LAS VEGAS (AP) — Andre Ward vowed he would leave no doubt this time around and he didn't, stopping Sergey Kovalev in the eighth round Saturday night to win their light heavyweight title rematch.
Ward turned the fight around with a big right hand that wobbled Kovalev, then swarmed all over him. Kovalev was in the neutral corner and Ward was landing shots to the body when Kovalev sat on the ring rope and referee Tony Weeks signaled an end to the bout at 2:29 of the eighth round.
The fight had been close until Ward turned it around with the right hand, with Kovalev winning the early rounds before Ward began making adjustments and Kovalev began tiring. Both fighters complained of dirty tactics and Weeks spent a lot of his time breaking up clinches.
Ward won the first fight in November, coming back from a second round knockdown to get a controversial decision. The rematch seemed just as close until Ward landed the right hand that caused Kovalev's legs to wobble.