As Andre Ward celebrates big win, Sergey Kovalev plans protest

As Andre Ward celebrates big win, Sergey Kovalev plans protest

World champion light heavyweight champion under versions IBF, WBO and WBA champion Andre ward in a rematch again dealt with the Russian Sergey Kovalev.

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.

But first Bivol (10-0, eight knockouts) needs to take care of business against Agnew (29-2, 15 KOs), who was knocked out by Kovalev in 2014.

It was a satisfying conclusion for Ward, who is not known as a big puncher but sure unleashed some firepower on the "Krusher" in the final moments. What can not be questioned is the right hand that clearly sapped the fight out of Kovalev. Could be Ward's craftiness played a role, as well as all the holding, about which Kovalev's promoter Kathy Duva afterward said, "The ref (Robert Byrd) wasn't doing his job".

The pro resume he's compiled had already included a super middleweight cleanout that claimed the top-end likes of Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch, not to mention a champ-vs. -champ erasure of Chad Dawson that effectively ruined the one-time light heavyweight king's career.

"I don't have a prediction", Kovalev said. This time, Ward started his game plan early, but as we will see, the way the fight ended may leave doubt in the minds of some. "Heavyweight? I dream big, and everything is possible when you have God". He earned a fixed $6.5 million (Dh23.8m), while Kovalev had no guaranteed purse and was forced to settle for a minority share of the TV revenue and the gate.

"I could have continued", the Russian said.

And while Kovalev and his cadre of supporters may lament the way it ultimately arrived, it'll be much harder for them to argue the point the Californian proved at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Kovalev had success with his jab and the occasional right hand, while Ward looked to slip underneath his lead and attack the body at every opportunity. This should be another competitive bout but Ward will probably prevail in a more convincing fashion. Whether the punches that came right before the end of the fight were low or not can be discussed. They laughed at me, but I knew what would happen because Andre was healthy. I don't know if he had the right answers tonight.

"I really don't have a lot to say about whatever they said", Ward said. I've thought about going cruiserweight. All I got to do is be myself and that will be enough. "He was hitting him low the whole fight". "I had a couple of missions in mind when I came to Las Vegas-to glorify God with my performance and the way I act outside the ring, to defend my belts that I won back in November, and to get home and kiss my wife and kids", he said. "That's not just talk, that's real", Ward said.

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. Who he fights next?