Even though there was a rematch clause, it took a lot of haggling between both sides to get the deal done.
Finally, though, pen was put to paper and the fight is here.
It was officially announced Tuesday that Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev will battle June 17 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in a return encounter of their light heavyweight fight. Ward-Kovalev 2 will be televised on HBO Pay Per View, just like the first bout that Ward won via controversial decision.
“I’m going to keep it short and sweet. You got what you asked for – now you have to see me on June 17. This time, leave the excuses at home,” said Ward, 33, who survived a second-round knockdown to earn a decision most fans and media felt Kovalev deserve.
Kovalev thought so, too, and much hand-wringing was performed on his side over the controversial nature of the outcome.
“I’m glad to know that rematch will happen,” said Kovalev, 34, who dominated the first half of the bout. “I really hope that Andre Ward will get into the ring for this rematch. Fans of boxing will see the real Krusher — the one they have missed for couple of my last fights.
“For me this rematch is very important as no other bout in my entire boxing career. Thanks a lot to all of boxing fans.”
Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) is regarded as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world by many. After all, he cleaned out the 168-pound division, with victories over stalwarts such as Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler, and then went on to top Kovalev, the best 175-pounder.
The Russian is one of the biggest punchers in the sport, and his standing didn’t suffer following the loss with fan sentiment favoring…
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