Kovalev cried foul and promises to take it out of the judges hands this time. The ref didn't call them.
"It felt like I was up [on the scorecards], but a championship fight starts after the sixth round".
The build-up to this undoubted superfight sequel - unimaginatively dubbed "The Rematch" - has however been overshadowed by the confirmation of Floyd Mayweather's behemoth of a fight with UFC legend Conor McGregor. NV insists on using their own referee who are average at best.
As for the belt line blows, they were fair - and obviously quite painful. The formula was a blend of vicious body shots that at first slowed and then weakened the challenger.
But make no mistake about it. Obviously, Kovalev is the more accomplished finisher of the two, and it will be interesting to see if he tries to get Ward down early again.
"We want to talk about low blows tonight".
"I can not explain", the 34-year-old said. "We'll file a protest on Monday". "When I hit him he was acting like I hit him low". Ward swings a hard left that grazes Kovalev.
Indeed, the win boosted Ward to 32-0 and marked his 16th stoppage in a career that's now six months past its 12th birthday, stretching back to when he came out of the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Greece, with the only US boxing gold medal. Ward, was given the stoppage over Russian Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev, 30-2-1 (16), of Ft.More news: SuperSport Defender Nets Own Goal As Russia See Off New Zealand
Intelligencer Post isn't one of those media, and we are not interested in the nationality of the fighters or the political factors surrounding them, we are just into sports. But no one can argue Andre found solid success in the last five rounds of their November bout.
It's a good thing that the fight is Saturday night, because Sergey Kovalev can't wait any longer for another shot at Andre Ward. Ward said in pre-fight interviews that he hopes to score a more conclusive win this time around and put to bed any lingering doubts about who is the better fighter.
The Problem for KovalevSergey entered the rematch with what appeared to be an improved gameplan. In the second round Kovalev used an effective jab.
Defeating John Ruiz, Jones shocked the boxing world by seizing the title and in doing so becoming the first former middleweight title holder to win a heavyweight title in 106 years.
Kovalev claimed he overtrained for the first bout and had nothing when he went into the ring.
Had he survived the round, a hurt and faded Kovalev would have entered Round 9 down by three points on two scorecards against an opponent who was getting stronger and starting to land bombs - to the body AND head. But he recovered and slowly built momentum throughout the fight.
Kovalev complained after the fight that the referee made the wrong choice to step in, but Ward dismissed the growing criticism. "I didn't predict a knockout, but I said it could happen", Ward said.
Ward cautious, as Kovalev goes to the body.