Andre Ward edged out Sergey Kovalev in their first fight, but did our Panel of experts think he was a worthy winner?
The American claimed a unanimous decision win by just a single point on all three scorecards, and the light-heavyweight rivals will meet again in the early hours of Sunday morning in Las Vegas,
‘Krusher’ still believes he should have received victory from the judges, so we asked the Panel to reveal how they scored the fight…
With the knockdown, Kovalev opened an early lead on my scorecard, but neither of them really did enough in the second half of the fight. Ward was smothering the work of Kovalev, who ruined it for himself late on. I don’t know what was up with Kovalev? Was he gassed?
If I’m honest, I thought the fight should have been scored a draw. That would have been the right decision.
I had tipped Ward to win the fight beforehand, so I could have been biased towards him, but in truth I thought Kovalev won.
He did just enough. Ward’s problem is that period of inactivity, which has affected his performances in the ring. The likes of Kovalev have overtaken him by staying busier.
I didn’t score it round-by-round but when it was over, I just immediately thought Kovalev had done enough to win. Maybe if I had gone through it and scored each round I would’ve agreed with the judges.
It was too hard for me to see where Ward was scoring. Kovalev is not hard to work out and Ward is technically the best on the planet, but people even forget he was put down in the second. Maybe going for the kill the way he did worked against Kovalev.
I thought it was a really close fight. My initial instinct was that Kovalev had done enough to nick it. Watching it back, Ward did a lot of clever things that I did not see at the time, and from the perspective of the judges at ringside they probably got it just about right.
But I think that Kovalev would have taken positives from it and he definitely feels like he won.
I was at the first fight and I thought that Ward was clawing it back. As they went into the last round, I had it level, but Ward didn’t really do anything, so I gave it to Kovalev.
For me, it was one of those fights that could have gone either way. It was a close fight, but it wasn’t a robbery.
I had Kovalev winning by three. He put Ward down once but also shook him up a few times. I backed Kovalev from the start and people thought I was mad, but I was proved right. At least in my eyes!
Styles make fights and yes, Ward came back a bit in the last few rounds but I just couldn’t see how they scored it like that. Maybe Kovalev let him in over the last few rounds but even so, I just couldn’t see what the judges saw.
Paul Smith vs Tyron Zeuge is live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 9pm on Saturday, then Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev II is live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 2am on Sunday morning.