By Alexey Sukachev
On Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Andre Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) stopped Sergey Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) in a rematch of their first highly controversial fight, which took place last November. Ward retained the IBF, WBA, WBO light heavyweight titles.
Last year, there was debate over whether or not Ward deserved the twelve round decision, after Kovalev appeared to outbox him but all three judges scored it 114-113 in the other direction.
The rematch came with another major controversy, when Kovalev was stopped on the ropes in the eighth round by referee Tony Weeks after Kovalev was hurt by a right hand followed by a series of low or borderline low blows.
Russian promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy, the man behind "World of Boxing", which is Russia's biggest promotional outfit, is furious about the ending of Kovalev vs. Ward II. He let his emotions flow on Twitter.
"That's f...ng nuts! Two blows way south of the border, and the referee calls it off. Not even bothering to issue a count! Another example of criminal refereeing. Boxing turns into nonsense with this kind of official's work. That's a load of bull! Once again the whole word is a forced witness of how Andre Ward is being carried onto another 'win.' Indeed, Kovalev did box bad tonight. But it's not about him. It's about officials. It was mean, awful lawlessness", wrote Ryabinskiy.