Andre Ward has an Olympic gold medal, and Saturday night the Oakland fighter showed world-class professional mettle to claim a spirited eighth-round technical knockout victory over Russian rival Sergey Kovalev.
After defeating Kovalev to take his three light-heavyweight world-title belts in a controversial decision in November, Ward (32-0, 16 knockouts) hurt Kovalev with a massive right-handed punch earlier in the eighth.
Then, after punching through Kovalev complaints that he was being hit low in the round, Ward battered Kovalev in a corner with two devastating body blows on the belt that forced the Russian to keel over as referee Tony Weeks stopped the bout 2 minutes, 29 seconds in.
Jun. 17, 2017, 8:58 p.m.
It was a low blow. I don't know why the fight was stopped.
Sergey Kovalev after his loss
Jun. 17, 2017, 8:54 p.m.
Is it possible now to get on the pound-for-pound list?
Andre Ward, asking sarcastically after his win over Sergey Kovalev
Sergey Kovalev is still stalking Andre Ward and landing a bit more punches. The HBO crew is realizing how difficult this fight is to score. It is really close. No clear-cut winner in the round, but Ward did a bit more to get the round.