Andre Ward proved definitively that he is the better fighter when he stopped Sergey Kovalev in the eighth round last night in their rematch in front of a not so packed house of spectators.
For the months leading up to the fight, Kovalev (30-2, 25 KOs) declared to anyone who would listen that he was robbed in their first pairing by a lopsided unanimous decision for Ward. He campaigned that it would be virtually impossible for him to get a fair fight with an American judging panel as well. A stoppage is what he was looking to deliver, not to receive. However, Ward put the finishing touch with a right hand that set up three crushing body blows that felled the former champion.
At the time of the stoppage, Ward was leading 67-66 on two of the three judges official scorecards, with Kovalev ahead 68-65 on the third.
Kathy Duva Explodes - The Full Sergey Kovalev Post Fight Press Conference Video In this video, Kathy Duva explodes at the Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev post fight press conference For more Boxing and MMA videos log onto http://www.fighthubtv.com Like us:http://on.fb.me/xWRC1f follow us:http://bit.ly/wACkIv Boxing videos! MMA videos! uploaded daily! Subscribe:http://goo.gl/vnzIb
Not without controversy, many felt that Ward hit below the belt in the borderline body shots. Kovalev was teetering well before the final blows were delivered, exhibiting a faulty gas tank as the fight moved towards the championship rounds.
“I think it was plain to see that I broke him mentally and physically,” said Ward in the post-fight interview. “I’m not a person that demands respect or none of that. You don’t have to respect me and I don’t demand anything, but at a certain point and time, you got to give a person their just due. I’m 13 years in and I’ve been doing it against the best.”
Immediately, Kovalev blamed referee Tony Weeks for stopping the bout too early. The fight looked much like their last fight with each fighter striking and counter striking equally. But Ward looked way more determined from the outset at this fight.
KOVALEV VS WARD 2 - ANDRE WARD'S FULL POST FIGHT PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO In this video Andre Ward addresses the media at the post fight press conference for Sergey Kovalev For more Boxing and MMA videos log onto http://www.fighthubtv.com Like us:http://on.fb.me/xWRC1f follow us:http://bit.ly/wACkIv Boxing videos! MMA videos! uploaded daily! Subscribe:http://goo.gl/vnzIb
“I told them (the media) that I only trained Andre for the knockout twice,” said Ward’s trainer Virgil Hunter at the press conference. “The first was Chad Dawson. And the second was for tonight. And they laughed at me. But I knew what was going to happen because he (Ward) was healthy. Now we quieted all those who were whining and thought we didn't take it the first time.”
After switching strength and conditioning trainers for this camp, citing an over-train in that department during their last fight, Kovalev still appeared fatigued after the 6th round. Ward expertly placed body shots again, which in this fight finished the job.
“He hit with four low blows; the ref didn't call them,” said Kovalev in the post-fight interview. “I felt I could have continued. This is bullsh*t.”
Immediately after the fight, Adonis “Superman” Stevenson tweeted that he wanted to face Ward for a unification bout. A bout with WBC light heavyweight champion Stevenson, who had eluded Kovalev for years when he was still champion, would make Ward the undisputed light heavyweight champion.
Congratulations @andreward ! Now it's time to unified the title @premierboxing @ShowtimeBoxing @SkySportsBoxing
Ward dismissed Stevenson, saying in the post fight press conference that he wasn’t on his radar. He also entertained the prospect of moving up in weight to cruiserweight or even heavyweight to continue to challenge himself.
Ward made a reported guaranteed $6.5 million dollars for the fight and Kovalev’s purse wasn’t listed. That is because Kovalev is making 75% or the 40 percent take, around $1 or $2 million from his promoter Main Events equity in ticket sales, pay-per-view and merchandising, etc.
Now the pound-for-pound number one on many lists, Andre “S.O.G.” Ward, has accomplished his goal of being considered a true two division champion.