Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight with 31 seconds left in the eighth with Kovalev kneeling down from what he said was a low blow. Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) was badly hurt, and Ward went to him and began firing away. That didn't really dovetail with his contention that he had won enough late rounds to pull out that decision, but never mind.
This scribe had Kovalev winning the first three and losing the next four. That second-round knockdown was just the second time that Ward has been knocked down in his career. "Championship fights don't start until after the sixth round". A low blow - and I felt this. "But I'm not going to put my head out there on a platter".
He added: 'If there's question marks after this, that ain't got nothing to do with me'. Kovalev seemed mystified by the turn of events. This is fighting, we are boxers and he did punch me but he didn't hurt me.
The fight itself played out early somewhat like the first one, with Kovalev starting out aggressively and Ward trying to find his rhythm.
Shaped by attitudes more readily associated with those Russian supremacists attached to the nation's football team, Kovalev has run into a wall of righteous anger over his clumsy publicity moves that look like downright racism to western cultural sensibilities.
Fans who want to watch the Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev fight live online will have a few options to catch the action.
"It's a disgrace", Duva said.
"I'd like to see him fight Anthony Joshua". I'm sure he's made some adjustments and he's going to come harder but I'm ready.
"You've got me sweating", Ward said, after his trainer had finished stunning everyone present. The first was Chad Dawson.
"I was empty one month before the November fight. Now we quieted all those who were whining and thought we didn't take it the first time".
All three judges scored it 114-113 for Ward. Announcer Michael Buffer, after a pause to stop everyone's breath, said, "And the NEW...."
But Ward's achievements speak for themselves: an Olympic gold medallist, unbeaten as a professional and a two-weight world champion who has faced and beaten the toughest possible opposition.
The rematch took place last night at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino was equally hyped with both guys looking to prove a point.
And it was the power of Kovalev who struck early. Ward just beat the will and heart out of Kovalev.
Amid the fall-out of the official confirmation of Floyd Mayweather coming out of retirement to fight Conor McGregor, one of the most eagerly awaited fights goes down tonight. "Krusher" covered up and slumped over, but two more punches came from Ward and they both were on the border. We'll see how many fools are born in the interim. Referee Vic Drakulich was just getting in between the two fighters at the bell when Rigondeaux's left hand crashed into Torres' head.