Andre Ward stops Sergey Kovalev by TKO in highly anticipated rematch

Sandy Mccarthy
June 20, 2017

Kovalev appeared on his way to beating Ward in November before Ward gained control midway through the fight and eked out a one-point win on all three scorecards.

On Saturday, June 17, 2017, Andre Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) scored an eighth-round TKO victory against Sergey Kovalev (31-2-1, 26 KOs) in a rematch for the Light Heavyweight championship at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. He seized the moment, and with the Russian ducking on the ropes and not throwing back, referee Tony Weeks stepped in and put a stop to the contest.

"The right hand started it all", Ward said. He finished the job with several body shots. "I've never seen somebody knocked out on a low blow until tonight, and I hope I never have to see it again".

Shaped by attitudes more readily associated with those Russian supremacists attached to the nation's football team, Kovalev has run into a wall of righteous anger over his clumsy publicity moves that look like downright racism to western cultural sensibilities.

After the fight, Kovalev's promoter Kathy Duva was incensed that Kovalev lost when he was hit below the belt. This was by far the hardest punch Ward would land in the 19 rounds against Sergey. Much like the first bout, Kovalev and Ward battled at a grueling pace through the first seven rounds in another razor close fight.

"I'm ecstatic, I'm happy".

Kovalev's manager Egis Klimas stated, "Basically what happened today, Ward got away with fighting dirty". Obviously, Kovalev had entered the first fight between the two without a loss on his record. I see things with him in particular and he's the best. "I don't have a vote, I keep saying that".

Many did think Kovalev won, however.

"He is a world champion". "[Kovalev's] a great fighter. You don't want to stop the bar at eight when you can get to 10".

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"This is fighting. We are boxers". You don't have to respect me and I don't demand anything, but at a certain point and time, you got to give a person their just do. "I saw Sergey's (protective) cup going up from the back during that whole sequence".

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

The US star is confident he can do well if pitted up against the bigger guys, due to his stamina and work-rate in the ring.

But you can't have that conversation without him. "I just have one goal - to beat all (expletive) from him because he doesn't deserve the belts and status of a champion". I was better and he was better this fight. That's what he's been doing since I was a kid.

Mr. Ward continues to respond with the class he has always shown both inside and outside the ring.

I got off to a better start. "I'm going to enjoy my family, kiss my wife and we're out".

Kovalev complains of another low blow by Weeks says to fight on.

The thrill of victory did not last too long as Ward was bombarded at the post-fight press conference with questions of the repeated low blows. The ref didn't call them.

"Kovalev fought a good fight, but once I compute a fighter in my brain, I know what I had to do the next time around", said Ward.

Other reports by BadHub

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