Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev clean up Mayweather v McGregor mess

Paola Ditto
Giugno 22, 2017

Representatives for Sergey Kovalev plan to file a protest with the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Monday after Andre Ward's eighth-round knockout win in their light heavyweight championship bout Saturday night at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Two blows near or below the belt line in the final seconds helped finish off Kovalev, who sat on the bottom ring rope as referee Tony Weeks called an end to the fight at 2:29 of the eighth round. "Facing a great fighter, you've got to raise your game to the next level".

The beginning of the end came with just over a minute left in round eight when Ward landed a vicious right hand to Kovalev's chin that left him wobbly.

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.

One judge had Kovalev up by four rounds, while the two others had Ward up by a round each.

The decision aside, it was a great fight featuring two of the absolute best boxers in the world.

"Why stop the fight?" he said. If he doesn't, Ward is going to out-box him over 12 rounds and win a decision about which no one can complain.

There's reportedly a sense that Ward vs lineal light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson could be a go, despite rival network affiliations.

'I don't have anything on the books right now for a cruiserweight fight, a heavyweight fight.

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.

Even the one judge who had Kovalev ahead by three points entering Round 8 would have likely had Sergey ahead by a mere point heading into Round 9, assuming Ward would have been granted a 10-8 round.

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. It happened. That's always been a dream of mine and that's something me and Virgil [Hunter, his trainer] talk about. I believe that I won the fight.

An impressive performance from Ward was marred by the ending to the fight, with a succession of borderline low blows securing the stoppage after he had initially rocked the Russian with a powerful straight right to the head.

"Kovalev fought a good fight but once I compute a fighter in my brain and have him in there, I know what I need to do the next time around". I didn't feel it.

Ward, who won an Olympic gold in 2004 and hasn't lost a fight since he was 12, took a few rounds to find his mark but once he did the two engaged in close rounds that were hard to score. He then pointed at Ward and said: "You get prepared".

Kovalev has voiced his displeasure about Ward in April and in recent days. He would defend the belt eight times, prior to losing to Ward.

"I knew that this fight was going to be different", Ward said. "I know you've got a lot of people who say 'oh, that's suicide.' But there are some things about Anthony Joshua that I see, that makes me think he can outbox Anthony Joshua".

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