Andre Ward Knocks Out Sergey Kovalev in Eighth to Retain Belts

For this week's Ringside Rewind we look back at two of Ward and Kovalev's best stoppage wins

Andre Ward Knocks Out Sergey Kovalev in Eighth to Retain Belts

Yes, we turned the caption on, to make this more noticeable, since many media are putting this behind, focusing just on Ward's victory. "[Kovalev's] a great fighter". That doesn't mean, however, that this victory was without controversy.

The reactions naturally ranged from "Ward cheated, Kovalev got screwed" to "There were no low blows, Kovalev is a pussy", because not many people in boxing are game for considering a world that's less than black and white. From the promoters, through the trainers and all the way down to the boxers, the enmity was both authentic and palpable leading up to fight night at the Mandalay Bay.

Those wins had earned Ward a predictably high profile among the sport's list-making cognoscenti, but his prolonged bouts of inactivity-thanks to myriad physical zigs and endless promotional zags-threatened to become a lasting career legacy before a jump in weight became a new beginning. Why did Tony Weeks stop the fight?

Kovalev himself could not contain his anger at his post-fight press conference, calling the refereeing of the fight "bull****".

The fight began to sway in the fifth, with Ward landing more brutal punches to derail Kovalev in his attempt to rope him in and land the crushing blow. He was dazed so I just had to try to find the right shot. I knew he was hurt. As if the talk, titles and questionable result from the last fight weren't enough to make the fight dramatic, the victor of this bout would likely get to call themselves the pound for pound best as the boxers occupy the no.1 and no. 2 spots in Ring magazine's rankings. [Ward] punched me low blow already a few times during the fight. It didn't hurt me. I could have still been fighting. Why stop the fight? I'll kick his [expletive].

During the 8th round /Ward made a superb right hook, hitting Kovalev in the chin. "He just didn't react, and the referee stopped it".

Ward was up by a point on two scorecards and down three points on the third going into the eighth.

"Kovalev fought a good fight, but once I compute a fighter in my brain, I know what I had to do the next time around", said Ward.

Ward not letting Kovalev get the big shots off. Kovalev connects to the face.

"He was reacting to my body shots, and I knew I had him and I knew he was hurt", Ward said. "He started out really well with the jab".

'I thought the stoppage was bad, ' said Malignaggi. "Now we quieted all those who were whining and thought we didn't take it the first time". "I dream big. Anything is possible when you have God".

Ward wasn't interested in responding to Duva's and Kovalev's comments after the fight. He also had a plea for his critics.

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. "I don't have a vote, I keep saying that". But it's wonderful how people are always going to say something. "It would have to be against the right guy but I don't put a limit as to what I'm capable of".

Thanks for stopping by.

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