Sergey Kovalev kept coming, and Andre Ward never stopped battling. With the crowd roaring in approval, they put on a fight that lived up to its advance billing.
In the end, Ward won a narrow decision Saturday night to take Kovalev’s light heavyweight titles in a battle between two unbeaten boxers.
Ward survived a second-round knockdown and relentless pressure from Kovalev, doing just enough to win by a point on all three ringside scorecards. He remained unbeaten in his last 20 years in the ring, but it wasn’t without some moments of worry.
All three ringside judges had Ward winning 114-113.
Ward won all of the last six rounds on two scorecards, and five of six on a third. He won the final round on two of the scorecards.
Kovalev knocked down Ward in the second round and chased him around the ring much of the early part of the fight. But Ward dug deep and managed to land some good punches of his own in a fight that built to a climax in the later rounds.
The crowd of 13,310 at the T-Mobile Arena was on its feet in the late rounds as the two fighters went after each other, neither giving an inch. In the end, the judges favored Ward’s counter punching against the aggressive style of Kovalev.