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Ward knocks out Kovalev and confirms his light heavyweight world title

Ward knocks out Kovalev and confirms his light heavyweight world title

American Andre Ward defeated Russian Sergey Kovalev by technical knockout in the eighth round of a fight held at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino in Las Vegas, and confirmed his status as absolute monarch of light heavyweights.
Ward (32-0) took advantage of a Kovalev (30-2-1) who started strong but could not keep up with an opponent who punished him comfortably to the body.
In this way, Ward remained undefeated and retained the light heavy belts of the World Boxing Organization (WBO), the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and the World Boxing Association (WBA).
“I never had doubts about my victory in the first fight. Now there are no excuses. The fight went as planned and that’s why I’m very happy, because I’m the absolute light heavyweight champion, ”said an excited Ward.
“Kovalev went out looking for the fight, but he found my best version. It was a good fight and it showed why I am the champion of my division, “added Ward.
Both fighters had already met last November and Ward had declared himself a surprise winner on points (114-113, 114-113, 114-113).
The victory this Saturday clears all doubts about his reign.
Kovalev clearly dominated the first four rounds, but Ward gradually took command of the fight until he forced the referee to stop the fight in the eighth round.
The fight was even in the beginning with a very slow first round, although marked by Kovalev’s initiative.
The animosity between the two was felt, mainly on the side of the Russian who had promised to knock out Ward to erase any doubt about the first duel between them, and where he demanded a theft from the judges.
By the third round, the fight was picking up pace with a Ward punishing Kovalev’s face little by little.
The jab of the champion constantly entered the face of the Russian, who tried to entangle the lawsuit when he ran out of arguments before a Ward that was growing with the support of the public.
Things changed for the fourth round, as Kovalev’s right eye showed the scars of the punishment received.
On the other hand, Ward began to make the fight easier as his rival was looking for him insistently, facilitating his counterattack.
It was then that Ward went on to set the pace in the fight, taking advantage of Kovalev’s desperation.
Sergey was slowing down the revolutions frustrated because the mobility of his rival did not let him arrive comfortably. Low blows and dirty boxing was easily repeated, forcing referee Tony Weeks to draw attention to both fighters.
For the eighth round, the end came for Kovalev, who, receiving a powerful blow to the abdomen, demanded another low blow, but the referee let the fight continue.
Ward did not miss the opportunity and continued to punish the body and face of Kovalev who, although he tried to evade the punishment, ended up surrendering to the powerful punishment of the rival, forcing Weeks to intervene to decree Ward’s victory.
“This is boxing and things did not go as expected. I don’t know what is coming in the future for me, I want to go home and think about what is coming, ”Kovalev commented. AFP

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