Freelance: Andre Ward Eyeing Adonis Stevenson Fight
Just when WBA undisputed, IBF, WBO, and The Ring light heavyweight (175-pound champion) Andre “Son of God/S.O.G. Ward (now 32-0-0, 16 KOs) needed to leave no doubt that he’s better than Russia’s Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (now 30-2-1, 26 KOs) following controversial scoring in their first bout, the rematch has its own controversy: a win via low-blow. At least, that’s what Kovalev is calling his eighth-round TKO stoppage loss.
"It was a low blow. It didn't hurt like I could go down on the floor but it was a low blow," Kovalev said afterward per CBS Sports. "Right now, I should've continued. I didn't feel it. This is fight. We are boxers. Yes, he punched me but I didn't feel it. It didn't hurt me. I wanted to continue fighting. Why stop the fight? I want to continue and kick his ass."
Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva intends to dispute the stoppage with an appeal to the overseeing Nevada State Athletic Commission. Ward allegedly connected with three consecutive shots to the groin before the bout was stopped by referee Tony Weeks.
However, to his credit, Ward was leading on the scorecards as the boxing community paints the bout as a picture of the title challenger fading away. He knew it as well, saying later that he broke Kovalev in every way. An unlikely trilogy fight may be far off on the horizon, but Ward has a new target in his sights: Adonis “Superman” Stevenson.
The Hatian-born 39-year-old Canadian is unbeaten since 2011, 29-1-0 with 24 KO wins and only one fight going the distance in that time. Stevenson already has a slew of championship belts but has exclusively defended the WBC light heavyweight title eight times, mostly in either the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City or the Bell Centre in Montreal. Taking the extra straps off of Ward may be his last hurrah before he retires.
Ward is up for a battle as it has entered into his consideration but he still isn’t completely sold on the idea as there is talk that he may move down to cruiserweight (200 pounds) or up to heavyweight (200-plus-pounds.)
He said following the contest, “It’s serious, that’s a real thing. I don’t have anything on the books right now for a cruiserweight fight, a heavyweight fight. I know it sounds crazy when you’re a light heavyweight, and I’m not the biggest light heavyweight. But it’s always been a dream of mine and it’s something me and Virgil Hunter talk about. I do really well against big fighters because of my stamina, and though I’m not the biggest, I’m strong. So, if the right opportunity and the right fighter comes along, anything is possible. That’s not just talk, that’s real.”
There is speculation that the striking prowess of Stevenson has Ward avoiding the fight, but a boxing leaders may come into play as Stenson is directly behind Ward at #2 in the global light heavyweight rankings which include a grand total of over one thousand fighters. A mandate to Ward to fight Stevenson may also soon be on the horizon.
The situation is continuing to develop.