Ward celebrates big win while Kovalev plans protest

Kovalev was hurt bad by a right hand, and then Ward swarmed on him with shots to the body.

Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight with 31 seconds left in the eighth round with Kovalev kneeling down from what he said was a low blow. I'd like to see him fight Anthony Joshua.

"The people who are going to buy our fight are still going to buy it and come out", Ward said.

Again the Russian started stronger, with Ward firing off enough counter-shots to keep himself in the fight but looking tired between rounds.

Both fighters swing and miss.

It ended with the defeat of the Russian champion Sergei Kovalev and the loss of his WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight title belts to Andre Ward, in a unanimous 114-113 decision.

"I felt like I was up, I don't know by how many, but a championship fight really starts at the end of six rounds", Ward said. "I think that would be a very interesting fight", Hunter said. "You've got to raise your game to the next level and thankfully that's what we did tonight".

Speaking to HBO after the fight, he said: "Let me ask you the question: Can I get on the pound-for-pound list now?" And now he's lost two fights consecutively, and has been stopped inside the distance for the first time in his career.

"Krusher" tried to drain Ward's desire for battle with body shots in the sixth, but the American displayed his reflexes with clever counter punches in the seventh and would deliver a stunning punch in the next round. "He didn't hurt me".

Kovalev's manager Egis Klimas stated, "Basically what happened today, Ward got away with fighting dirty".

From there, Kovalev - who grew more anxious over the course of the bout, no doubt contributing to his stamina fade - didn't seem to want to be in the fight anymore. Kovalev nails Ward in the corner but Ward slips out of it and throws a right back at Kovalev.

Kovalev claimed he overtrained for the first bout and had nothing when he went into the ring.

Ward shot back: "Don't you point your finger at me".

"I'd like to see him fight Anthony Joshua".

"I was breathing, he was breathing, but I'm used to working exhausted", Ward said.

There was genuine dislike between the two fighters, born largely out of their first fight.

“Ive been through adversity in and out of the ring, ” Ward said. But at the same time you could argue that Kovalev put Ward in numerous headlocks and Tony had to reprimand both of them.

Kovalev complains of another low blow by Weeks says to fight on. Kovalev, though, is more nuanced and versatile than Stevenson. 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. He also landed three punches while holding Flores' head from behind just before the knockout. And, number two, this is a boxing match under the Nevada State athletic commission under the rules of boxing.

Rigondeaux, who won his gold medals for his native Cuba, improved to 18-0 with 12 knockouts as a pro, while Flores, from Mexico, fell to 25-1.

  • Zachary Reyes