I side with Mgrover in this fight, I also did not see Ward dominating at all.
This fight reminded me very much of the first fight with Kovalev taking the early rounds and Ward coming on later. Tony Weeks started out well with the stern warning to Ward in round two and than the warnings to both fighters to "keep it clean." After that, the warnings stopped. I believe that the blows that ended the fight in the 8th round were low, especially the last shot. I had it 5-2 for Kovalev, with Ward taking the last two rounds. I would accept 4-3 for Kovalev, but would not accept Ward ahead. Tony Weeks should have warned Ward in the 8th round and taken a point away for the last shot.
And for Ward fans, they were deprived of a clear-cut victory in the fight. No question that Segey was getting tired. But in a fight for the Light-Heavyweight Championship of the world with multiple belts on the line, you don't stop a fight like that. We could have seen a definitive win. Instead we have another fight wrapped in controversy. Andre Ward has not had a non-controversial win over a quality opponent since Carl Froch. Personally, I think Andre Ward is an over-rated fighter and Max Kellerman has a gay-love relationship with him.
Having said that, Ward is very hard to beat because he clinches and times his punches while not allowing fighters to get outside shots off of him. I don't like that style of fighting. Andre Ward clinches and grabs too much for my tastes. I would rather see Ward with a better boxing promoter, such as Top Rank, or Al Haymon. Roc Nation is in serious trouble, and there are rumors that they may be out of boxing by next year. Andre may go to Top Rank. This is another thing that I heard. Ward does not excite me as a fighter. I believe that Kovalev got screwed, again. Hard to believe that Tony Weeks, who worked Corrales-Castillo I, allow both fighters to come back from the dead in my favorite action fight of all time would stop this fight so early. Ward should have been given the opportunity to finsh of Kovalev in convincing, not controversial fashion.
Kovalev got dusted in this fight, and you know it. I seriously don't see how people gave Kovalev all of those rounds, it was clear as day that he just wasn't in the fight. You can't say that it went the way the first fight did, when Ward clearly in trouble early and had to claw his way back in the fight.
If Kovalev sucks at fighting inside, why would Ward feel the need to clinch so much? As far as I saw, Ward worked him on the inside and at a distance. I saw Kovalev land a couple of noticeable shots in the fight, but none of them moved Ward, slowed him down, or kept him off. None of them.
Sergey was in BIG trouble in route to the stoppage. HUGE trouble. Before finished him, Kovalev backed into the corner with his hands DOWN and looked winded. The fact that Kovalev didn't immediately protest the stoppage, should be a clear indicator that he was a beaten man.
I would have believed your card 5-2 or 4-3 for Kovalev, had it been based off of you watching the stream because they can be choppy and unclear at times. The fact that you saw the replay in HD and still had that same score, is hard to believe.
Kovalev's body language in this fight versus the first fight is all that needs to be brought up, in addition to him not protesting the stoppage immediately after. He was beaten man and it's sad that people won't acknowledge the body shot and right hand that started Kovalev's demise in the 8th.