Other news in boxing:
1. Oleksandr Gvozdyk, a fast-rising light heavyweight contender coming off impressive back-to-back knockout wins against top opposition, will take on Craig Baker in his next outing, Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told ESPN. That fight will serve as the co-feature to the Terence Crawford vs. Julius Indongo light welterweight unification bout
2. Felix Verdejo will get his long-overdue world title opportunity against Terry Flanagan after several weeks of negotiations. Verdejo will challenge Flanagan for the WBO lightweight title on September 16 in the Copper Box Arena in London, England, according to Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti. The fight had been in danger of not happening after contract issues was made public a couple of weeks ago
3. Also on the card is WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders making his second title defense. Saunders will defend his title against Willie Monroe Jr. after Avtandil Khurtsidze, Saunders' original challenger was arrested back in June and had his interim championship stripped. Saunders vs. Khurtsidze would have happened on July 8.
The Flanagan vs. Verdejo fight fit perfectly into Saunders' plans since he and promoter Eddie Hearn wanted to have a WBO middleweight title defense on the same week as the Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez fight, which also takes place on that day. The plan figures Saunders challenging the winner of that fight in a middleweight title unification bout.
4. The second clash between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev failed to deliver as expected at the live gate and on pay-per-view. Ward vs. Kovalev 2 on June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas generated a live gate of $2,187,340, according to figures released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The revenue from last month's bout came from the sale of 6,366 tickets, even though Roc Nation Sports announced a crowd of 10,592 on fight night. There were 2,113 complimentary tickets given out from a total of 10,748 available, according to the commission. Both fights did poorly on HBO pay-per-view with the first fight selling only about 165,000 units, and the rematch getting about 125,000 buys.
The conclusion is that Ward isn't a viable pay-per-view headliner, but was smart enough to completely cash out on this rematch. Ward had a guaranteed $6.5 million purse while Kovalev's winnings was almost entirely dependent on the pay-per-view buyrate. With the rivalry against Kovalev done with, there is no one else in the light heavyweight division that can both challenge him for the unified titles and bring a large enough following to garner a pay-per-view. Ward's days as a pay-per-view headliner are done, at least for the moment.
5. The rematch between Srisaket Sor Rungivsai and Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez has a venue. The fight, for Sor Rungivsai's WBC junior bantamweight title, will be contested on September 9 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Sor Rungvisai won the title off of Gonzalez in an extremely controversial decision back in March that also gave Gonzalez his first loss as a pro boxer.
The fight will headline an HBO-televised card that also has Naoya Inoue vs. Antonio Nieves for Inoue's WBO junior bantamweight title and Carlos Cuadras vs. Juan Francisco Estrada in a WBC junior bantamweight title eliminator.
6. Unbeaten Mexican featherweight Eduardo Ramirez (20-0-2, 7 KOs), 24, signed this week with promoter Sampson Lewkowicz. Ramirez, a southpaw, is managed and trained by Manuel Montiel Jr., brother of former three-division world titleholder Fernando Montiel.
7. The T-Mobile Arena has been completely sold out for the September 16 mega fight between Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez for Golovkin's unified middleweight titles. The fight, which will be on HBO pay-per-view, has no other fights confirmed on the card.
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