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|Andre Ward celebrates after winning his light heavyweight bout against Sergey Kovalev in Las Vegas on Saturday. — AFP
AMERICAN champion boxer Andre Ward kept his IBF Stefano Sturaro Italy Jersey , WBA and WBO titles by stopping Russian brawler Sergey Kovalev in the 8th round of their light heavyweight rematch on Saturday.
The unbeaten Ward hurt Kovalev with a right hand that buckled his knees and then finished him off on the ropes 30 seconds later with a series of body shots around the mid-section at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
“He’s a great fighter, not a lot of people are going to beat him,” Ward said. “But when you’re facing a great fighter you have to raise your game to the next level.”
Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight with 31 seconds left in the 8th with Kovalev kneeling down from what he said was a low blow.
Ward improved to 32-0 with 16 knockouts as he held onto three of the four major boxing belts that he snatched from Kovalev by winning the first fight in November by a slim unanimous decision.
The 33-year-old Ward needed this victory to validate his first win as many felt the Russian won that fight and that Ward had been given a gift decision by the three judges.
“I’ve never been the most talented, I have never been the biggest, I just keep knocking down giants 1 by 1 Stefano Okaka Italy Jersey ,” said Ward.
Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) sent Ward to the canvas in the first fight, and while he landed several big shots in the rematch, once again he failed to close the deal and appeared to tire after the 6th round.
“I cannot explain,” Kovalev said.
Kovalev added he wants an “immediate” rematch because he felt he got hit with a series of low blows in the eighth.
“It was a low blow Simone Zaza Italy Jersey , again another one,” he said as he watched a replay of the stoppage with an HBO interviewer.
“We are boxers. I could still continue. Why stop the fight?”
Kovalev was the much busier of the two from the opening bell of the entertaining fight. He was the aggressor backing up Ward who seemed content to wait for his opportunity to land a punch.
Both fighters landed solid blows in the 4th round, Kovalev with his stinging jab and Ward scoring with well-timed counter punches. But by the 6th, Ward said he could sense Kovalev was fading.
“Championship fights start in second half, in the 6th round. When I saw him reacting to the body shots that were borderline I knew I had him Salvatore Sirigu Italy Jersey ,” Ward said.
On the undercard, two-time Olympic champ Guillermo Rigondeaux beat Moises Flores with a controversial fight-ending punch at the close of the 1st round to retain his WBA junior featherweight title.
The victory was disputed as replays showed Rigondeaux landed a left hand after the bell had rang. He also landed 3 punches while holding Flores’ head from behind just before the KO.
Cuba-born Rigondeaux improved to 18-0 with 12 KOs, while Flores, of Mexico, dropped to 25-1 Roberto Soriano Italy Jersey , with 17 KOs.
BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- China will further cut red tape to create a better business environment for foreign banks, the country's banking regulator said Thursday.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) will revise rules on administrative licensing for foreign banks to minimize the approval items and unify market entry standards for Chinese and foreign banks, the CBRC said in an online statement.
The CBRC will clarify procedures and application materials for foreign and joint venture banks to invest in domestic banking institutions after a notice issued in March approved such behavior.
In the notice, the CBRC also eased license requirements for foreign and joint-venture banks in services including treasury bond underwriting and financial advising.
Foreign banks will only need to report to authorities after they launch certain services Riccardo Montolivo Italy Jersey , rather than obtaining approval in advance, according to the revised rules.
The public has until January 27 next year to give suggestions on the revised rules, the CBRC said.
China has been gradually opening up its financial sector, with authorities pledging to ease caps on foreign ownership in Chinese banks and financial asset management companies.
The CBRC also said earlier that it would broaden the business scope of foreign banks, including easing restrictions on renminbi retail banking for foreign banks.
BRASILIA Mattia Perin Italy Jersey , Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Nine inmates were killed and their bodies were set on fire in a riot on Monday at a prison in Brazil's central state of Goias, local authorities said.
Military Police Commander Divino Alves told local media the melee broke out on Monday afternoon between members of rival gangs at the prison in Aparecida de Goiania, the second largest city in the state, and it took officials nearly two hours to restore order.
The Executive Superintendence of Prison Management said in a statement that inmates in section C of the prison invaded section B, and started a fire.
Firefighters were called in to battle the flames Mattia De Sciglio Italy Jersey , and smoke could be seen rising from the facility.
Another 14 inmates were injured in the fighting and they returned to their cells after receiving emergency treatment, according to Brazil's G1 news website.
As many as 106 prisoners took advantage of the mayhem to escape, and officials have captured 29, the report said, adding that "another 127 left the prison due to the confusion Matteo Darmian Italy Jersey , but returned voluntarily after the situation died down."
Officials were searching for the other escapees.
Prison riots are fairly common in Brazil, where the overpopulation of prisons is a pervasive problem.
ANKARA, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's flag carrier Turkish Airlines said Wednesday that it has no plan to suspend flights to the Kurdish region in northern Iraq.
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