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Op-Ed: Tony Weeks deserves credit for saving Kovalev from further injury

By Leo Reyes     Jun 19, 2017 in Sports
Boxing referee Tony Weeks should be praised for his decision to stop the Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev fight Saturday night to save Kovalev from further punishment following Ward's unrelenting body attack that sent Kovalev rolling down the ropes.
Ward's barrage of power shots to Kovalev's midsection came after the 33-year-old pound-for-pound king landed a big right to Kovalev's head midway to the eighth round.
Weeks stopped the fight knowing that Kovalev was badly hurt by Ward's power shot on Kovalev's head earlier in the round. Weeks also noticed that Kovalev's defenses were already down and no longer reacting to Ward's punches which makes him decide to wave off the fight.
While Weeks had been criticized for his quick judgement and for not giving Kovalev a chance to recover from the reported illegal below-the-belt shots, the public could find justification on Week's action following the death of heavyweight fighter Tim Hague, who died Sunday after his earlier fight last Friday when he landed in a hospital in a coma following his knock out loss to Adam Braidwood in Edmonton, Canada.
World Boxing News writes: 'The 34 year-old was knocked down three times in the first round by the stronger Braidwood but continued into the second round where he was dropped again.'
"An opportunity to stop the encounter may have initially been missed, although no blame can go to anyone as Hague bravely fought on," WBN said.
"Braidwood then connected with a sickening shot, which saw Hague's head bounce horribly off the canvas to end the fight instantly," it added.
The first Ward-Kovalev fight ended in controversy as majority of fans as well as some boxing analysts scored the fight for Kovalev but the judges ruled in favor of Ward.
The verdict for the Ward-Kovalev rematch becomes even more controversial because of Week's non-call of what appears to be foul shots thrown by Ward on Kovalev's midsection. Some observers saw it as tolerable because most of the punches landed on Kovalev's belt while one of the series of punches seem to have landed below the belt line.
Weeks' decision is going to be debated long after the fight makes its way to the archives but the veteran referee may have acted with the safety of the boxers in mind.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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