Andre Ward TKO's Sergey Kovalev in light heavyweight boxing world championship

The undefeated Ward turned the fight around with a big right hand that wobbled Kovalev, then swarmed all over him. He did say he was hit below the belt numerous times by Ward and Ward was warned twice over low blows.

An eighth-round win via a controversial technical knockout took Ward to 32 wins from 32 in his career and the 33-year-old then set his sights on climbing the weight classes.

"He was reacting to my body shots, and I knew I had him and I knew he was hurt", Ward said.

The fight served as a rematch to the bout that the two men had back on November 19, 2016 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Ward stopped Kovalev late in the eighth round of the fight.

"It was a low blow, again another one", said Kovalev. "We want the right fighter to win".

"Why stop the fight?" he said.

'I thought the stoppage was bad, ' said Malignaggi.

'How much more hurt was he than Ward in round two last fight. He suggested Ward should face Anthony Joshua, the six foot six, 250lbs noted power puncher and unified IBF and WBA world champion. It was anyone's fight going into the eighth round, with the AP having Kovalev ahead by a point, until Ward landed the right hand that proved the difference.

Ward toppled Sergey Kovalev in a Las Vegas showdown on Saturday night and, when asked what his next move could entail, the superstar admitted anything is possible in the sport.

When the fight began, Kovalev sneered at Ward and the men refused to touch gloves. 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.

Many did think Kovalev won, however. "I thought I was doing very good".

They weren't low blows.

Andre Ward and Roc Nation president Michael Yormark explain why?Sergey Kovalev hasn't done enough to promote their fight on Saturday after he skipped his media availability on Thursday. "I didn't feel he could throw the punch that would end the fight".

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.

Both Ward and Kovalev would open up with a hard-hitting intensity that channeled the weeks of verbal sparring the fighters went through leading up to the fight.

Kovalev was credited by Compubox with throwing 407 punches to 238 for Ward, and out landing him 95-80. But Kovalev was fading, just as he had in the first fight, and he picked up the pace.

That seems highly unlikely with there being zero incentive for Ward to take a third fight and particularly given the well-documented hostility between the two camps.

  • Julie Sanders