Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Ward demands pound-for-pound recognition after Kovalev stoppage

Raging Sergey Kovalev to lodge appeal against Andre Ward after low blows went unpunished Ward demands pound-for-pound recognition after Kovalev stoppage
Noah Ferguson | 20 June, 2017, 18:50

Referee Tony Weeks called the fight in the eighth round when Ward appeared to land several low blows.

In a lot of ways it was the same, until Ward - who was knocked down in the first fight - showed he was a big puncher, too, with a right hand that made Kovalev's right leg wobble and signaled the beginning of the end to the bout.

"But when you are facing a great fighter you have to raise your game to the next level". "I will finish his boxing career, be sure, because right now I'm in the corner", Kovalev said.

Ward's assault didn't slow down until he had Kovalev pinned against the ropes and as he bent over from the succession of punches, the referee had no choice but to stop the fight at 2:29 of the eighth round.

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

Again the Russian started stronger, with Ward firing off enough counter-shots to keep himself in the fight but looking tired between rounds.

According to CompuBox punch statistics, Ward landed only 80 of 238 punches (34 percent); Kovalev landed 95 of 407 (23 percent).

Kovalev said he was hit by a low blow, adding that he wanted another rematch.

"He hit with four low blows".

The American felt Weeks may have had a better view, but insisted his decision making was not up to scratch in a world title fight.

"Why stop the fight?" he said.

Whatever his future, he did what he vowed to do in the rematch with Kovalev - take away any suggestion that his win last November was tainted. 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. "The fight should have continued". Kovalev was visibly exhausted and breathing from his both, which was caused by the sustained attack to the body from Ward. Cruiserweight, heavyweight, that's always been a dream of mine. "I wasn't hurt and I could continue".

"Let me ask you a question?" Howard Lederman of HBO, Dan Rafael of ESPN and the Associated Press were just a few that scored the fight clearly for Kovalev. "When I saw him reacting to the body shots that were borderline I knew I had him", Ward said.

"I knew this time it was going to be different", Ward said. He promised he would have more stamina this time, but he seemed just as gassed at the same juncture, maybe because Ward was holding religiously, exchanging in the clinches, and raising the tempo to devastating effect. Tony Bellew-a fighter whom Ward is objectively better than in every way, was able to make the leap from failed 175 pounder to victor over top heavyweight David Haye. Close round I give it to Kovalev. Kovalev has a mark around his right eye, Another Ward round. 5-2. All the talking is good for the fans, it's good to build it up, it's all good but anybody that knows me, knows that I'm about the action.

Despite long periods of inactivity between 2012 and 2014, Ward is still regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport and the numbers back it up.

Earlier Saturday, super-bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux escaped from a lengthy review by the Nevada Athletic Commission to post a first-round knockout of Mexico's Moises Flores.

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