.
Fightful scores round 5 for Ward 10-9
Round 6: Ward is now connecting left body jabs to Kovalev while Kovalev is trying to hit jabs upstairs. THe two men clinch a couple of more times. Kovalev connects on a couple of good right hands. Kovalev is in the middle of the ring while Ward keeps moving around the ring. Ward gets a right-handed body shot as the round ends.
Fightful scores round 6 for Kovalev 10-9
Round 7: Ward rocks Kovalev with a hard right jab and the two men immediately clinch and both men hit body shots in the clinch. Ward now has the momentum with clean jabs and Kovalev clinching instead of the other way around.
Fightful scores round 7 for Ward 10-9
Round 8: Kovalev is now keeping his distance from Ward, not out of cowardice, but to start using the jab again. Kovalev is now looking more sluggish thanks to various body shots landing on Kovalev throughout the fight. Once more, the two clinch. The two fighters exchange jabs.
Fightful scores round 8 for Ward 10-9
Round 9: Kovalev is throwing many jabs and then lands a clean combination of punches. Ward is trying to get into the inside and Kovalev pushes him to the corner. Kovalev lands a hard right hand and Ward does the same. Ward connects on a hard left hand. Kovalev answers with a stiff right on his own. Ward hits a solid right hook. Round ends with both men exchanging punches.
Fightful scores round 9 for Ward 10-9
Round 10: Ward starts off with hitting a strong right and Kovalev gets a hard right and even hits a good right body shot. The two boxers are trading shots blow-by-blow. Kovalev with a straight left jab. Kovalev hits a hard right hand and ward responds with a hard left hook. Kovalev takes advantage of Ward showboating and hits a strong left jab and hurts Ward again towards the end of the round.
Fightful scores round 10 for Kovalev 10-9
Round 11: The two men clinch and when they get out, Kovalev is on the attack, landing a hard right jab, but Ward gets to hit a body shot once more. Kovalev with a right hook and Ward hits with a left hook. Ward is throwing more punches in the last minute. Kovalev is pushed down and no knockdown was called.
Fightful scores round 11 for Ward 10-9
Round 12: There's some wrestling going on at the start of the fight and Ward lands a good right hand. Ward is not worried about Kovalev's power and is throwing more punches. Kovalev hits a strong body shot as the two men clinch again. Ward is backing up and Kovalev hits an accidental low blow.
Fightful scores round 12 for Ward 10-9, making it 114-113 for Kovalev
Official Result: Andre Ward defeated Sergey Kovalev via unanimous decision (114-113, 114-113, 114-113) to become the unified WBA, WBO, IBF light heavyweight titles.
Not exactly a robbery, but a 114-113 score for Ward means that he won 7 rounds, considering the -1 due to the second round knockdown and that is a bit perplexing. No one should be angry at the result, and Ward deserved to win thanks to a strong and nearly Herculean comeback starting from the 4th round onwards.