Andre Ward wins rematch against Sergey Kovalev at Mandalay Bay

Unbeaten unified WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight champion Andre “SOG” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) will fight Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) in a rematch of their November 2016 bout. 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. The Russian was shaken, and the American wanted to finish him with body punches. Ward hurts Kovalev with a left hand and Ward is throwing a number of combos to the body has Kovalev wobbled up.

They weren’t low blows. The Kovalev camp wasn’t happy about several shots by Ward that were either on or below the equator.

At the first Ward-Kovalev weigh-in, on November 18, 2016, the fighters had to be separated.

With all of the comments that have been made since the boxers met past year, Ward told TMZ that “He’s culturally sound enough to know some of the things he’s been doing are racially motivated”.

Ward is promoted by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, which paid him a $5 million guarantee for the first fight; Kovalev made $2 million.

Ward’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, hopes Kovalev is better.

“I’m ecstatic, I’m happy”. Ward vs. Kovalev II will begin at 9 p.m. ET on HBO PPV on Saturday and can be ordered through your television provider or at HBO’s official website. I’m just going to leave it at that.

I hadn’t seen a light heavyweight be that effective with the jab in years.

Many did think Kovalev won, however.

“He is a world champion”. “[Kovalev’s] a great fighter”. “My pastor, Napoleon Kaufman (the former Raiders running back), tells me to live my life in the middle”. I could have still been fighting. I don’t want to call him a frontrunner, but if he’s not having his way, he’s got to dig deep. “I’m going to enjoy my family, kiss my wife and we out”.

The rematch is as intriguing as the first fight, when the question was whether Kovalevs vaunted power would carry the day against a fighter who never really excites fans but always leaves the ring with his hand raised.

The US star is confident he can do well if pitted up against the bigger guys, due to his stamina and work-rate in the ring. I was posing. In there and getting hit. “I keep my head down and keep working”. “Not every round, but I thought I was doing very good”. I’m not a person that demands respect or none of that. “No disrespect to Stevenson but I haven’t even been thinking of him”. Spend any time inside a boxing gym sparring even at a novice level, and you’ll realize that at a certain point, a clumsy beginner is impossible to beat just because he’s too big.

Another barrage to the body was enough for Weeks, whose early intervention deprived Ward of the opportunity to add an exclamation mark to his performance.

LAS VEGAS – During a heated postfight news conference in which she was shouted down by Andre Ward supporters, Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, who promotes Sergey Kovalev, said she will file a protest with the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Monday following Ward’s eighth-round knockout victory Saturday night. [Kovalev] got hit with three low blows, four actually, in the last round.