By Matthias Predonzan: As could be expected, in their rematch fight, Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev started from where they had left, with Ward controlling the fight and Kovalev having lost his confidence.
This is quite the standard, when 2 fighters fight a rematch: the best boxer, the one with better boxing IQ takes control of the fight in a more convincing way than in the first fight.
One of the last times we notably saw it, was with Floyd Mayweather Jr against Marcos Maidana.
Floyd was under pressure from the Argentinean puncher in their first bout but easily in control in their second fight.
I’m sure that is going to be a lot of controversy on this fight and the anti –Ward party will be very active on trying to discredit his victory.
This time, the key argument will be the alleged low blows that caused Kovalev defeat, like in the first bout the “reason” for Sergey defeat was fund mainly in Ward excessive clinching and wrong scoring from the judges.
In the first fight I rejected these arguments inviting the fans to look at who was starting the majority of the clinching ( Kovalev) and bringing to attention the fact that he was the one losing the inside game ( and therefore trying to avoid it using the clinching).
As for the score for the first fight, I saw a very even fight that could have been given to both fighters.
In this case it is much easier to reject the argument of Ward’s detractors, that is the alleged use of low blows.
They do not even need to see the fight again, they just need to look at the very last seconds before the fight, when referee Tony Weeks gave the boxers the last instructions: he touches Kovalev shorts RIGHT ON TOP OF HIS PROTECTOR BELT and says : – RIGHT HERE IS GOOD-.
The referee decides, based on the position of the fighter protector and shorts, if the limit is above or on the belt. Tony Weeks decided that the limit was on Kovalev’s belt and this is where some of Ward’s punches landed.
To me, this is end of the story.
As for the stoppage, I had preferred that the fight could continue. I’m quite sure that Kovalev was heading in any case to be stopped by Ward. (In my opinion Ward was 2 points ahead at the moment of the stoppage).
I missed the fight introduction’s part where, sometimes, are summarized the rules for the fight, so I do not know if a standing count was in force or not.
Could be the case that the 8 seconds standing count was not in force and therefore Tony Weeks made the right decision stopping a non responding fighter.
In the undercard I saw, from Guillermo Rigondeaux, one of the best displays of boxing I have seen in the last years.
The outcome of the fight was unfortunate but the boxing level Rigondeaux displayed, his absolute control of distance and unmatched timing was just amazing to me.
We can just dream of a Rigondeaux vs Vasyl Lomachenko fight in the near future.