Andre Ward Stops Sergey Kovalev in Eighth to Retain Light Heavyweight Titles

Kristopher Nichols
June 19, 2017

OAKLAND'S Andre Ward moved up from super-middle to unify light-heavyweight world titles, but after halting Sergey Kovalev in their rematch on Saturday (June 17) Ward felt he wasn't done there.

Ward improved to 32-0 with 16 knockouts as he held onto three of the four major boxing belts that he snatched from Kovalev by winning the first fight in November by a slim unanimous decision.

The American caught Kovalev with a big right hand and followed it with a series of shots to the body. Kovalev reportedly claims the low blows that led to an early stoppage of the fight.

"He's a great fighter, not a lot of people are going to beat him", Ward said.

'Even if I clip him in the first round and they stop it, even though I want the fans to get what they deserve. Much like the first bout, Kovalev and Ward battled at a grueling pace through the first seven rounds in another razor close fight.

A badly beaten Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) slouched over in pain and stopped defending himself, which left referee Tony Weeks no choice but to jump in and stop the fight without a count, with Kovalev still on his feet. Kovalev jabs. Apparently a low blow by Ward and Ward comes back with a hard left.

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"This is fighting. We are boxers". It doesn't mean you stop a fight every time somebody gets hurt. By the midpoint of the fight, it was another dogfight and both men had their moments.

'I'm going to take it as I get it - it's a risky sport man, ' Ward told Sky Sports.

Many did think Kovalev won, however. Kovalev doubled over in an effort to sway Weeks into calling a halt for illegal punches, but the veteran third man deemed them legal and made a decision to waive off the fight, much to Kovalev's dismay. Unfortunately for Duva and Yormark, the same can't be said about the lead-up to Ward-Kovalev II. Whether the punches that came right before the end of the fight were low or not can be discussed. "I don't feel like it affects me one way or another honestly".

Authoritative revenge Tony wicks did not notice violations of the ward, and the complete lack of resistance from Kovalev forced the judge to fix defeat by TKO. "I've been doing this for 39 years, and when you have that kind of perspective, you realize what happens at one event or one month or one day with one announcement isn't anything when compared to the larger scope of what's going on".

The immediate reactions will be to complain about the referee or the perceived low blows, but what shouldn't be lost is Andre Ward leaving no doubt about who's the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world by dismantling yet another world class opponent.

As the official did so, Rigondeaux threw what was judged a legal blow on the bell, which Flores proceeded to make the most of and stay down for the full count and more.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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