Exclusive: Duva gives props to Ward, states Kovalev clearly won as rematch looms

David Spagnolo

Promoter Kathy Duva is putting plans in motion on Monday to begin the process of arranging an immediate return between star fighter Sergey Kovalev and new pound for pound king Andre Ward.

Kovalev dropped Ward and dominated the first half of their Las Vegas showdown on Saturday night but eventually lost out on the scorecards by just a solitary point with the three American judges.

The defeat marks the first of the big-hitting Russian’s career and Duva has a contractual agreement in place to give ‘Krusher’ the opportunity to win back his WBO, IBF and WBA light-heavyweight belts.

“We will notify the appropriate parties on Monday that we plan to exercise our right to an immediate rematch,” Duva exclusively told World Boxing News.

“Obviously, I think there is no question that, while Ward fought brilliantly, figuring Sergey out after the first 6 rounds, Sergey managed to figure ward out by the 10th round and clearly won the fight with those last two rounds.

“I was also very unhappy with the fact that the referee (Robert Byrd) barely bothered to break them when they were wrestling. In my view, that also affected the outcome in a big way.

“We have the right to call for an immediate rematch and we intend to do so,” she added.

Ward looked surprised when the result was read out by experienced announcer Michael Buffer, whilst a big percentage of media at ringside had Kovalev winning the contest by at least two rounds.

The only consolation for Duva and Kovalev is the fact that another helping of the weekend’s bout would be all the more lucrative for all involved and could take place by the late spring or early summer in 2017.