Ward Kovalev.

Sergey Kovalev furious with controversial stoppage loss to Andre Ward

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It should have been expected; the highly anticipated rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev was always going to end in controversial circumstances.

Much like their first outing, fans and pundits have been quick to provide their opinion on what happened in Las Vegas where the American picked up a stunning stoppage victory over his bitter Russian rival.


In the process, the Son of God retained his world light heavyweight titles in the eighth round, following on from his hotly disputed points victory in their first encounter.


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It was another evenly contested fight and would have been difficult calling down the middle, with Ward showing that he wasn’t to be taken lightly by landing a crisp right hand in the closing stages of the first round, before Krusher came back with a right of his own in the next along with several impressive jabs – but the low blows were the story of this fight.

The back and forth action continued in the middle rounds, with Kovalev landing a vicious left hook to answer back to Ward’s fourth round left hand, before Kovalev decided to go to the body and ate some impressive counter punches in the seventh.

More complaints by Kovalev regarding low blows were ignored by referee Tony Weeks, and Ward realised his opponent was in pain and decided to pounce where he landed a massive right hand to stun the Russian and the end was near.

Andre Ward v Sergey Kovalev 2

Ward trapped him in the corner and landed more questionable shots to the shaken Kovalev, before Weeks jumped in to wave off the fight and many believe it was a poor decision by the American as Kovalev was hurt, but not hurt enough to warrant a stoppage.


It seems Kovalev feels the same way too, as he spoke out about the decision after the fight and claimed that the low blows were ignored and felt he could have continued.

According to Sky Sports, Kovalev said: “It didn’t hurt like I could go down on the floor, but it was a low blow.

“Right now, I could have continued. I didn’t feel that hurt. Why stop the fight? It’s crazy. I want to get again a fight with him.”

While according to Boxing Scene, Kovalev issued a furious response, claiming: “He hit with four low blows. The ref didn’t call them. I felt I could have continued. This is bulls**t!”

You can’t blame Kovalev for being bitter about the ending and wanting to run it back a third time, but the scorecards revealed by Boxing Scene show that Ward was leading on the scorecards of two judges anyway.


Their saga was entertaining, and fans probably wouldn’t complain seeing a trilogy – but it’s difficult to make with Ward 2-0 up.

What did you make of the referee’s stoppage? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.

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David Haye
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