Sunday, 16 April 2017 19:27

Ward vs Kovalev: Will someone tell Sergey he wasn't robbed?

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Former light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev is still incensed over his razor thin loss to Andre Ward in November.

Sergey insists he was victimized by unfair judging and has even demanded neutral (non American or Russian) judges for their June 17 rematch.

When will someone tell Sergey he wasn't robbed?

Evander Holyfield vs Nikolay Valuev was a robbery.... Dereck Chisora vs Robert Helenius was a robbery...Pernell Whitaker vs Julio Cesar Chavez was robbery.

The decision for Ward vs Kovalev is debatable but it was clearly not a robbery. It was a close a fight that could have gone either way. In fact, the best decision might have been a draw.

Were the judges partial to Ward?

Given Andre was floored in Round 2, one could have conceivably had the Russian up 40-35 after four rounds. In fact, two judges scored it that way after four, and few would argue with that tally.

Fact: When Kovalev was getting the job done, the judges sided with him. There was no fix in place.

Kovalev's problem: When he was less assertive and his output dropped, the judges favored Ward who was arguably effective enough to get the benefit of the doubt in some close rounds in the back half of the fight.

So what do the CompuBox stats tell us?


  • Kovalev landed 126 of 474 punches thrown (27%)
  • Ward landed 116 of 337 punches thrown (34%)

Powershots (or non jabs)

  • Kovalev landed 78 of 232 punches thrown (34%)
  • Ward landed 61 of 169 punches thrown (36%)

.. Not exactly lopsided numbers.

Like Juan Manuel Marquez in his third fight with Manny Pacquiao, Kovalev appeared to win his rounds more emphatically than Ward while the latter, like Pacquiao, was given the nod in most of the hard-to-call stanzas.

Kovalev fought well and it's understandable he thinks he deserved to win. However, his "robbery" claims and conspiracy theories about the judges' supposed favoritism takes things a bit too far.

Lee Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.