The light heavyweight division's top two fighters, Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev, will once again square off on June 17 in Las Vegas in a grudge match after the first fight's result left a bad taste in many fans' mouths. Ward defeated Kovalev in the first fight last November to win the unified light heavyweight title and end Kovalev's perfect boxing record.
Below is Fightful's preview of Ward vs. Kovalev 2 for the unified light heavyweight world championship. You can also check out the Fightful Boxing podcast with Carlos Toro and Steven Muehlhausen in the video above as they previewed the fight.
What is at stake:
After Kovalev felt like he was cheated out of a win in their first encounter, the Russian star is ready to exact revenge on Ward. Not only did Kovalev lose his unified WBA, IBF and WBO titles to Ward, but he also lost his perfect boxing record as well, after weeks of promoting the first fight as a colossal battle between two undefeated boxers who are also top five pound-for-pound boxers on many people's lists.
Ward's titles will be on the line and he is out to prove that not only was the win against Kovalev not a robbery (Ward won the first fight via unanimous decision 114-113, 114-113, 114-113), but also prove to Kovalev that he is, without a shadow of doubt, the best boxer in the world at 175 pounds. Pride and championships are on the line for both boxers as they are set to headline their second straight pay-per-view bout.
Where to watch:
The fight, which will take place in the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, will be broadcasted on HBO pay-per-view, starting at 9 p.m. ET. Below is the rest of the pay-per-view card:
- Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Moises Flores: WBA & IBO super bantamweight title unification
- Luis Arias vs. Arif Magomedov
- Dmitry Bivol vs. Cedric Agnew
Tale of the Tape:
Record: 31-0 (15 KO)
Reach: 71 inches
Notable wins: Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch, Sergey Kovalev
Record: 31-1-1 (26 KO)
Reach: 72.5 inches
Notable wins: Nathan Cleverly, Bernard Hopkins, Jean Pascal
Betting Odds (from Bovada):
Andre Ward: -155 (favorite)
Sergey Kovalev: +125 (underdog)
Steven Muehlhausen: Kovalev via unanimous decision
Carlos Toro: Kovalev via 10th round stoppage
Fightful will have live coverage of the HBO pay-per-view broadcast as well as a post-fight podcast immediately after the pay-per-view ends with Carlos Toro and Steven Muehlhausen.