Andre Ward scores TKO win over Sergey Kovalev in 8th round

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Ward won the first fight between the two by a 114-113 margin on all three judges' scorecards, earning the US boxer the IBF, WBA, and WBO championships.

But this bout was once again marred by controversy after the Russian was stopped in the eighth round by a big right hook followed by a succession of apparent body-shots after which referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight.

Ward later spoke of moving up to fight at either cruiserweight or even heavyweight - "I dream big", he said - but he earned a respect Saturday that had eluded him throughout a almost ideal professional career. And he tagged Kovalev with a flush right to the head that had him wobbly. Ward took the most damage in the fight early when Kovalev managed to score a knockdown in the second round. Weeks jumped in and waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 29 seconds. Kovalev jabs. Apparently a low blow by Ward and Ward comes back with a hard left.

'I don't have anything on the books right now for a cruiserweight fight, a heavyweight fight.

Fans on social media called the stoppage premature, Kovalev echoed that sentiment in his post-fight comments, but with little energy left Ward would've found a way to stop him in the remaining rounds.

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

Say what you will about the spectacle of what will actually happen in the ring between Mayweather and McGregor, but you will, if nothing else, get the most entertaining news conferences and interviews leading up to the fight.

Ward now moves to 32-0 in his career while retaining his WBA, IBF, WBO light heavyweight titles while also picking up the vacant Ring light heavyweight title as well. Kovalev promised to make the "paper champion" pay for the first fight.

Ward received a guaranteed $6.5 million payday for the fight. "I thought I was doing very good". Kovalev appeared to be ahead on the scorecards when Ward connected with a vicious right hand to Kovalev's chin in the 8th round that hurt Kovalev. [Ward] punched me low blow already a few times during the fight. I didn't feel it. At least Kovalev would finish with a flourish.

Those who watch the Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev boxing match live online could see a more definitive conclusion to the saga. "I've never seen somebody knocked out on a low blow until tonight, and I hope I never have to see it again". The fight seemed to be going the way of Ward, the superior athlete, the better conditioned athlete, the unflappable presence.

Bennett said on HBO the outcome could be revisited, and if it turns out the punch was delivered after the bell, the result could even be changed to a Rigondeaux disqualification.

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