Ward stops Kovalev in eight

Ward stops Kovalev in eight

Both fighters complained of dirty tactics and Weeks spent a lot of his time breaking up clinches. Also, Luis Arias will take on Arif Magomedov, while Dmitry Bivol will face Cedric Agnew. Though brilliant on the back foot, Ward has a fighter's heart and looks to hurt with either hand when he attacks from behind that defensive shield.

It is the best fight that can be made in boxing today: Ward and Kovalev enter at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in Ring magazine's pound-for-pound ratings. Andre Ward narrowly topped Sergey Kovalev by unanimous decision in the first meeting previous year, handing the formerly unbeaten world champion his first professional loss.

"Tactically I obviously want to have a better start and I'm going to have a better start", the 33-year-old American said.

You can't decry a man for making a living, and this is definitely a case of not hating the player not the game, but when you compare Ward vs Kovalev with Paul Smith vs WBA super middleweight champion Tyron Zeuge, it's like eating a filet mignon with a Capri-Sun. Hes not happy about what he said were racist overtones in videos sent out by Kovalev and his team, and unhappy Kovalev keeps questioning the legitimacy of his win in the first fight.

On the undercard, two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux defeated Moises Flores with a controversial fight-ending punch at the close of the first round to retain his WBA junior featherweight title.

Ward (32-0, 15 KOs) backed him into the ropes and landed three left hands to Kovalev's gut, including a low blow that was not called by referee Tony Weeks. "I knew I had him hurt". Ward has won at all levels and is looked at as arguably the top pound for pound fighter in the world.

The AP had Kovalev ahead by a point going into the final round.

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"The question I've gotten most often is, 'Do you think this fight should be bigger?'" Kovalev promoter Kathy Duva told the Times.

"I'm excited to fight on this card with the best light heavyweights". We are boxers. Yes, he punched me, but I didn't feel it.

The two first met last November, with Ward winning in a razor-thin 114-113 decision over Kovalev to remain unbeaten.

Bennett said on HBO the outcome could be revisited, and if it turns out the punch was delivered after the bell, the result could even be changed to a Rigondeaux disqualification.

If the matchup isn't attractive enough, the two fighters have a genuine dislike for each other they were not afraid to voice this week. The most notable punch in round 7 was a border line punch on the belt line towards the end of the round.

"The people who are going to buy our fight are still going to buy it and come out", Ward said. Why stop the fight? He appeared confident he would do just that, coming into the ring doing a little dance before turning to salute the crowd. Kovalev is also 6-feet tall but has a reach advantage of 1.5 inches on Ward.