SERGEY KOVALEV’S team were left raging at referee Tony Weeks’ intervention that saw him halt the Russian as Andre Ward defended his WBA, WBO and IBF light-heavyweight titles inside eight rounds on Saturday (June 17) at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Speaking to Boxing News immediately after the fight, Kovalev’s trainer John David Jackson said the stoppage was wrong. “They were low blows but the referee didn’t call it, didn’t see it,” he maintained.

Jackson continued, “I thought it was a close fight. Before the stoppage it was close. It ebbed and flowed, Sergey won one round, Ward did good the next round. It ebbed and flowed. A close fight.

Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva condemned the result in strong terms. “I saw someone who should have been disqualified,” she said of Ward.

“We asked the commission for an instant replay analysis, they did not give it to us. We will file a protest on Monday. If you look at the instant replay, which the commission refused to look at tonight, you see the back of Sergey’s cup going up one, two, three times. I’ve never seen someone knocked out on a low blow until tonight.

Kovalev’s manager was blunt in his assessment. “You saw Ward get away with what he’s good at, to fight dirty. The referee didn’t do the job he’s supposed to do,” he insisted.

Andre Ward

“If I’m going to rob a bank and I’m going to get a million dollars from a bank and police aren’t going to catch me, guess what? I’m a lucky millionaire, right. So he’s a lucky f***ing champion.”

Click HERE to see Sergey Kovalev’s reaction