By William Trillo
The very first words that Andre Ward spoke to the media in attendance at the post fight media were, “I see some sad faces out there, I don’t know why.” He then pointed to a handful of fans who somehow hadn’t left the building yet and said, “But I see some fans up there clapping.”
The reason Andre saw a room full of less than happy faces is because almost everyone to a man was let down by boxing again. Those sad faces were a reflection of the scores that only 30 minutes earlier handed Ward a victory and light heavyweight titles most believe he did not deserve.
Oh sure, there will be a few Ward fans like the stragglers in the auditorium who got to cheer for him, but once Ward hears what the majority of boxing pundits and fans have to say, he can look back and know why that room was full of sad faces.
I’d like to personally lay out everyone from the ref to the judges and all points in between for this travesty but it is likely you all will just say it’s more “Sour Grapes” from Trillo, this guy is never happy. So instead I will just give you a handful of quotes from boxing luminaries who most likely know a lot more about boxing than both you and I. Then you can go ahead and come to your own conclusions for yourself.
I asked long time boxing broadcaster Larry Merchant what he thought of Harold Lederman’s score after the fight. Larry stated he did not know what Harold said. When I told him the Lederman score was 116-112 Larry said, ‘That is pretty much the same score I had. Kovalev jumped out to an early lead and even though Ward did come back late there is no way I saw him winning that fight, not by any means.”
Montell Griffin, a former Light Heavyweight contender with 59 fights against some of the best to ever lace them up at 175 pounds stated, “This is why The UFC is taking over boxing. Decisions like this will send more fans away and over to MMA. Fans paid good money to see this fight both live and on PPV and now they will walk away with a bad taste in their mouths. Do you think they are going to want to buy another fight when they see robberies like this? This is a disgrace.”
Another former world champion with 57 bouts on his record, Jesse James Leija said of the outcome, “I feel like it was a close fight and Ward did well in the second half of the fight with his body punching. He pressed the fight at times and then boxed when he needed to. I still honestly feel it was close but I still had Kovalev winning. 114-113 or 115-112.”
A publicist for Top Rank Promotions who was in attendance simply said, “Ward did not win that fight.”
Montreal Trainer and former fighter Howard Grant told me, “Bill, I watched this fight two times. Once live on Saturday night and I watched it again on Sunday. When I watched it Saturday night I thought it was a very close fight that could have gone either way. Then I watched it Sunday with the sound off, I put the TV on mute. Without the commentary of the announcers I saw the fight completely different and now believe that Kovalev won that fight hands down.”
Puerto Rico boxing writer and Major League Baseball strength and conditioning coach Luis Cadiz Sr. said, “Let me tell you something, they stole everything from Kovalev Saturday night. His undefeated record and all his titles are gone. This was a pure robbery.”
As Kathy Duva stated at the post fight press conference, “We all got a great fight which is what boxing wanted but what boxing didn’t need is another bad decision…and we got that.”
Sergey Kovalev just cut to the chase with his comments, “You look at his face after the fight and look at my face. You tell me, who is the winner?”
I heard that Max Kellerman was trying to educate the fans watching the PPV what the difference between a close decision and a robbery is. I am really sorry I missed that. (Not really).
Look, what happened to Sergey Kovalev on Saturday night was criminal. As Cadiz said, Here is a guy who had an undefeated record and captured multiple world title belts with hard work and perseverance. Yet, in the blink of an eye he lost everything due to some extremely inept work by the officials overseeing this contest.
Take nothing away from Ward who got up off the deck after getting clubbed in the forehead. I think that Andre does himself a disservice by calling that a flash knockdown. He got up and survived a blow that dropped him to his hands and knees, a lesser foe might have stayed down. That being said, he did not get up and do enough to turn the tide that drastically, enough to win, in the opinion of the majority of the boxing world.
Duva now says she will exercise the immediate rematch clause yet Team Ward appears ready to drag this one out for a while and make Duva and Kovalev sweat it out. If there is one thing we all know about Ward it is the fact he will try not to honor contracts that he has already signed. If he were alive the late Dan Goossen would warn Duva to prepare for a long court battle.
I on the other hand see Ward accepting an immediate rematch as long as the fight takes place in Oakland. Knowing Kovalev I am sure he will accept that offer.
I for one would like to see this happen sooner rather than later. Kovalev deserves a chance to regain his belts.
“You’ve done me wrong”, it’s the same old song forever, forever
Robbery, assault and battery
The felon and his felony……. By Genesis
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