Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Sports in brief

boxing

ward shows just enough for decision

LAS VEGAS — Sergey Kovalev kept coming, and Andre Ward never stopped battling. With the crowd roaring, Ward won a narrow decision late Saturday to take Kovalev's light heavyweight titles in a battle of unbeatens.

Ward survived a second-round knockdown and relentless pressure from Kovalev, doing just enough to win by a point on all three ringside scorecards.

"This was a beautiful thing. We did it baby," Ward said.

All three ringside judges had Ward (31-0) winning 114-113.

"It was a fight of my life," said Kovalev, 33, who fell to 30-1-1. "I am disappointed in the judges' decision. He got maybe a few rounds, I agree with that. I kept control."

Ward, 32, won all of the last six rounds on two scorecards, and five of six on a third. He had not appeared in a marquee fight in more than four years — a period of sporadic fights marred by injury and a dispute with his promoter.

ET CETERA

soccer: Chelsea moved to the top of the English Premier League, a first-half goal by Diego Costa giving the visitors a 1-0 victory at Middlesbrough. Chelsea dominated with unrelenting pressure, and Costa scored four minutes before the break. … Valentin Eysseric scored against his former teammates to send Nice to a three-point lead at the top of the French league with a 1-0 win at Saint-Etienne. … Host Hoffenheim remained unbeaten in the Bundesliga after a 2-2 draw with last-place Hamburg. … Less than two months after taking over Valencia, Cesare Prandelli is already hearing boos. The coach and his players were jeered after Valencia was held to a 1-1 draw at home by last-place Granada in the Spanish league.

olympics: Russian sport is a long way from convincing the world that it has cleaned up its act, the World Anti-Doping Agency declared, pointing to the state's failure to accept it was behind a doping program, its continued obstruction of testing, and a series of cyberattacks. "It would be better if they were maybe a little bit more contrite," WADA president Craig Reedie said. Russia is seeking readmission to WADA a year after being declared noncompliant with the doping code.

Times wires

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