LAS VEGAS — Andre Ward survived a second-round knockdown Saturday night to do just enough to win a narrow decision over Sergey Kovalev in a battle of unbeaten light heavyweights.
Ward took Kovalev's light heavyweight titles in a fight that lived up to its advance billing, winning enough rounds late to eke out a unanimous decision. 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. The Associated Press had Kovalev ahead 116-111.
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 at the T-Mobile Arena roared its approval 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.