Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Sergey Kovalev seeking to regain titles he lost to Andre Ward

Sergey Kovalev seeking to regain titles he lost to Andre Ward

"Hopefully, against a great fighter like Sergey Kovalev, we'll get our credit tonight and get atop that pound-for-pound list". "I will finish his boxing career, be sure, because right now I'm in the corner", Kovalev said.

Ward and his camp dismissed any idea that low blows were a factor, preferring instead to celebrate a win that put to rest any controversy over the judging in their first fight last November.

The eighth-round knockout cemented Ward as one of boxing's pound-for-pound best and defended his WBO, IBF and WBA belts. 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.

Kovalev's promoter, Kathy Duva, said she would protest to the Nevada Athletic Commission on Monday to try and erase the second straight loss Kovalev suffered at the hands of Ward.

Complaints by Kovalev about another low blow were ignored by referee Weeks and Ward seized upon his pained opponent, uncorking a huge right that left him on unsteady legs.

"It was a low blow". We are boxers. Yes, he punched me, but I didn't feel it. "Why stop the fight?"

"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. 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 hadn't seen a light heavyweight be that effective with the jab in years.

"That one's probably borderline - he was hurt, I went right back there again, he wasn't reacting, right back there again and the referee stopped it". "This is bullsh*t", Kovalev uttered after the fight.

“When he cant get you out of there he fades, ” Ward said. It was hard to envisage him clawing his way back into the contest and the early stoppage shouldn't detract from the quality of Ward's victory.

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. "He didn't hurt me". Ward recovered in the second half, claiming every round from the seventh according to the cards of two judges. A low blow - and I felt this. He had a good moment and he's a really great fighter - I'm not taking anything away from him. With a $6.5 million payday in his bank account, Ward will look toward other challenges.

With victory in hand, Ward turned his focus to boosting his case that he, not unbeaten three-belt middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin, is the No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer. "Heavyweight? Hey, you have to be able to dream".

On the undercard, reigning WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) faces Moises Flores (25-0, 17 KOs) in a 12-round title fight for the WBA junior featherweight title. 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.

Like this: