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. That doesn't mean, however, that this victory was without controversy. In his last two outings, he moved much more, jabbed more defensively and fought in close quarters less often. Kovalev's been getting heat for a meme he posted to his social media recently, one that depicts a fake convo between him and Ward, where Andre repeatedly uses both the N- and F- words.
Andre Ward defeated Sergey Kovalev in the rematch, completely without deserving. He seized the moment, and with the Russian ducking on the ropes and not throwing back, referee Tony Weeks stepped in and put a stop to the contest.
Kovalev, 34, has been angry for months and has been wearing a hat emblazoned with "WAR" during the buildup to Saturday's fight. And, if you choose to make a defense for Kovalev's plodding battle plan, there were definitely the low blows.
The American boxer, 33, wanted to stamp his authority on rival Sergey Kovalev on Saturday night and said in the build up he wanted to stop him. "The fight should have continued". "I don't feel like it affects me". We take it all the way to the top, whoever we're fighting. "I was winning the round, and he waited for after the bell to throw a punch when I dropped my hands down". It didn't hurt me. "I always do well against bigger fighters. I want to prove I belong here".
Andre Ward landed a clean counter right hand to the chin of Kovalev which had the boxer nicknamed "Krusher" visibly shaken. "Then the referee stopped the fight".
Ward had landed several hard body shots that Kovalev visibly reacted to.
Kovalev outlanded Ward, 95 to 80, overall (according to CompuBox) but expended a great deal of energy in boxing with Ward on even terms. "Now what he needs to do is be more aggressive and effective in the second half of the fight the way he did in the first half of the fight". But there were a couple of times when I was crying, because I thought we'd have to postpone the fight.
The fight served as a rematch to the bout that the two men had back on November 19, 2016 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
"I have never been the most talented, I have never been the biggest, I just keep knocking down giants one by one", said Ward. Camp was good and we implemented everything.
"I've been through adversity in and out of the ring", Ward said. Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) was badly hurt, and Ward went right at him and began firing away. He also had a plea for his critics.
"There's certain guys you don't mess with and those guys are too big", Ward said. You don't have to respect me and I don't demand anything, but at a certain point and time, you got to give a person their just do.
I am being criticised a lot unjustly. "Heavyweight? Hey, you have to be able to dream".
"When he can't get you out of there he fades", Ward said. "I'm right where I need to be".