Ward ends close bout with flurry of blows

Doug Mendoza
June 20, 2017

Last November's title fight between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev was one of the most controversial in boxing previous year.

Ward toppled Sergey Kovalev in a Las Vegas showdown on Saturday night and, when asked what his next move could entail, the superstar admitted anything is possible in the sport. Referee Tony Weeks did separate Ward and Kovalev twice and advised Ward to keep his punches off Kovalev's trunks, but the shot that began Kovalev's demise in the 8th round landed right on the beltline.

Still, it was a big right hand that started Kovalev's downfall in the final round, and he didn't protest much when the fight was ended. "I could tell he was reacting to my body shots, and I knew I had him then". I had him up one going into the last round.

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

Ward remained unbeaten by turning the tables on the big punching Kovalev, who seemed to tire as the fight went on. 4-2 for Andre Ward as the fight hits the mid-point. "I know it sounds insane when you're light-heavyweight and I'm not the biggest light-heavyweight". "Great fighters have to raise their game to the next level, and that's what I had to do tonight". But a fading Kovalev saw his exit from the fight come quickly in Round 8 after Ward began his attack with a left hook to the belt line that could've been considered low.

"I do really well against big fighters because of my stamina, because I may not physically be the biggest but I'm strong". "I thought I was doing very good. It's insane. I want to get again a fight with him".

"I couldn't believe it, I could win", he said.

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"I knew that this fight was going to be different", Ward said.

Ward cautious, as Kovalev goes to the body. "I didn't feel like I was getting knocked down with his punches". 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 chose to waive off the fight, much to Kovalev's dismay.

I don't think a third fight will realistically happen, not straight away at least, but perhaps it could still happen in time if both men continue to sit on top of the light-heavyweight division.

Following his win, Ward mentioned the possibility of even testing higher weight divisions but for now he'll celebrate his TKO over Kovalev while shutting the door on that rivalry for the time being. And, if you choose to make a defense for Kovalev's plodding battle plan, there were definitely the low blows.

The fight itself played out early somewhat like the first one, with Kovalev starting out aggressively and Ward trying to find his rhythm. The difference this time around may have been Andre's ability to effectively counter the aggressive Kovalev as he pressed the action.

It just wouldn't be an Andre Ward fight without him pissing off droves of fans and assorted boxing figures. "He didn't hurt me".

Still, for a fighter who spent most of his career at super-middleweight, Parker would provide a tough test. Another big Ward right followed by a left.

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