Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Ward Stops Kovalev to Retain Light Heavyweight Crown

Ward Stops Kovalev to Retain Light Heavyweight Crown

Sergey, leave Ward alone and become the mighty "Krusher" again.

Yormark said he would give Ward time to enjoy the win and then look for the biggest fight available.

But this bout was once again marred by controversy after the Russian was stopped in the eighth round by a big right hook followed by a succession of apparent body-shots after which referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight.

Of course Kovalev wants a third fight-which won't happen and felt Ward hit him low in the eighth round.

Ward remained unbeaten by turning the tables on the big punching Kovalev, who seemed to tire as the fight went on.

It was the first time Kovalev (30-2, 25 KOs) was finished in his career. Rigondeaux is scheduled to fight Moises Flores in a super bantamweight championship boxing match Saturday in Las Vegas.

Last November's title fight between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev was one of the most controversial in boxing a year ago. "He is a great fighter, and when you fight great fighters, you have to raise your game".

Sergey Kovalev: "He hit with four low blows. Why stop the fight?"

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The first time the two fought on HBO PPV, they recorded a reported 160,000 buys.

"I could tell he was reacting to my body shots and I knew I had him then", Ward said. I didn't feel the punch. Ward retained his title with a TKO in the eighth round. "It's her fighter", Bennett said to USA Today.

Agnew, who had only previously lost to Sergey Kovalev and Samuel Clarkson, went into survival mode and somehow made it through the next two sessions only for the referee to spare him more punishment midway through the fourth.

"I couldn't believe it, I could win", Kovalev said. "I'm the pro. World champion should fight everywhere". Yes, he did punch me, but he didn't hurt me.

Ward, who won an Olympic gold in 2004 and hasn't lost a fight since he was 12, took a few rounds to find his mark but once he did the two engaged in close rounds that were hard to score. "If the punch landed after the bell it is a disqualification", Bennett said.

If the matchup isnt attractive enough, the two fighters have a genuine dislike for each other they were not afraid to voice this week. Ward, however, was able to wear down Kovalev by consistently attacking his body. Ward and Kovalev (at least until recently on the latter) probably deserve to be ranked ahead of Stevenson based on their competition of late, but the champ is the champ until someone beats him. He appeared confident he would do just that, coming into the ring doing a little dance before turning to salute the crowd. He earned a fixed $6.5 million (Dh23.8m), while Kovalev had no guaranteed purse and was forced to settle for a minority share of the TV revenue and the gate.

The victory was disputed as television replays showed Rigondeaux landed a left hand after the round-ending bell had rang.

Also on the main card Guillermo Rigondeau defeated Moses Flores via the first-round knockout. Drakulich ruled it a knockout, and state commission officials huddled before they supported the ref's decision, instead of giving Rigondeaux a no contest or even disqualifying him.

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