Preview: Ward vs. Kovalev II

By Robert Ecksel on April 5, 2017
Preview: Ward vs. Kovalev II
Ward won a razor-thin unanimous decision when he and Kovalev fought in December. (AP)

On Saturday, June 11, Ward-Kovalev II will be televised live by HBO Pay-Per-View starting at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT…

Roc Nation Sports, Main Events, Andre Ward Promotions and Krusher Promotions have not let boxing down. When marquee fighters fight once a year, when major fights fail to materialize in a timely manner, when doublespeak is the lingua franca of a sport marinated in double-cross, the efficiency with which the rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev was signed, sealed and delivered deserves special accommodation.

On Saturday, June 11, at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, unified light heavyweight champion Andre “SOG” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs), the master boxer/puncher from Oakland, California, defends his newly won titles against former light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs), the knockout artist from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, by way of Kopeysk, Russia.

Ward won a razor-thin unanimous decision when they fought in December. All three judges scored it 114-113. Kovalev dropped Ward in round two but failed to close. Ward got down and dirty as the rounds progressed and came from behind to win on points.

The Ward-Kovalev rematch is called “No Excuses” and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

“I’m going to keep it short and sweet,” said Ward. “You got what you asked for—now you have to see me on June 17. This time…leave the excuses at home.”

Kovalev thinks he got robbed in the first fight. He wants to set the record straight.

“I’m glad to know that rematch will happen,” Kovalev said. “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.”

Thirty-three-year-old Andre Ward is a known quantity. He won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and he cleaned out a stacked super middleweight division when it mattered. His foray into light heavy has been consequential, and that will hold true when he rematches with Kovalev.

Kovalev, at 34, is currently ranked #2 pound-for-pound by The Ring magazine. He defeated indestructible Bernard Hopkins, after dropping him in the opening round of their 2014 meeting. He also has two impressive stoppages of Jean Pascal in 2015 and 2016. “Krusher” has not fought the same quality of opposition as Ward, but his fists can change the course of a fight in a blink of the eye.

When the best fight the best, whatever the result, boxing only benefits.

Ward and Kovalev and their teams have distinguished themselves.

Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev II will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT.

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  1. nicolas 11:22am, 04/07/2017

    While I felt that Kovalev did win the first fight, though a close one, I think Ward will prove much better here. In the first fight, I think that Kovalev started out really well, but then things started to even out after the forth round. I just can’t see this happening again.

  2. nonprophet 10:16am, 04/07/2017

    Ward.  Only more decisively. Much, much smarter fighter.

    Plus….America first.

    That’s what trump says, right? 

    I’m rooting for the American.

    Russians?  Keep ‘em.  Too much doping going on.

  3. theboyrob 03:15am, 04/06/2017

    Allen-bang on, my man. Krusher will have to seriously improve on his performance first time around when SOG was overall just way too smart for him.

  4. Allen 03:01am, 04/06/2017

    Sorry to say Ward will beat him again unless Kovalev knocks him cold or beats him to a pulp and the fight is stopped. No way Kovalev gets a decision.

  5. theboyrob 02:56am, 04/06/2017

    Krusher to lose again as SOG plays the same smart, dirty game as last time

  6. Nikita 11:54am, 04/05/2017

    Everything he hits, he destroys.

  7. Koolz 10:52am, 04/05/2017

    Time for Kovalev to kick some serious Ass! 

    if he doesn’t knock down Ward two times it will just be a fight like the last fight where Kovalev wins and Ward get’s the win.

    Sorry but this psychology politics goes right back to the whole Russia is doping scandal.
    When you cry Wolf.

    2017 maybe the best year of boxing in a while!

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