Ward vs. Kovalev II—No Fan’s Land

By Marc Livitz on June 17, 2017
Ward vs. Kovalev II—No Fan’s Land
The fight should be on the forefront of boxing pages and sports news sites, but it's not.

One would think that a bout which carries such massive implications in just about any weight class would receive ample attention…

If it’s true that the camera can add fifteen pounds, then can several cameras possibly add 15,000 people? Many of us have wondered and continue to wonder just what on Earth is going in Las Vegas. As fight week progressed, a monkey wrench of epic size was thrown into the boxing world when a certain former pound-for-pound king decided anytime is his time and that he’d return to the ring for what may be the easiest payday of his life. Fair play and in truth, such an announcement being postponed would likely have done little to nothing to hide the fact that fans don’t seem to be interested in tomorrow night’s rematch between two absolutely world class, sublime talents. One would think that a bout which carries such massive implications in just about any weight class would receive ample attention, especially when one man is undefeated and the other suffered his first defeat by a sheer grain of salt.

The unbeaten champion from Oakland, California, Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 15 KO’s) has always come across as a quiet and reserved individual. His opponent from Russia, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KO’s) by contrast seems to have been pushed to his outer limits, as evident by his walkout on Thursday from the final press conference at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, which will serve as host to the bout. Once he thanked his team and sponsors from the podium, Kovalev simply pointed towards Ward with his right index finger extended, unable to use the entirety of his hand lest he drop his mobile phone and said simply, “You. You’d better be prepared.” Not to be outdone, Ward replied, “Don’t point your finger at me.” Wow, how’s that for fighting words?

The November 19, 2016 initial matchup between Ward and Kovalev posted reports of a shade over 10,000 tickets sold and attendance just past 13,000. That’s not bad at all, even though the host arena (T-Mobile) can accommodate many more patrons, which was made clear last month when Saul “Canelo” Alvarez held a night of target practice with Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. That fight meant nothing and was an all-out tug of nationalistic emotions, yet it made lots of money, which should not be forgotten. It’s not cheap to simply turn on the lights at a large venue. Opening the doors costs money as does paying the staff. Seats are given away for free to sponsors, families and let’s not forget the “high rollers”. Additionally, the creation of a small sea of screens known as press row isn’t free. All of this is often why a bout has to be marketed properly, especially when the two main attractions aren’t household names or don’t have their respective countries backing them to no end. Did someone drop the ball here? This writer contacted a source in Las Vegas and was told that the scene at Mandalay Bay is well, dead. Crickets. The weigh-in on Friday afternoon, which was held in the hotel’s Event Center, sounded like a cave. Luckily, both fighters made the light heavyweight limit of 175 pounds. Regardless, few seem to care. Why? This contest should be on the forefront of boxing pages and sports news sites, but it’s not. What is? Of course, it’s the boxing versus MMA contest which isn’t happening for another two and a half months.

As was referenced in an article earlier this week and still is the case, tickets for the bout are available at all price points. They start at $105 and if one’s to take a look at the ticketing website attached to the event (axs.com), there’s not only several seats to be had but special offers are present as well. This is very sad to see. Money is going to be lost, which is nothing new for Vegas, but isn’t it supposed to be the capital of boxing? Perhaps the wrong site was picked. Sin City is certainly a good time but it’s also somewhere budgeting is made near impossible at times. Some still lose their shirt at the tables. A better site may have been the Oracle Arena in Ward’s hometown of Oakland. Holding the event there would not have been in conflict with the NBA Finals and this is not just because the series is over. Had the third go-round between Golden State and Cleveland gone to seven games, Saturday would still have been open to host a fight at Oracle. Game seven would have been on Sunday, June 18. Incomprehensible. Unexpected. Pick your description. How will the pay-per-view figures look? Where’s the love?   

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  1. nonprophet 06:42am, 06/19/2017

    “Kovalev is getting screwed”

    STOP FUCKING WHINING Irish whateverthefuk….

    KKKrusher KILLED a man in the ring and you and those of your ilk are crying like little bitches about “holding” while conveniently ignoring all the headlocks and rabbit-punching (which by the way, were KKK’s best punches of the night).

    Shyte…if Krusher was truly a KO artist instead of a racist, vodka-swilling Russian thug, he’d have enough brain cells remaining to figure out how to live up to his reputation as a KO specialist.

    To hear folks like you squawk, you’d think that the only reason KKK couldn’t keep from getting himself knocked the fuk out by the SOG, is because Ward is “holding” him.

    So since, based on his bitching, moaning during the post-fight presser, your boy KKK (like Kathy Duva) needs a little hug right now.  Why don’t you “reach around” and hug krusher’s nuts for him since you obviously are of the mindset that his sacks are sore from the low-blows. 

    Of course, for cucks like you, low blows, not that crushing mug-splitter delivered by Ward, was the one and ONLY reason why he lost to Ward….yet again.

    Have another drink Irish whateverthefuk…

    It will help you to drown away the fistic rebuttal delivered by the SOG to your supremacist world view.  Don’t fret….there will soon be another racist white hope who’s nuts will be available for you to squeeze ever so gently after he too gets he ass handed to him by a boxer of color.

    This victory by Ward over the racist Russian fraud is sooooooooooo satisfying.

  2. nicolas 09:52am, 06/18/2017

    The poor results of the PPV, and I did not watch it either, but was a t work, and the crowds generated by Alvarez-Chavez shows that boxing int he United States is primarily carried by the Mexican fans. Black fans and white fans are just not into the sport as much. I remember talking to many who did not know at the time that Wladimir Klitschko was the champion. Not to write too much here, but perhaps the US should learn from the British. They seem to have huge crowds for there fights.

  3. Alt Knight 03:56pm, 06/17/2017

    This fight is receiving plenty of attention on this site. Don’t know about other boxing sites, I only follow this one for the 411 on the Sweet Science. But as for “sport sites,” boxing is no longer a top tier sport in America, it hasn’t been for years now. The Canelo vs GGG match won’t be big news outside of the boxing world or Mexico. Boxing might still be a huge draw in certain countries like Mexico, but it just isn’t a major draw in America like it used to be back in the day.

  4. JJ Austin 03:41pm, 06/17/2017

    This is the best match up in boxing this year without a doubt, in the Best division! It’s a disgrace that more media isn’t covering it and more fight fans aren’t interested. Shame on them. Punks with short attention spans is what they are.. These 2 guys are evenly matched, Highly skilled and in their primes. I repeat - THIS is the best match up of the Year in All of fighting (let alone boxing), not that joke in September when the puffed up Irish looking Mexican is gonna get POUNDED INTO OBLIVION by GGG. Ppl need to wake up and appreciate great boxing when it happens. Only consultation is crooked network HBO will be taking it on the chin financially, which they more than have coming for all the phony punks they over hype year after year from Fernando Vargas, to Jermain Taylor, to Luis Ortiz and on and on and on

  5. Alt Knight 03:19pm, 06/17/2017

    Sergey would certainly be entering the belly of the beast if this fight were held in Oakland aka Ookland, California instead of Sucka City aka Vegas. This time around there will be no decision. Krusher by knockout in 7.

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:27pm, 06/17/2017

    Not paying for any PPV that features both Ward and Rigondeaux even though I know it will be hurting Kovalev whose only hope is maxed out PPVs and live gate! Putting Rigo on is adding insult to injury…..in fact it’s a hate play like maggotshit progressives attacking Steve Scalise, the third ranking member of congress while he is literally fighting for his life….and yes you dumfux it’s all interconnected!

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:14pm, 06/17/2017

    Kovalev is getting screwed without so much as a reach around as it is and you’re talking about that shithole called Oakland where Ward would headbutt, elbow, and hold to his heart’s content. Ward has never had points taken for fouling….think about that one for a Goddamned minute…. that is the essence of his so called “genius”.

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