Kovalev: Better if Ward Himself Had Stopped Me, Not The Ref

After losing back to back fights to Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev insists that he's ready to write a new chapter in his boxing career.

On March 3rd, the Russian defends his WBO World Light-Heavyweight Title against Igor Mikhalkin in New York, which will be his second fight since losing to Ward last June.

Their first meeting in November 2016 ended in a tight decision win for the American. However in the rematch, Ward controversially stopped Kovalev with a barrage of body shots.

ward-kovalev-rematch-fight (8)

The Russian was rocked in the eighth round, and after referee Tony Weeks waved off the fight Kovalev complained that some of the final blows were below the belt.

 For me, it would be much better if Ward stopped me himself, [if he] dropped me on the floor and the referee started the count. I do not agree with this decision. It was a low blow," Kovalev told

"Ward was much better than he was in the first fight, but I was in my worst situation. They started a tactic game, a mind game, and I lost the mind game. The referee was involved in this, in my opinion, my opinion right now. What happened, it happened for a reason."

'Krusher' bounced back in November to reclaim one of his old belts that Ward vacated when he retired, and he now admits he is a smarter fighter after suffering his first defeats as a professional.

"I've already forgotten about what happened. What happened, happened for a reason. This situation has taught me that I should use [the] boxing gym and sport more every day. Not like I was before. God sent me Ward like a test. Right now, I'm a little bit smarter already with this situation," he added.

Next up, Kovalev takes on Mikhalkin at Madison Square Garden Theater, and insists he is not overlooking his fellow Russian.

"He's a southpaw. That's already a little uncomfortable, because for a long time I haven't fought a southpaw. Also his style can be uncomfortable for me too.

"Also, he's Russian. In Russia, mentally we don't have a step back. If for you [it's] very hard, you cannot say, 'No, stop. I don't want to fight anymore'. He will be fighting from first bell to last bell, because he's motivated right now. He's never fought for a real World Title."

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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by TheThirdEye on 02-28-2018

[QUOTE=chitownfightfan;18524534]Pity rds and everything close to the Merican, be he a ginger Mexican, a cancer survivor with VADA exemptions or a guy who mysteriously disappears while fights brew, so he doesn't have to be tested for a yr.... Watch Ward…

Comment by Ray* on 02-28-2018

[QUOTE=yoshik;18522571]How did he quit? Telepathically spoke to Weeks and say "Stop it." You Wardaholics are something to behold. Ridiculous. #casualfanboys[/QUOTE] Am a kovalev fan. Check my stats and your head.

Comment by chitownfightfan on 02-28-2018

[QUOTE=////;18520424]What should he say when they interview him about it? Almost 80% of the media scores gave him the first fight & the second was an officiating debacle people will be making fun of for years Should he lie and…

Comment by B Phontain on 02-28-2018

How you go from killer kovalev to cryvalev in two fights? C'mon man...

Comment by robbyheartbaby on 02-27-2018

[QUOTE=parrish duke;18521486]Too funny, so now the man's legacy is tainted🤣🤣🤣 - only in your eyes my friend....Ward sleeps well and will have a good HOF induction speech ... Kovalev got rocked.... He did not fight back, he did not complain…

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