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LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 17: Andre Ward (L) punches Sergey Kovalev during their light heavyweight championship bout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on June 17, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ward retained his title with a TKO in the eighth round. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Andre Ward cemented his superiority over Sergey Kovalev via TKO in the eight round in last night’s much-anticipated rematch between the two bitter light heavyweight rivals. But not even a knockout victory could dissipate doubts over the “Son of God”.

The audience saw an unfair victory, primarily because of three low blows, two of which were not called out by referee Tony Weeks.

Compubox statistics and judges’ scorecards, however, show that Ward was on his way to a victory.

At the time of the stoppage, judges David Moretti and Glenn Feldman had the fight scored 66–67 for Ward, while Steve Weisfeld had it scored 68–65 for Kovalev. This scoring trend signals the possibility of a split decision.

Compubox figures, however, show that overall, Ward was more active, more accurate, and based on the deterioration in Kovalev’s number of punches thrown and landed, had better defense.

Ward landed 33.8% of total punches, compared to Kovalev’s 23.3%. He landed 28.7% of his jabs and 36.8% of his power punches, compared to Kovalev’s 24.5% (jabs landed) and 22.4% (power punches landed).

Rounds 3 and 4 were particularly telling. In the third round, Ward landed 39.1% of his total punches, compared to Kovalev’s 20.8%. In the fourth, Ward landed 50% of his power punches compared to 11.1% by Kovalev.

For the first five rounds, Ward’s landing rate for power punches averaged 39.1%. By the fifth round, Kovalev was noticeably tiring out, likely feeling the impact of the effectiveness of Ward’s power punches in the first five rounds.

Kovalev’s best performance based on the numbers was in the second round, where 33.3% of his total punches landed, his highest landing rate in all eight rounds. All three judges similarly scored the round for Kovalev. But even this figure fell short of Ward’s 40% rate in the same round.

Going by the numbers, Ward demonstrated superiority in activity and accuracy that would probably have carried him to the same outcome had the fight gone the distance.