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What Had Happened Was

What Had Happened Was: 6/19/17

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GAME. BLOUSES.

What would an Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev fight be without controversy? After the pair’s November 2016 bout ended in a highly contested unanimous decision in favor of the challenger, Ward, boxing fans were very much looking forward to a sequel that was more Empire Strikes Back than Matrix Reloaded, especially in the shadow of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor announcement last week.

But, alas, there’s no such thing as perfect when it comes to Ward and Kovalev. After a nearly evenly split first seven rounds of action on Saturday night — Ward, the three-belt light heavyweight champ, led 67-66 on two scorecards — the two fighters headed into a crucial eighth round. The fight had been a hard-hitting, tactical-but-also-reckless affair early on, with a barely missed knockout punch from Kovalev and a low blow (foreshadowing) from Ward. And all that expelled energy left the former champion a little more loose-legged than Ward, thus leading to what happened next.

With just seconds remaining in the eighth round, Ward landed a right hand to the chin of Kovalev that sent the Russian wobbling into the ropes. From there, Ward continuously worked the body, landing punch after punch to the gut. On the final hit, though, it appears Ward caught Kovalev where the sun doesn’t shine, stopping the former champ in his tracks — who among us could survive a hit to that area? — leading to a TKO victory for Ward.

Kovalev’s camp plans to protest the result to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but for the time being (or at least until Mayweather returns), Ward is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

BLESSINGS

SOCIAL STATUS

FOR THE CULTURE

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TOP THREE TWEETS

1. HARD KNOCKS

2. FACE OFF

3. THAT BOY UP TO SOMETHING

ICYMI

On June 21, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark will visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. The pair will also announce a partnership with the museum and a donation according to Bon Kendrick, the president of the Negro Leagues Museum.

“We’ve gotten some support throughout our existence, but we’ve never sat down at a table with the league to find out ways to support the museum,” Kendrick told the Kansas City Star‘s Josh Tolentino. “It’s important to formulate partnership not just for financial reasons, but to have that support and to create a platform we can continue to rely on going forward.”

Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones visited the museum while the team played the Kansas City Royals in mid-May and before leaving donated $20,000 to the facility. All this came in the same month that Jones was berated with racists taunts at Fenway Park and had a bag of peanuts thrown at him.

 

PICTURE-PERFECT

Martenzie is a senior researcher for The Undefeated. His favorite cinematic moment is when Django said "Y'all want to see somethin?"

Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.