Andre Ward stops Sergey Kovalev by TKO in highly anticipated rematch

Andre Ward stops Sergey Kovalev by TKO in highly anticipated rematch

With Kovalev clearly hurt, Ward poured on the punishment with a heavy barrage of punches to the body as referee Tony Weeks kept a close eye on the action.

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. "You've got to raise your game to the next level and thankfully that's what we did tonight".

Ward stopped Kovalev in the eighth.

Ward won the first fight between the two by a 114-113 margin on all three judges' scorecards, earning the US boxer the IBF, WBA, and WBO championships.

Ward stuck to his word, stopping Kovalev in the eighth round to retain the IBF, WBO and WBA world light heavyweight titles. In that fight Ward came back from a second round knockdown to win a decision by one point on all three ringside scorecards.

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.

Ward and Kovalev have previously met, battling out on November 19 a year ago. [Kovalev] got hit with three low blows, four actually, in the last round.

'I don't have anything on the books right now for a cruiserweight fight, a heavyweight fight. He just happened to be so good that he could fight in an entirely different style and not just defeat, but stop the second best fighter in the world-a full-blown, big light heavyweight.

'Even if I clip him in the first round and they stop it, even though I want the fans to get what they deserve.

"Championship fights don't start until l the sixth round", Ward said.

"This performance was spectacular, probably one of the best we've seen in a long, long time, and he finished [Kovalev]", Yormark said.

The clinches initiated by Ward, most of the time, were an avenue for his body punches to find their way home from the inside. "When I saw him react to shots that were borderline, I knew what I had".

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.

What started Kovalev's demise was a heavy, overhand right that nailed the Russian on the jaw, leaving him wobbly.

'How much more hurt was he than Ward in round two last fight.

Ward made $6.5 million, and Kovalev stood to earn a fraction of that because he was getting only a percentage of the pay-per-view and ticket sales. What can not be questioned is the right hand that clearly sapped the fight out of Kovalev.

In terms of his future, Ward teased about a possible move to cruiserweight or even heavyweight.

"I think that would be a very interesting fight". Ward said. "Of course, I hope so, but I don't have a vote, and hopefully we top that pound-for-pound list". "I wasn't hurt and I could continue".

However, Express Sport understands Kovalev's camp plan to appeal the decision to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) because he felt those final blows were below the belt.