A disconcerting pattern is developing for Ward, who is stuck fighting at a distance against a fighter with a superior jab. Kovalev throws his jab with the authority of a power punch. Ward started the round by grabbing Kovalev and throwing him into the corner.
After the referee spoke to them, Kovalev reached out to touch gloves, but Ward refused. About 50 seconds into the round, Kovalev buckled Ward’s legs with a jab. Ward closed the distance over the second half of the round, but Kovalev still took it.
L.A. Times card: 10-9, (30-26) Kovalev.