Ward gets nail-biting points win over Kovalev

His only strategy for the Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward fight is to do anything to get the coveted victory.

Kovalev had the better of the exchanges in the third round, but Ward did well to steady the ship without troubling the Russian.

The final round was fought with the same electricity as the preceding eleven, and the crowd stood to shower the two boxers with applause in the last ten seconds of the fight. Sergey was trying to make the fight and he [Ward] was trying to run. The most recent before Ward was Bruno Girard, who won the super middleweight belt in 2000 and the light heavyweight title in 2001. I had it 115-113 and it was a very, very close fight. The way it ended, some will think Ward did enough and others will be just as adamant that he did not.

Virgil Hunter, Andre Ward's trainer, summed it up before it even happened.

He later added: "I am the guest here in the US... he's a local and all the judges [Glenn Trowbridge, John McKaie and Burt Clements] were from the USA". Both he and Russia's Kovalev (30-0, 26 knockouts) have beaten the best that their preferred divisions have to offer. But this is boxing, and there's a pay-per-view to sell for $64.95 to fans who haven't reached into their wallets for recent bouts. Oddsmakers slightly favor Ward for his ability to win a decision, but neither fighter has lost and Kovalev is always just one big punch away from ending any fight.

"I'm glad to see two guys step up and fight each other at the peak of their careers and give us what the fans asked for", said Jones. "If all three judges thought that I won the fight I don't know if all three can be wrong".

With the bad blood boiling in the immediate aftermath of the decision, at least both fighters can agree on one thing.

Ward has not lost in the ring in 20 years and he has the self belief that is incredible, his nickname is Son of God. We had a tough fight and we did what champions do and that is get off the canvas.

"I slowly broke him down", Ward said.

"Everyone has their own journey and this is how the chips fell", Ward said. After the knockdown, I think he realized I wasn't going anywhere.

"I've heard some people say that I'm not the same fighter that I was when I was in my 20s and I hope I'm not", he said. He fought on undercards in small arenas for years before finally becoming a regular attraction on HBO, largely because of his knockout power. Many writers have pegged Nicaraguan flyweight Roman "Chocolatito" González as the current number one heading into tonight, but did Ward's performance warrant putting him on top of the sport's Mount Olympus?

"It's simple. He don't like me, and I don't like him", Ward said (via ESPN). I love both countries, which is why I have two houses, Russian Federation and America.

"I feel a bit uncomfortable because I don't agree with the decision".

In a surprising unanimous decision on Saturday, Olympic gold medallist Ward edged the powerful Russian 114-113 as he improved his ideal record to 31-0. But he seemed to have gained strength in the closing rounds and landed clear power shots which proved to be the clincher in the unanimous decision win.

"He's a good boxer and obviously he can punch", Ward said.

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