Sergey Kovalev seeking to regain titles he lost to Andre Ward

Lynette Rowe
June 20, 2017

Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward faced each other this past November in Las Vegas as undefeated champions looking to unify the light heavy weight titles. Kovalev did his best to hold on but was hit low for the third time without losing a point.

So Kovalev becomes the 31st and 32nd fighter to have a bad night against Ward, who has never lost and now has a legitimate chance to retire unbeaten.

Ward (32-0, 15 KOs) backed him into the ropes and landed three left hands to Kovalev's gut, including a low blow that was not called by referee Tony Weeks. About 30 seconds later, a "questionable" body shot had Kovalev doubled over in pain or perhaps he was just trying to catch the attention of referee Tony Weeks.

"I had a great fight as long as it lasted", said Ward.

"Whatever the excuses were this time, I just don't have the energy", Ward said. "Great fighters have to raise their game to the next level, and that's what I had to do tonight". Kovalev jabs. Apparently a low blow by Ward and Ward comes back with a hard left. "Why stop the fight?"

The rematch was booked nearly immediately with a lot of bad blood being shared between the two boxers going into the fight. Obviously, Kovalev had entered the first fight between the two without a loss on his record. Kovalev tried to tie the American up, but Ward was relentless, slamming punches to the head and body.

"He was reacting to my body shots, and I knew I had him and I knew he was hurt", Ward said. “I dont feel like it affects me. The fight seemed to be going the way of Ward, the superior athlete, the better conditioned athlete, the unflappable presence. Rigondeaux is scheduled to fight Moises Flores in a super bantamweight championship boxing match Saturday in Las Vegas. Ward then connected with a sweet right in the chops, and Kovalev's legs were shaking.

Kovalev claimed he overtrained for the first bout and had nothing when he went into the ring.

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"I did what I had to do that's not my fault, I did my job", Ward said. I take nothing from him.

"I could have continued", the Russian said.

Many already view Ward as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but it is nowhere near unanimous. Ward avoiding the big punch. Ward came on strong in the second half of that fight after Kovalev knocked him down in the second round.

Promoter Kathy Duva, angrily facing a "press conference" that was populated with Ward fans, said it was "inconceivable" that Kovalev could lose on "all those low blows in a row", and promised to appeal the decision to the Nevada state athletic commission. He appeared confident he would do just that, coming into the ring doing a little dance before turning to salute the crowd. Close round I give it to Kovalev.

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.

Also on the main card Guillermo Rigondeau defeated Moses Flores via the first-round knockout.

'I thought the stoppage was bad, ' said Malignaggi.

A knockout "was only a matter of time", Rigondeaux said.

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