Andre Ward finishes Sergey Kovalev in eighth round, retains titles


And after wobbling Kovalev midway through the eighth round with a straight right hand, Ward finished the job with a series of powerful body shots - albeit with a suspicion of low blows.

An eighth-round win via a controversial technical knockout took Ward to 32 wins from 32 in his career and the 33-year-old then set his sights on climbing the weight classes.

"But when you are facing a great fighter you have to raise your game to the next level".

"He even raised his right glove for a second and then he said 'you know what, I'll make a meal of this'".

Ward (30-2-1, 26 KOs) was ahead on judges Glenn Feldman and Dave Moretti's scorecards, who each had it 67-66 for Ward, while Steve Weisfeld scored it 68-65 for Kovalev at the time referee Tony Weeks ended the fight, with Kovalev bent over in a corner and Ward chopping away at his tender midsection.

After Saturday's TKO victory over Sergey Kovalev, it's inarguable that Andre Ward is the best fighter in the sport, pound for pound. Should they fight again and he doesn't KO Ward in the first four rounds, Kovalev's chances of winning are seemingly slim. "Can I get on the pound-for-pound list now at the top?" said Ward. Ward hit Kovalev low and referee Tony Weeks gave him a minute rest. And STOP with this low blow BS.

Ten of Ward's 20 punches landed in Round 8 were to the body as he continued the trend that got him out of trouble last November, when Ward got up off the canvas early and rallied back by weakening Kovalev and wearing him down. "Some of you think I lost the fight, but you've got to look at the other side of that coin".

Defeating John Ruiz, Jones shocked the boxing world by seizing the title and in doing so becoming the first former middleweight title holder to win a heavyweight title in 106 years. It's hard to see Andre Ward giving him a shot, but he'll have options for exciting fights.

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That seems highly unlikely with there being zero incentive for Ward to take a third fight and particularly given the well-documented hostility between the two camps.

Andrew Ward (left) proved that his previous win over Sergey Kovalev was not a gift.

"He's a great fighter", Ward said.

"I thought he started fading at about the same point he did last time", Ward said.

'Even if I clip him in the first round and they stop it, even though I want the fans to get what they deserve. “I dont feel like it affects me. Whether the punches that came right before the end of the fight were low or not can be discussed.

When asked, in the aftermath of his victory over Kovalev, whether a bout with Joshua could be arranged, Ward replied: 'Anything is possible. 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. Ward's trainer Virgil Hunter said that he believes Ward can out box unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. They will never go to my country, because Andre Ward is a hometown champion.

Earlier, super-bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux escaped a lengthy review by the Nevada Athletic Commission to post a first-round knockout of Mexico's Moises Flores.