Published: Thu, June 22, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Boxer Andre Ward Stops Russia's Sergei Kovalev In Eighth Round

Boxer Andre Ward Stops Russia's Sergei Kovalev In Eighth Round

Ward and his camp dismissed any idea that low blows were a factor, preferring instead to celebrate a win that put to rest any controversy over the judging in their first fight last November.

But on Saturday night, Ward was actually a better fighter that he had even been before - and even before, he was pretty good.

"I knew it was close, I went right back to the body", Ward said. I got him with the right hand, then I went back to the body a few times. "When I hit him with the last one he didn't react".

Andre Ward scored an eighth-round technical knockout over Russia's Sergei Kovalev to defend his three light-heavyweight titles.

Kovalev said he hoped to have a third fight, but that is quite improbable, given the awful rancor between Roc Nation Sports and Kovalev promoter Main Events, not to mention that the first fight was not a commercial success and the rematch was not likely to be one either.

"I feel good, I should be continuing now", Kovalev said.

"Honestly, if you look at it, Sergey is not going to have to do much more than what he did because he proved to the fans in the first half of the fight that he can win it at Ward's own game", said trainer John David Jackson.

It was the first time Kovalev (30-2, 25 KOs) was finished in his career.

Sergey Kovalev continues to show a distinct lack of class, walking out of major press conferences, accusing all of lying on him when his history of racism is both accurate and obvious.

Ward did mention after the fight that he would be open to one day attempting a fight at heavyweight - referencing Roy Jones Jr in the past completing such stellar accomplishments in terms of stepping up from lower weight categories to boxing's glamor division. Weeks, meanwhile, was working hard to keep control as the two fighters clinched and hit each other behind the head, with Ward landing a low blow in the second round that doubled Kovalev over and caused Weeks to pause the bout. I do really well against big fighters because of my stamina, because I may not physically be the biggest but I'm strong.

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Since then, she has displayed telling poise - and she needed it against Pliskova, who smote 45 winners to Halep's 14. The 25-year-old broke serve in game three as her speed and accuracy proved too much for the wayward Pliskova.

There were two questionable blows around the belt line that Kovalev felt were below the belt and he protested. Ward followed up by insinuating that he's going to make Kovalev pay for what he considers undeniably racist.

We'll find out when they square off at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).

Kovalev seemed to get the early advantage with his aggressiveness as he pressed forward with his punches while backing Ward up with a straight jab. "After this, we don't want to hear any excuses", Ward said (via ESPN).

At the time of the stoppage, Ward was up on two out of the three judges scorecards. Rigondeaux is scheduled to fight Moises Flores in a super bantamweight championship boxing match Saturday in Las Vegas.

In his post-fight interview, Kovalev questioned the intervention of Weeks and suggested that he had received an illegal punch.

Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight with 31 seconds left in the eighth with Kovalev kneeling down from what he said was a low blow.

"I can not explain", the 34-year-old said. Ward said. "Of course, I hope so, but I don't have a vote, and hopefully we top that pound-for-pound list". But styles make fights.

"Maybe cruiserweight, I don't know", he said when asked about his plans. It happened. That's always been a dream of mine and that's something me and Virgil [Hunter, his trainer] talk about.

Anyone who watched the first fight would have to be intrigued by the rematch.

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