Ward defends championship with 8th-round TKO vs. Kovalev – Los Angeles Times

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Andre Ward has an Olympic gold medal, and the Oakland fighter showed the type of world-class professional mettle Saturday night that he believes should entrench his status as the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter.

Ward scored a spirited victory over rival Sergey Kovalev, enhancing his debatable unanimous-decision triumph over the Russian in November with an eighth-round technical knockout at Mandalay Bay.

With three light-heavyweight world-title belts on the line, Ward (32-0, 16 knockouts) set up the finish by rocking Kovalev (30-2-1) with a massive punch to the head earlier in the eighth.

Then, after punching through Kovalev complaints that he had been hit low in the round — and previously in the bout — Ward battered Kovalev in a corner with two devastating body blows on the belt that forced him to keel over and inspire referee Tony Weeks to stop the bout two minutes 29 seconds into the round.

Ward defends championship with 8th-round TKO vs. Kovalev – Los Angeles Times

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