Andre Ward TKO8 Sergey Kovalev: Andre Ward, 32-0 (16), left no doubt tonight. After falling behind again early, Andre Ward's body work paid huge dividends. After seven nip and tuck rounds that could have gone either way. Andre Ward closed the show like the very best pound for pound fighters do. Boxingtalk had Kovalev, 30-2-1 (26), ahead by one point at the time of the stoppage.
Round 1: 10-9 Kovalev. Close round. Kovalev lands a few powerful body shots, Ward lands a great right hand lead.
Round 2: 10-9 Kovalev. Another close round, but Kovalev's jab carried the round. Kovalev landed a nice right hand left hook combo at the end of the round.
Round 3: 10-9 Kovalev. Unless somebody gets dropped or stopped, it's pretty clear all of these rounds are going to be extremely close. Kovalev lands a couple of nice sneaky counters, but has stopped punching to the body.
Round 4: 10-9 Ward. Kovalev lands a nice right hand which Ward takes very well. Ward lands a couple of great right hands and was effective with jab. This was clearly a Ward round.
Round 5: 10-9 Ward. Ward's punches look stronger, Kovalev looks tired. Both fighters have mouses, Kovalev's is under his right eye, Ward's on the left.
Round 6: 10-9 Kovalev. Close round, but Kovalev's output and aggressiveness were the difference.
Round 7: 10-9 Ward. Very close round, this one goes to Ward due to his jab and Kovalev throwing mostly arm punches. Kovalev looks tired and tried to catch a breather on a borderline low blow. Referee Tony Weeks wouldn't let him.
Round 8: Ward hurts Kovalev with a body shot, Kovalev tries to catch another breather. Again Weeks won't let him. Moments later a right hand hurts Kovalev and Ward punishes him to the body until the referee stopped the fight. Kovalev was never down. Official time of stoppage was 2:29.