"He was reacting to my body shots, and I knew I had him, he was hurt", said Ward (32-0), who retained the WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles he took from Kovalev last November.
After the fight, Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, who promotes Kovalev, said she will file a protest with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, claiming Ward landed several low blows without being penalized.?
The 33-year-old American extended his flawless career record to 32 wins from 32 in an impressive performance, albeit with a controversial ending, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. "He is a great fighter, and when you fight great fighters, you have to raise your game".
"Then I hurt him with a head shot and I just had to get the right shots in there to get it over with".
Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight with 31 seconds left in the eighth with Kovalev kneeling down from what he said was a low blow.
At the first Ward-Kovalev weigh-in, on November 18, 2016, the fighters had to be separated.
"Right now, I could have continued".
'It wasn't like he was hurt to the point where you had to stop the fight. 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. Kovalev continues to outpunch Ward.
Boxer Andre Ward poses with a youngster following a news conference at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Both are skilled fighters, but neither is a pay-per-view attraction in the manner of Mayweather or McGregor, two dynamic personalities that demand attention. But a fading Kovalev saw his exit from the fight come quickly in Round 8 after Ward began his attack with a left hook to the belt line that could've been considered low.
Following his win, Ward mentioned the possibility of even testing higher weight divisions but for now he'll celebrate his TKO over Kovalev while shutting the door on that rivalry for the time being. Kovalev threw the greater volume of punches but after the early knockdown met with what has become an industry difficulty, finding it hard to land clean shots on a notoriously awkward target. "Am I No. 1 [in pound-for-pound rankings] now?"
"Low blow, again, low blow".
"I knew that this fight was going to be different", Ward said.
Kovalev knocked down Ward and felt his pressure was enough to win, while Ward believes he adjusted and pushed the Russian slugger back and captured the majority of the later rounds to pull off the victory.
Tonny Weeks is the name of the official in the ring, and you might remember it because this is the person who made one of the most catastrophic mistakes in the history of boxing. "I was a lot better prepared this time". "Heavyweight? Hey, you have to be able to dream".