Ward vs. Kovalev 2: Pay-Per-View Undercard Results

By Caryn A. Tate on June 17, 2017
Ward vs. Kovalev 2: Pay-Per-View Undercard Results
The undefeated USBA champion is trained by John David Jackson. (Photo: Courtesy)

The pay-per-view portion of the card began with middleweights Arif Magomedov vs. Luis “Cuba” Arias…

The pay-per-view portion of the Ward vs. Kovalev 2 card began with middleweights Arif Magomedov (18-1, 11 KOs) vs. Luis “Cuba” Arias (17-0, 8 KOs) for the USBA middleweight championship in a 10-rounder. Arias, the undefeated USBA champion, is trained by John David Jackson (along with main event challenger Sergey Kovalev) and hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Magomedov trains with Marco Contreras, who was an assistant to renowned trainer Robert Garcia.

Arias, wearing metallic white and black/silver trunks, had Magomedov’s nose reddened halfway through the first round. Arias was landing the cleaner punches and was much busier. The second round continued similarly, and near the end of the round Arias landed a clean and very hard right hand square to Magomedov’s face that stunned him momentarily.

As the bout progressed, Arias couldn’t miss with the right uppercut. While Magomedov was clearly trying, he just got outworked by Arias early. “Cuba” got into a rhythm and began feeling more and more comfortable. In the fourth round, referee Robert Byrd touched the fighters and began to break them up from a clinch, and Arias landed a hard right hand. Byrd took Arias aside and spoke to him to warn him, though it must be said that I didn’t hear Byrd say “break” from ringside. Upon viewing the replay, it was clear that Byrd had tried to break the fighters incorrectly by grabbing only Magomedov, from behind, so Arias didn’t realize it was happening before he had released his punch.

In the fifth round, Arias landed a series of clean right hands that knocked Magomedov down. When he arose, his legs weren’t good, and shortly thereafter Magomedov’s corner threw in the towel.

After the bout, Arias said, “Finally! You just heard my name. Top 10 all around. Easy work.”

Light heavyweights Cedric Agnew (29-2, 15 KOs) and Dmitry Bivol (10-0, 8 KOs) squared off next in a 10-round fight. Bivol came out more active, working his jab, while Agnew spent too much time waiting. When Agnew did employ his jab, he steadily backed Bivol off, even when he wasn’t landing. Bivol hurt Agnew with a left hook upstairs, and Agnew went down not long afterward. After getting up, Agnew stayed in the corner with his guard up, and did catch some shots on his arms but also took several. For some reason Bivol backed off his pressure and Agnew survived the round.

Bivol displayed very good footwork, cutting off Agnew’s movement well. In the second, Agnew switched to southpaw and while it did seem to throw Bivol off a bit, the Chicago native didn’t use it to his advantage to mount his offense.

In the third, Bivol hurt Agnew again with a straight right that went between Agnew’s gloves. Finally, in the fourth round, the referee called the fight after seeing Agnew take too many clean punches.

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