Ward stuns Kovalev in eighth to defend titles

Kovalev added he wants an "immediate" rematch because he felt he got hit with a series of low blows in the eighth. When Kovalev backed into the ropes, Ward landed a left uppercut that appeared low.

Andre Ward proved to the world that he is not only the best light heavyweight in the world, but also the No.1 pound-for-pound boxer when he stopped rival Sergey Kovalev in the eighth round in Las Vegas.

The 33-year-old American extended his ideal career record to 32 wins from 32 in an impressive performance, albeit with a controversial ending, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

That gave Ward his second victory over Kovalev in seven months and allowed him to retain his World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Orgnization light heavyweight titles.

Still, he's eager to clear up any remaining doubts when they meet Saturday night in a 175-pound title rematch.

"He's a good fighter, and I have nothing but respect for him", he said.

I am being criticised a lot unjustly.

At the first Ward-Kovalev weigh-in, on November 18, 2016, the fighters had to be separated. The fight seemed to be going the way of Ward, the superior athlete, the better conditioned athlete, the unflappable presence.

So, will we see Ward vs Kovalev 3 next? Hes not used to someone pushing the action.”.

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

A stiff right from the Russian stilled Ward towards the end of the first, but the American fought his way back in with some pot-shots that slowed Kovalev, who was ahead on points at the end of the fourth round. For him it was like fighting a heavy bag.”. But the fight is going to happen, so it's time to report on what we are hopeful doesn't turn out to be the ridiculously one-sided bout most are predicting.

Cleveland Cavaliers hoping to avoid being swept by Golden State Warriors: Crowquill
For Cleveland , James came close to his second consecutive triple-double with 39 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. James also passed Sam Jones, Bill Russell and Baylor to move from seventh to fourth in career Finals scoring.

Regardless of the Kovalev camp trying to stir a controversy over the borderline shots, Ward was the deserved victor.

Kovalev would not be the first boxer to drive a Hummer through standards of common decency, but the racist overtones and hints of homophobia leave him on the wrong side of public sentiment in this fight.

Still, for a fighter who spent most of his career at super-middleweight, Parker would provide a tough test.

The build-up to this undoubted superfight sequel - unimaginatively dubbed "The Rematch" - has however been overshadowed by the confirmation of Floyd Mayweather's behemoth of a fight with UFC legend Conor McGregor.

"I think it was plain to see that I broke him mentally and physically", Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) said afterward. “I dont feel like it affects me. "It is what it is".

"It's the wrong decision", Kovalev said after the fight.

Andre Ward's win over Sergey Kovalev last November was mired in controversy after a controversial decision.

"I'm still having a hard time processing what I just witnessed", Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said (via ESPN) in a raucous postfight news conference in which she was shouted down by Ward's supporters.

Ward (31-0, 15 knockouts) isnt about to invite Kovalev over for dinner, either. Kovalev said he was gassed because he over-trained. "I did what I had to do that's not my fault, I did my job", Ward said. “Im not ideal but I make an effort to be an asset to the game.”. HBO will replay the pay-per-view fight next Saturday beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Ward was considered someone who could frustrate Kovalev with his game, but early on it was Ward who was frustrated, and Kovalev's power really put him on his heels.

"They can talk about the low blows but there were rabbit punches that he threw, too", Ward said.

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