On Nov. 19, Ward won a heavily disputed decision - 114-113 on all three scorecards - against Kovalev, who had the right to an immediate rematch, an option he quickly exercised.
Ward scored a spirited victory over rival Sergey Kovalev, enhancing his debatable unanimous-decision triumph over the Russian in November with an eighth-round technical knockout at Mandalay Bay.
As the sixth and seventh round got underway, Kovalev seemed to slow down just a bit, which was part of the problem he suffered in the first fight as well as his output and volume of punches landed diminished with each passing minute.
As Kovalev lurched around the ring, Ward trapped him in the corner and rammed in a succession of shots around the belt line and the shaken fighter was sagging on the ropes as Weeks swiftly signalled the finish. "When I saw him reacting to the body shots that were borderline I knew I had him", Ward said.
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Two fights with Andre Ward have not only tamed Kovalev. "If you were to single out one thing that would make it a competitive fight for yourself, you take that chance - because that's what he's here for", Hunter said (via Boxing Scene).
"Honestly, if you look at it, Sergey is not going to have to do much more than what he did because he proved to the fans in the first half of the fight that he can win it at Ward's own game", said trainer John David Jackson.
After the fight, Ward gave Kovalev his credit and admitted he was the most hard opponent of his career. Ward said in pre-fight interviews that he hopes to score a more conclusive win this time around and put to bed any lingering doubts about who is the better fighter. This time I will not be empty - Ward will be fighting Krusher. That meant Ward was the light heavyweight champion.Few moments in sports are more stark or dramatic. "I'm the pro. World champion should fight everywhere". For the most part, he was a one punch wonder - step, step, punch. "And it's a healthy respect but it's not a respect that's going to stop him from getting smashed June 17".
As expected Andre Ward was all smiles and thanked God for the victory while Sergey Kovalev took exception to the low blows that ultimately decided the outcome of the fight.
"I can not explain", the 34-year-old said. He punched me with low blows.
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Duva was also suspicious of Guillermo Rigondeaux's first-round knockout of Moises Torres, which preceded Ward-Kovalev. "I wasn't hurt and I could continue". "I always do well against bigger fighters".
While Ward will make $6.5 million in the fight, Kovalev has agreed to fight for a percentage of the tickets and pay-per-view money instead of a purse.
They will meet in the main event of an HBO pay-per-view card from Las Vegas on Saturday, in a fight being billed as "The Rematch".
'I thought the stoppage was bad, ' said Malignaggi.
Ward reckons he would do well against bigger guys because he has good stamina, saying it's his dream to move up weights.
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Words won't matter when the two fighters step into the ring.
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