Sports

Ward celebrates big win while Kovalev plans protest

Ward celebrates big win while Kovalev plans protest

Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward faced each other this past November in Las Vegas as undefeated champions looking to unify the light heavy weight titles.

Ward completed the turnaround with a big right hand that wobbled Kovalev in the eighth, then swarmed all over him, landing shots to the body when Kovalev sat on the ring rope, forcing referee Tony Weeks to signal an end to the bout.

The 33-year-old Ward extended his ideal record to 32 wins in an impressive performance, albeit with a controversial ending, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. And he tagged Kovalev with a flush right to the head that had him wobbly.

Referee Tony Weeks then stopped the fight with 31 seconds in the eighth with Kovalev, 34, kneeling down.

At the moment when the fight ended, two of the judges were giving the point advantage to Ward 67-66, while the third one said that Kovalev had more landed punches, 68-65. At this point, Tony Weeks stepped between the two boxers and waved the fight off, declaring Andre Ward the victor by KO. It doesn't mean you stop a fight every time somebody gets hurt. I really don't have anything to say on what happened. As a result Ward retained the unified light heavyweight championship.

Both fighters landed solid blows in the fourth round, Kovalev with his stinging jab and Ward scoring with well-timed counter punches.

The main event on Saturday is slated to start at 9 p.m. ET (1 a.m. GMT) on HBO PPV, with Ward and Kovalev likely squaring off close to 12 a.m. ET.

"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. He got $6.5 million to do so, and a hug in the ring afterward from Kevin Durant, one of several Golden State Warriors who came to the fight to see the fighter from Oakland who has taped inspirational messages for the team. Kovalev, though, is more nuanced and versatile than Stevenson.

"It was a low blow".

"Let me ask you a question?"

Only Kovalev had fought at Mandalay Bay before during his career. He is a great fighter. "I don't feel like it affects me one way or another honestly".

"Low blow, again, low blow".

As the official did so, Rigondeaux threw what was judged a legal blow on the bell, which Flores proceeded to make the most of and stay down for the full count and more. While still grimacing from the gut shot, Kovalev tried in vain to keep Ward away, but "SOG" drilled the former world champion with a murderous right to the jaw, a punch that would have flattened a lesser man. Kovalev (30-2, 25 KOs) stumbled around on rubbery legs as Ward gave chase.


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