By David Martinez / dmboxing.com
Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Hotel Events Center, Las Vegas, Andre Ward (32-0 / 16 by KO) scored an eighth round stoppage over Sergey Kovalev ( 30-2 / 25 by KO) to retain his WBA/WBO/IBF light heavyweight title belts.
The end came at 2:29 of round eight when referee Tony Weeks halted the bout after Ward hit a badly hurt Kovalev with three successive body punches, causing Kovalev to slump down against the ropes.
In round eight, prior to the stoppage, Ward threw a powerful straight right hand to prove the beginning of the end for Kovalev.
The fight was actually close up to round eight, with a couple of swing rounds that could have gone either way. Personally, I had Ward ahead 67-66, 4 rounds to 3, after seven rounds. The official judges’ scorecards were 67-66, 67-66 Ward, and 68-65 Kovalev.
According to CompuBox, Ward connected on 80 of 238 punches (34%), and Kovalev connected 95 of 407 (23%).