News Worms
News Worms

Whicker: Andre Ward stops Kovalev in the 8th

Whicker: Andre Ward stops Kovalev in the 8th

Both went into the fight with an otherworldly amount of hype but with many criticizing both for being untested by boxers of a similar skill ceiling.

Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) and former titleholder Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) opened Fight Week Powered by Monster with their Grand Arrivals at Mizuya Lounge at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Tuesday, June 13, ahead of their ultimate rematch on Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev will meet for the second time Saturday in a fight between arguably the two best light heavyweights, but there's a prospect on the undercard who could soon join the picture. Virgil Hunter, Ward's trainer who had a tart argument with Kovalev's trainer John David Jackson after the fight, was justifiably expansive. "But when you are facing a great fighter you have to raise your game to the next level".

At the first Ward-Kovalev weigh-in, on November 18, 2016, the fighters had to be separated. "Why stop the fight?" "We want the right fighter to win". He's a good kid, I know him, but I just see things with him in particular. "That one's probably borderline - he was hurt, I went right back there again, he wasn't reacting, right back there again and the referee stopped it". But Kovalev was fading, just as he had in the first fight, and he picked up the pace.

Ward's body punches landed at a high clip.

That likely explains why Kovalev stormed off stage before the end of Thursday's final press conference, declining to participate in interviews and the traditional staredown photo shoot. "I knew I had it and after those big shots I really knew I had him". You got to look at the other side of the coin, there's a lot of people that thought I won the fight and he got what he asked for. "He's a great fighter", Ward said.

Sergey has since deleted the video meme, but the backlash was swift from those who said that making it sound as if Ward - a devout Christian - dropped nonstop n-bombs was racist.

Kovalev complains of another low blow by Weeks says to fight on. He took an early lead on the scorecards, but Ward's adjustments came much earlier than their first bout and led to the eventual result. He appeared confident he would do just that, coming into the ring doing a little dance before turning to salute the crowd.

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.

Guillermo Rigondeaux (18-0, 12 KO) kept hold of his WBA Junior Featherweight title in dubious circumstances - depending on your opinion - with Rigondeaux knocking out challenger Moises Flores (25-1, 17 KO) with a left hook on/after the bell to close the 1st round.

Kovalev did the bulk of his damage to Ward's head in their first meeting, landing 89 percent (113 of his 126) of his total punches.


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