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Andre Ward Makes His Point Against Sergey Kovalev

20 June 2017, 05:20 | Pamela Mathis

Andre Ward Knocks Out Sergey Kovalev in Eighth to Retain Belts

Las Vegas. Ward is scheduled to fight Sergey Kovalev in a light heavyweight championship boxing match Saturday in Las Vegas

After 12 rounds of fighting, Ward earned a narrow decision victory but it was immediately clear that these two would be going at it again in the near future. 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.

CompuBox figures confirmed that the 12-round bout may have been hard to call, with Kovalev connecting on just 10 more punches than Ward, 126-116. Ward followed up by digging to the body with a trio of left hooks, some of which appeared borderline in terms of being low. Kovalev sat on the ring rope, and the referee signaled an end to the bout at 2:29 of the eighth round. The fight at the Mandalay Bay resort is being held in a smaller arena than the first, and pay-per-view sales are expected to be tepid.

"It was a low blow, again another one", he said as he watched a replay of the stoppage with an HBO interviewer.

After the fight, Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, who promotes Kovalev, said she will file a protest with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, claiming Ward landed several low blows without being penalized.? This is (expletive). I could have continued. "I wasn't hurt and I could continue". This is fight. We are boxers. Whether the punches that came right before the end of the fight were low or not can be discussed. It didn't hurt me. "Why stop the fight?"

It had been a competitive fight until the eighth round, when Ward landed a ferocious right hand on the chin and Kovalev turned jelly-legged. "Then the referee stopped the fight".

Kovalev outlanded Ward, 95 to 80, overall (according to CompuBox) but expended a great deal of energy in boxing with Ward on even terms. "Championship fights don't start until after the sixth round".

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"I couldn't believe it, I could win", Kovalev said. Ward said in pre-fight interviews that he hopes to score a more conclusive win this time around and put to bed any lingering doubts about who is the better fighter. So far, just like Ward vs Kovalev I, which also aired on HBO Pay-Per-View.

As for Kovalev, he was calling for a rematch. But Ward began to adjust and slowly figure Kovalev out, making some key adjustments midfight.

'I know it sounds insane when you're light-heavyweight and I'm not the biggest light-heavyweight. Camp was good and we implemented everything.

With all of the comments that have been made since the boxers met a year ago, Ward told TMZ that "He's culturally sound enough to know some of the things he's been doing are racially motivated".

It was done so in controversial circumstances, granted, but the Ward Kovalev 2 scorecard at the time he closed the show makes for interesting reading. It happened. That's always been a dream of mine and that's something me and Virgil [Hunter, his trainer] talk about. I don't want to call him a frontrunner, but if he's not having his way, he's got to dig deep. "I am exhausted of the press and everyone saying I am boring".

If Ward does decide to bypass cruiserweight, which would make financial sense, there is a much better option for him up at heavyweight.



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