LAS VEGAS, NV – Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” took place on Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The championship event, presented by Corona Extra, was produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®.
Sergey Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) vs. Andre Ward (32-0, 16 KOs)
RESULT: Andre Ward by TKO 2 at 2:29 of the Eighth Round
“I’m ecstatic, I’m happy. I didn’t predict a knockout, but I said it could happen. I’ve been boxing a long time and, sometimes, a lot of writers and reporters they don’t take you at your word. If you look at my career and the way I’ve gone about things, I’m pretty matter of fact. I’m pretty straightforward. I don’t say anything unless I mean it. I have a lot of respect for Kovalev. He is a world champion. He’s been on top for a long time. He’s a great fighter; there’s not a lot of people that elite. I’m not going to throw him under the bus even though they did a lot of different things. But I knew the temperament that I was fighting. I don’t want to call him a frontrunner, but if he’s not having his way, he’s got to dig deep. I don’t know if he had the right answers tonight. Obviously, he didn’t because the fight got stopped.
“I was breathing, he was breathing, but I’m used to working tired. I’m comfortable being uncomfortable; that’s how we work, that’s how we train. When I saw him put his arms on the ropes in between the rounds – I watch all that stuff – that’s trouble for him. I just needed to keep being smart.
“I think it was plain to see that I broke him mentally and physically. I’m not a person that demands respect or none of that. You don’t have to respect me and I don’t demand anything, but at a certain point and time, you got to give a person their just do. I’m 13 years in and I’ve been doing it against the best.
“What’s next? Cruiserweight? Heavyweight? I dream big. Anything is possible when you have God.
“If there are questions marks after this, that has nothing to do with me. I’m going to enjoy my family, kiss my wife and we out.
“I told them (the media) that I only trained Andre for the knockout twice. The first was Chad Dawson. And the second was for tonight. And they laughed at me. But I knew what was going to happen because he (Ward) was healthy. Now we quieted all those who were whining and thought we didn’t take it the first time.”
“He hit with four low blows. The ref didn’t call them. I felt I could have continued. This is bullshit.”
Kovalev Exits Presser – Ward Responds – Duva asks Virgil about towel va Towel
Ward, Grand Arrival Mandalay Bay
Notes from Teddy Atlas
TEDDY ATLAS OUTLOOK (feel free to use)
As i look at this rematch between Kovalev and Ward the first thing i think of is timing simply put Wards was slightly off in their first match due to inactivity he was a mila-second late pulling the trigger which i believe will be different this time – punches that just missed will find the mark – also on the side of Ward i believe he will be able to find his rhythm sooner in the fight and he will have a healthy amount of respect and awareness for Kovalevs rt hand i see Ward feinting at the front door to get the rt hand out of the way then either coming in the side entrance or just countering in front after he eludes the rt also Ward will recognize that although kovalevs rt is the danger point it is his jab that must set up its delivery so i think Ward will look to take Kovalevs jab out of play by dominating with his own perhaps a little slip of his head to either side with a sharp jab will FWD: do the trick then once he owns the jabbing war he will have easy access to the inside where he is just simply better suited to be effective then Kovalev is. As for Kovalev to win the second time around he must do a better job of acting like the longer taller guy and not just the more explosive guy in other words he must consistently control range and use both his jab and feet to do that Ward comes in 4 inches then kovalev should be back 7 inches make him earn his way in make Ward take chances and make him pay for every inch of real estate in that ring if you are going to lose make him beat u on the outside not in the trenches and finally when the moments r right throw 3 even perhaps 4 punch combos instead of the 1 and 2 punch action u settled for in the first fight hey do more when u can do more in the end i see a sharper and mentally more aware Ward winning a unanimous decision.
LAS VEGAS, NV (June 13, 2017) – Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) and former titleholder Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) opened Fight Week Powered by Monster with their Grand Arrivals at Mizuya Lounge at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Tuesday, June 13, ahead of their ultimate rematch on Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The championship event, presented by Corona Extra, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Below is what the fighters had to say:
Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion
“I am looking forward to making a statement in this fight and answering any questions that may be out there and removing any doubt that may be out there, so I’m excited. You got to look at the other side of the coin, there’s a lot of people that thought I won the fight and he got what he asked for. Now after this, we don’t want to hear any excuses. We don’t want to hear about anything. We’re going to shut the door on this and, like I said, take all doubt and all questions off the table.
“In this sport, I have very little room for error. I always have the pressure on my side – no matter if I’m the challenger or the champion. But that’s OK because me and my team, we’ve learned how to deal with the pressure. We know how to deal with it. I come here looking forward to bringing back everything that I brought, including those belts. I’m excited. I can’t wait, we’re a couple days away. All of this talking is getting ready to be over. We’re getting ready for my favorite part, which is the fight. June 17. It’s about business, so I did what I had to do the first time. I’m looking to turn it up this time.
“The pressure is always on, man. It comes with my territory and it’s been like this since I’ve been a baby – 16 years old, 17 years old. You get to a point where you don’t run from the pressure, you embrace it. That’s what all the greats do. All I got to do is be myself and that will be enough. Everything else will take care of itself. At the highest level, you’re going to face adversity. It’s not if, it’s when. But the question is how do you respond? We responded like we were supposed to. I’m just looking forward to giving the fans another great fight in a few days here at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on June 17.
“A lot of people talk about the jab and the right hand. But if you look at the second part of the fight, he [Kovalev] wasn’t landing right hands and jabs. He had a good moment and he’s a really great fighter – I’m not taking anything away from him. That’s why I want to face the best, to be the best. Some people thought I won, some people thought I lost. So let’s do it again and that’s the beauty of rematches in this sport. It’s nothing to get defensive about. You just lace it up, do it again and we’ll see what happens.
“I got out of that business a long time ago – trying to prove people wrong – because it’s not an even playing field. I’ve shut guys out – 120-108; 120-107 on the scorecard – and I’ve literally heard grumblings about something. If it’s not this, it’s that. You get to a place where you mature as a man, you mature as an athlete, and you make the decision that ‘I’m going to live my life in the middle.’ I appreciate the praises, but I can’t get too high with those. And the criticisms – I can’t get too low with those. People are entitled to their opinions. Let me just keep doing me and that’s really the best place to be as an athlete.
“Tactically, I obviously want to have a better start and I’m going to have a better start. That’s really what got me in my hole – the start. I’m sure he’s made some adjustments and he’s going to come harder, but I’m ready. I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do. When you prepare the way you’re supposed to – and all the boxes are checked – it’s time to go to work. And I’m going to go to work, having fun and enjoying what I do, and put on a show in the process on June 17.”
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – Former Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion
“You know it’s good that he’s believing himself right now, that he’s got the key for me, but he didn’t get the key. He won two rounds against me as empty Kovalev, I remember I was like a heavy bag. Just like a fighter who came in the boxing gym like one month ago. And he’s like right now, ‘oh yeah I beat the Kovalev, but he won with empty Kovalev’.
“For this fight, I definitely had to get in shape, have different emotions and different motivations. I don’t just want to get my belts back and thank boxing fans for the support. I want to thank my haters – they motivate me to keep going. I want to get my belts and I’m here for this.
“Yeah, my fists will say it. I’ve already said enough. I want to say to Team Ward – they’ve said a lot of trash to my side, my team. He will pay for everything; I promise you.
“I appreciate him giving me the opportunity to get my belts back and on June 17 it’s going to be a different fight.
“I was empty one month before the November fight. Ward fought an empty Kovalev. This time I will not be empty – Ward will be fighting Krusher. I had pushed myself so hard in the beginning of training camp that one month out I was empty. I felt so much presser for the fight – my first fight on HBO Pay-Per-View – that I just trained too hard.”
Ward vs. Kovalev 2: “The Rematch,” a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight World Championships, is presented by Roc Nation Sports, Main Events, Andre Ward Promotions, Krusher Promotions and Corona Extra, sponsored by Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Jetlux, Life10 Electrolyte, Zappos, D’USSÉ Cognac, ProSupps and Powered by Monster. The championship event takes place Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets for Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” are available on axs.com and at the Mandalay Bay Events Center Box Office.
LAS VEGAS, NV (June 8, 2017) – Yesterday, Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) participated in an international media conference call ahead of his highly-anticipated rematch against former titleholder Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs). Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” takes place Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The championship event, presented by Corona Extra, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Here are some of the highlighted comments from Team Ward:
Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion
“It’s a blessing, what the Bay Area fans have always done for me and for what they do for their athletes, whether they’re homegrown or transplants from other cities. They just appreciate the people that go out there and represent them well. And they always return the favor.
“I enjoyed my victory just like I would any other victory. People have to understand that anytime there’s a close decision, you’re going to have opinions either way. I’ve never refuted the fact that it was a close decision but all those out there that say that it’s some home cooking, they’ve got to remember that I’m not, you know, from Las Vegas, Nevada. You can’t just highlight that side of it. You got to highlight the people that also felt that I deserved the victory and (that it) was a tremendous comeback. It doesn’t take a close decision to get criticism. I’ve shut guys out for 12 rounds and got criticism. So you become immune to it after a certain period of time.
“Like I said before, [Kovalev’s] a good fighter. It’s not what it’s cracked up to be and but I give him his respect. He’s a champion and once you become a champion and have defended your belt, you’re a champion for life.
“I thought I won the fight by at least two rounds. But at the end of the day, there’s close rounds that you can call a swing round. I don’t know how this individual is judging the round or how they feel about it but if you look at the scorecards, I think the judges did a tremendous job because they were on one accord.
“I’m honored to represent my country which I’ve done since I’ve been fortunate enough to do [as] a little boy at the Junior Olympic level all the way up to the Olympics. I’ve had a lot of international competition as a professional and it’s an honor and a privilege to live here in the United States and to represent my country. And I’ve always tried to do that, no matter who I’m fighting.
“I think the first fight was a great fight. I think there was a lot of drama in the first fight, more drama than I wanted. I think it was a tremendous fight and I believe, round two is going to be a tremendous fight.
“I’ve faced a lot of adversity inside the ring. You know, some of it the public has seen. A lot of it, maybe, the public hasn’t seen in the many gyms or the many sparring sessions and everything you’ve got to do to get to a certain level in the sport. I knew what I had in me. I’ve been on the canvas before. I’ve been hurt in fights. I’ve been cut. Things have happened and, you know, my response has always been the same where if I’m physically able, I want to come get that back. I also have a tremendous coach who is my godfather. You saw him shift and go into a different gear to tell me what I needed to hear. He didn’t panic but he had a sense of urgency and he told me what I needed to hear. He just reminded me of all of the greats that had their moment. And he just reminded me that this is [my] moment. And sometimes in fights, especially in moments like this, it’s not so much technical… it’s a feeling.
“On the physical side, it was Virgil having the foresight early on when I was a young boy. He saw that I had a lot of ability and skills. He always told me that I don’t look at the things [I] do well, I look at where you can be beat. He said when I was 11, 12 (or) 13 years old, ‘The only style that can give you trouble right now is a buzz saw.’
“The jab is a lost art today. Skilled inside fighting is really a lost art and a lot of guys don’t want to be there. They want you at range. They want you in a certain place and if they can’t have you there then you see a totally different fighter.
“So outside of my family, I didn’t really have a lot of ex-fighters that I could pick up the phone and call. So I just try to be available, have my phone available, and make the time where I need to make the time (for some of the younger fighters). They’ll let you know what they need to talk about and what they want to talk about. If I have the answer, I’m going to definitely give them everything that I can give them. If I don’t, I’ll try to help them find it because at the end of the day, whether it’s Claressa [Shields] or Shakur [Stevenson], I’m for the fighter. I’m pro fighter. We talk about [training] stuff but it’s also more about life—being stable and making the right decisions now so that down the road, you’re happy that you did what you had to do. It’s an honor and a privilege to be someone that any of those fighters would want to pick up the phone and call. I don’t look at it like a burden. It’s an honor and a privilege.”