Ward vs Kovalev statsWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Last night, Andre Ward lifted the titles of consensus light heavywweight champion Sergey Kovalev via a tight but unanimous decision.
All three judges scored it 114-113.
And Ward's win, of course, wasn't without controversy.
Ward vs Kovalev was a 'tale of two fights.' Sergey won the early rounds and Ward asserted himself in the second half.
The ultimate question: Did Ward do enough late to overcome a large deficit?
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.
... But two of the three judges also had Ward winning the last six rounds (Rds 7-12) while the third had Andre winning five of the last six.
And two of the three judges had Ward winning seven of the last eight rounds.
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%)
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 close stanzas.
Rounds 1, 2 and 4 were decisive Kovalev rounds and he won those stanzas on each of the cards.
In the first four rounds, Kovalev connected on 36 of 147 shots while Ward's output was abysmal. The Californian landed 20 of just 73 shots thrown.
However, in Rounds 7-12, Sergey landed 74 of 258 while Ward connected on 80 of 205.
In the end, the judges favored Ward's style in a few difficult, hard-to-call rounds that could have gone either way.