Sergey Kovalev is getting another shot to prove he's the best light heavyweight boxer in the world in a rematch against unified champion Andre Ward.
Ward posted on social media that the two will meet on June 17 in a rematch of their November 19, 2016 encounter in which Ward narrowly beat Kovalev via unanimous decision.
I'm going to keep it short & sweet, you got what you asked for, now you have to see me JUNE 17. This time leave the excuses at home. #EARNED pic.twitter.com/rw5UCjKuwo— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) April 4, 2017
I'm going to keep it short & sweet, you got what you asked for, now you have to see me JUNE 17. This time leave the excuses at home. #EARNED pic.twitter.com/rw5UCjKuwo
— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) April 4, 2017
The fight will be contested at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and will headline an HBO pay-per-view, the second time both fighters will compete on pay-per-view. Their first encountered also headlined an HBO pay-per-view, but only had about 160,000 buys.
Since his loss, Kovalev had been very vocal about the judging in the fight and had been demanding a rematch ever since then. Kovalev did have a rematch clause in his contract.
"I am against here it is the USA and all the judges were from the USA," Kovalev said in a post-fight interview back in November. "He is a boxer. It’s a sport, don’t make it politics. It’s a sport and I won the fight.”
Once Ward made the initial announcement of the rematch, Kovalev, was ready to trash talk the champion.
#WardKovalev2Be ready motherfucker! I'll finish your boxing career@sergeykrusherkovalev pic.twitter.com/YCfftzpuJt— Sergey Kovalev (@KrusherKovalev) April 4, 2017
#WardKovalev2Be ready motherfucker! I'll finish your boxing career@sergeykrusherkovalev pic.twitter.com/YCfftzpuJt
— Sergey Kovalev (@KrusherKovalev) April 4, 2017
One of the undercard fights will be the mandatory bout between WBA junior featherweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux and interim titlist Moises Flores, whose camps made a deal to avoid a purse bid. The bout was scheduled for February 25 on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs. James Kirkland HBO pay-per-view card, but that card was canceled when Kirkland suffered an injury.
Ward defeated Kovalev via unanimous decision (114-113, 114-113, 114-113) to become the unified WBA, WBO, IBF light heavyweight titles, but neither boxer had fought since. Ward is also a former unified super middleweight champion and former Olympic gold medalist as a light heavyweight in the 2004 Summer Games.
It was Kovalev's first professional loss while Ward remains undefeated with a 31-0 record as a pro boxer. The loss also ended Kovalev's reign atop the light heavyweight division. He had been holding a world title since 2013 when stopped Nathan Cleverly in the fourth round to win the WBO light heavyweight title.
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