Ward-Kovalev 2 TEAM WARD Media Conference Call

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.”

Continue reading Ward-Kovalev 2 TEAM WARD Media Conference Call

From One Champ to the Next

In remembrance of Muhammad Ali, Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Andre Ward took to his twitter to post following: “My Champ, My Legend, Ali…”

Ward included the link to a special Ali tribute video that was created earlier this year by award-winning director David Finch for the 2017 Laureus World Sports Awards. The video is based on a posthumous letter that Ward wrote to the Greatest of All Time.

Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) will face Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) in a highly-anticipated 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. Tickets for Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” are available on axs.com and at the Mandalay Bay Events Center box office. Follow the conversation #WardKovalev.

New Cards added to the Ward-Kovalev Fight

TALENTED LINEUP OF UP-AND-COMING PROSPECTS AND TWO FREE-VIEW BOUTS ADDED TO ANDRE WARD VS. SERGEY KOVALEV NON-TELEVISED UNDERCARD

WARD-KOVALEV 2: “THE REMATCH” SET FOR SATURDAY, JUNE 17, 2017 AT MANDALAY BAY EVENTS CENTER, LAS VEGAS PRESENTED LIVE BY HBO PAY-PER-VIEW®

LAS VEGAS, NV (June 1, 2017) – Roc Nation Sports and Main Events are pleased to announce the addition of four non-televised and two free-view fights, featuring a talented slate of ones to watch, to the undercard of Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” on Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The championship event featuring the highly anticipated main event and a full undercard, 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.

The non-televised portion of the action-packed undercard include Georgian Enriko Gogokhia (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. Jonathan Steele (7-0, 5 KOs) of Dallas, Texas, in a six-round welterweight bout; Russian Bakhram Murtazaliev (8-0, 6 KOs) vs. Gerald “G5” Sherrell (6-0, 2 KOs) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a six-round middleweight bout; North Bergen, New Jersey’s John Bauza (6-0, 3 KOs) vs. an opponent to be announced, in a four-round junior welterweight bout; and Brooklyn, New York’s Junior “The Young God” Younan (11-0, 8 KOs) vs. Hungarian Zoltan Sera (28-12, 19 KOs) in a six-round super middleweight bout.

The special free-view will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT and will be available on YouTube.com/HBOBoxing, cable, satellite, and telco channels prior to the main event lineup. The first of two free-view telecasts pits undefeated top prospect Tramaine “Mighty Midget” Williams (10-0, 3 KOs) of New Haven, Connecticut, against tested veteran Christopher Martin (30-8-3, 10 KOs) of S

“A lot of people don’t even get one chance in life but I’m blessed to have gotten two, so I have to take advantage of it,” said Williams. “I don’t feel any different going into this fight, it’s just another day. My past success came from hard work and that was a gift. Christopher Martin is a good and tough fighter. He has been in there before against good opponents but they’re not Midget.”

“I’m looking to use my experience against Tramaine Williams on June 17,” said Martin. “I believe that is going to play a big part in me winning—whether by decision or knockout.”

“There are two main traits that are common amongst all successful people—sheer hard work, and the ability to overcome hardships and keep pushing. Tramaine possesses both of these traits, coupled with his God given talent, Midget is the real deal and soon everyone will know his name,” said Williams’s manager, Andre Prince.

“It’s great to see Tramaine Williams back on track and in the ring again,” said Michael Yormark, Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy. “He has always had the ability to ignite an audience which makes him the perfect fighter for the free-view portion of an action-packed night. Don’t miss the rise of a new star on June 17.”

In the second free-view telecast, a sure to be exciting eight-round middleweight fight, Vaughn Alexander (9-0, 6 KOs) of St. Louis, Missouri will take on Fabiano “Pit Bull” Pena (16-7-1, 13 KOs) originally from Miraselva, Parana, Brazil, but now fighting out of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico.

When asked about the fight Alexander said, “I want to thank God, Main Events and my team. This has been a long time coming. I am inching closer to my dream and making steps towards domination.”

“I am prepared 100% to win this fight and then have a chance to face a top ten middleweight in my next fight,” said Pena.

Alexander’s manager, George Jakovic, added, “Vaughn can’t wait to get in the ring again. Fabiano Pena has been in with some experienced fighters but I can tell you that Vaughn takes no one lightly and he’s prepared for another victory. Vaughn’s story in and out of the ring is unprecedented and this is another step towards his goal, which is to become middleweight champion. With his mindset and having Main Events in his corner, the sky is the limit for Vaughn.”

“Whatever challenges we throw at Vaughn he rises to the occasion,” said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. “He is jumping at the opportunity to perform in front of an international audience. I always look forward to watching him fight. He is always exciting!”

Enriko Gogokhia, (4-0, 2 KOs), 26, is originally from the country of Georgia and now lives and trains in Oxnard, California. He is a former professional kickboxer who ended his kickboxing career with a professional record of 42-7, 21 KOs. In his most recent fight, Gogokhia stopped Bryan Goldsby in the second round on the Sullivan Barrera vs. Paul Parker HBO Latino Boxing non-televised undercard at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. This will be his first fight in Las Vegas and his first time fighting on a Pay-Per-View non-televised undercard as well.

Jonathan Steele (7-0, 5 KOs), 26, is a native of Dallas, Texas. In seven professional bouts, he has stopped five of his opponents for a 71% knockout-to-win ratio. He made his professional debut in 2013 with a second-round knockout over Christian Daniels in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Steele would go on to stop his next two opponents as well. In his most recent bout, he secured a close majority decision victory over the always-tough Marcus Beckford in Charenton, Louisiana. The judges scored the bout: 59-55, 57-57 and 58-56. This will be Steele’s fight time fighting in Las Vegas.

Bakaam Murtazaliev (8-0, 6 KOs), 24, is originally from Chelyabinsk, Russia, the same hometown as former light heavyweight world champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev. He made his professional debut in 2014, in Russia, where he defeated the first six opponents he faced, stopping four of them. In November 2016, he made his US debut on the non-televised undercard of the first Kovalev-Ward bout with a second-round knockout over Botirsher Obidov of Andijan, Uzbekistan. In his most recent fight, he stopped Josue Ovando in the fourth round in Studio City, California in January of 2017. This young prospect is undefeated with a stellar 75% knockout-to-win ratio (six of eight).

Gerald “G5” Sherrell, (6-0, 2 KOs), 23, was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He made his professional debut in 2016 in his hometown with a first-round knockout over Turner Williams. He went on to win his next four fights, closing out 2016 with five wins and two knockouts. In his most recent bout, he defeated Danny Rosenberger via a unanimous decision victory. This will be his first fight outside of his home state of Pennsylvania.

John Bauza (6-0, 3 KOs), 19, was the number one rated youth amateur fighter in the nation at 141 pounds before turning professional on April 23, 2016 at the Roger L. Mendoza Coliseum in Caguas, Puerto Rico, where he scored a first-round knockout over Leroy Padilla. Bauza’s successful debut was followed by a televised fight on the acclaimed Boxeo Al Maximo series on Mega TV which took place in his family’s hometown of Cataño, Puerto Rico on June 4, where he notched a second round technical knockout victory over Mike Erosa. Bauza rounded out 2016 with three subsequent unanimous decisions against Jose Carmona, Christopher Russell and Rafael Francis. On April 22, 2017, at Claridge Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, the prospect wasted no time knocking out Francis Gakpetor at the 17-second mark of the opening round. Bauza will put his undefeated record on the line in his Las Vegas debut, on June 17 against an opponent to be announced.

Junior “The Young God” Younan (11-0, 8 KOs), 21, has been touted as one of New York City’s best boxing prospects. An acclaimed amateur, Younan was the 2011 National Junior Golden Gloves champion and U.S.A. Boxing’s number one rated junior boxer in his weight class. Making his professional debut in 2013, Younan would go on to score six knockouts in his first seven fights. A nagging injury kept him out of the ring for most of 2015 but he has since returned with strong victories against Cristian Solorzano, Rodrigo Almeida and Jinner Guerrero. On March 28, at the Mountaineer Casino Ballroom in West Virginia, Younan pounded out a six-round unanimous decision over Miami’s Victor Darocha. Younan scored a knockdown in the third round and planted some vicious left hooks on Darocha, leaving no doubt on the judges’ final score cards (60-53 twice and 58-55). Younan will make his Las Vegas debut against Zoltan Sera on June 17.

Zoltan Sera (28-12, 19 KOs), 32, will be making his return to the American ring on June 17, after splitting his two most recent bouts in Germany (loss) and Hungary (win). The veteran boxer, who primarily fights in his native city of Budapest and Eastern Europe, was last seen stateside on the undercard of David Lemieux vs. Curtis Stevens in Verona, New York, where he was handed a fourth round technical knockout by D’Mitrius Ballard. Sera has had an active 2017 with five fights, already, in the first half of the year and will face Junior “The Young God” Younan on June 17 in Las Vegas.

Tramaine “Mighty Midget” Williams (10-0, 3 KOs), 24, showed no ill effects from a two-year layoff, impressively out boxing Eduardo Garza of Texas to win a unanimous eight-round decision at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas on March 25, 2017. The undefeated southpaw floored Garza in the first and fourth rounds, wowing a live national television audience on CBS Sports Network. Touted since his teens, the Connecticut-native was a ten-time National amateur champion, a two-time Ringside World champion and a four-time Silver Gloves champion. On June 17, Williams returns to the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas where he made his pro boxing debut at age 19.

Christopher Martin (30-8-3, 10 KOs), 30, has shared the ring with world champions Gary Russell Jr., Jhonny Gonzalez and top prospects including Miguel Marriaga, Daniel Roman, Roberto Castaneda, Teon Kennedy, Luis Orlando Del Valle and Chris Avalos. Most recently, Martin stopped USBA Featherweight Champion Daniel “Twitch” Franco in the third round of a non-title fight, handing the young lion his first career loss.

Vaughn Alexander (9-0, 6 KOs), 31, is the older brother of former world champion Devon Alexander. Alexander made his professional debut back in 2004 with five straight victories, four of which were knockouts. Then he was sent to prison for 12 years and was released early last year. Since returning to the ring, he has four straight victories and has added two more knockouts to his resume. In April, he made his television debut with his appearance on HBO Latino Boxing. Alexander was originally scheduled to fight on the non-televised undercard of the Sullivan Barrera vs. Paul Parker telecast but when the co-feature fell out at the last-minute Alexander’s match-up with Andres Calixto Rey was extended from eight to ten rounds and added to the HBO Latino telecast.

Fabiano “Pit Bull” Pena (16-7-1, KOs), 29, made his professional debut back in 2012 and has been a very active fighter over the last five years. Last year, he fought on six separate occasions including a bout against current WBC International Light Heavyweight Champion, Joe Smith Jr. in April. Smith managed to stop Pena in the second round but Fabiano had four more fights in 2016 going 3-1, 3 KOs in the remainder of 2016. In his most recent fight, he took on the always-dangerous Tureano Johnson in March of this year. Like Smith, Johnson managed to stop Pena early but this has not stopped him from continuing to pursue bouts with top middleweights.

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 Water, Zappos 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.

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ABOUT ROC NATION SPORTS
Roc Nation Sports, a sub-division of Roc Nation, launched in spring 2013. Founder Shawn “JAY Z” Carter’s love of sports led to the natural formation of Roc Nations Sports, supporting athletes in the same way Roc Nation has been working alongside and advocating for artists in the music industry for years. Roc Nation Sports focuses on elevating athletes’ career on a global scale both on and off the field. Roc Nation Sports conceptualizes and executes marketing and endorsement deals, community outreach, charitable tie-ins, media relations and brand strategy. Roc Nation Sports launched its boxing division, a full service promotional company which represents Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Andre Ward, in August 2014. Roc Nation Sports’ roster includes premiere athletes such as Robinson Cano, Skylar Diggins, Kevin Durant, Geno Smith, Victor Cruz, CC Sabathia, James Young, Dez Bryant, Ndamukong Suh, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Cespedes, Jaelen Strong, Todd Gurley, Erick Aybar, Justise Winslow, Willie Cauley-Stein, Jerome Boateng, Miguel Sano, CJ Prosise, Ronnie Stanley, Henry Ellenson, Caris LeVert, Mike Gbinije, Melvin Ingram, Rudy Gay, Ty Lawson, Leonard Fournette, Juju-Smith-Schuster, Isaac Rochell, Josh Hart and Dwayne Bacon.

ABOUT MAIN EVENTS
Main Events is internationally recognized as one of the top boxing promotional firms in the world. Main Events has promoted boxing legends Evander Holyfield, Arturo Gatti, Lennox Lewis, Pernell Whitaker and many more. Main Events was founded in 1978 by Hall-of-Fame promoter Dan Duva, who passed away in 1996, and is now run by his widow Kathy Duva. Main Events is committed to promoting quality fights that boxing fans want to see. Currently, Main Events promotes a stacked roster of international contenders, including former WBO, IBF and WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev. Main Events gained a reputation throughout the 80’s and 90’s as the sport’s number one incubator for new talent. Nearly 40 years after the company’s birth, Main Events is still turning out boxing stars and future world champions.

ABOUT THE MANDALAY BAY EVENTS CENTER
The Mandalay Bay Events Center is a multi-purpose arena home to World Championship Boxing, premier concerts and special events. With seating for as many as 12,000, the Events Center offers excellent sightlines and state-of-the-art lighting and sound. Prominent events have included concerts such as Justin Timberlake, KISS, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, John Mayer, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Alejandro Fernandez and David Foster & Friends. World championship boxing events have featured fighters including Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins. The Mandalay Bay Events Center also is home to multiple Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events throughout the year and the annual Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction.

ABOUT CONSTELLATION BRANDS
Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a Fortune 500® company, is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, New Zealand and Italy. Constellation is the No. 3 beer company in the U.S. with high-end, iconic imported brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra and Pacifico. The company’s beer portfolio also includes Ballast Point, one of the most awarded craft brewers in the U.S. In addition, Constellation is the world’s leader in premium wine, selling great brands that people love, including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Mark West, Franciscan Estate, Ruffino and The Prisoner. The company’s premium spirits brands include SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila, and High West Whiskey.

Based in Victor, N.Y., the company believes that industry leadership involves a commitment to brand building, our trade partners, the environment, our investors and to consumers around the world who choose our products when celebrating big moments or enjoying quiet ones. Founded in 1945, Constellation has grown to become a significant player in the beverage alcohol industry with more than 100 brands in its portfolio, about 40 facilities and approximately 8,000 talented employees. We express our company vision: to elevate life with every glass raised. To learn more, visit www.cbrands.com.

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Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” Tickets On Sale

NEW YORK, NY – On Monday at Le Parker Meridien in New York City, Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Andre “SOG” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) and former Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) formally addressed the media on their highly-anticipated 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.

TIDAL members will have access to a special presale beginning on Wednesday, April 12 at 1:00 p.m. ET/ 10:00 a.m. PT. Members can find details for purchasing tickets by visiting TIDAL.com/WardKovalev or by logging in to their TIDAL accounts via web browser, desktop app or mobile app.

Fans already enrolled for email updates on MainEvents.com will receive an email with the presale information. Anyone interested in receiving the presale code can sign up for email updates at www.mainevents.com.

M life Rewards loyalty members, Ticketmaster and AXS/AEG customers will receive access to a pre-sale scheduled from Wednesday, April 12 at 10:00 a.m. PT to Friday, April 14 at 9:59 a.m. PT. To join the M life Rewards program, or for more information, visit mlife.com.

Tickets for Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” go on sale to the public on Friday, April 14 at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT. Tickets priced at $1,255, $755, $505, $355, $255 and $105 not including applicable service charges will be available on axs.com and at the Mandalay Bay Events Center box office.

Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Khristopher Sandifer

Below is what the fighters and dais guests had to say at the press conference:

Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion

“I want to thank everybody for coming out today – the media, obviously, HBO, Peter Nelson and their whole team, these guys work tirelessly to get these kinds of things done. I appreciate my team, James Prince, Josh Dubin, Roc Nation and everyone at Roc Nation, JAY Z, Juan and Desiree Perez, Michael Yormark. It’s important to have a good team. We talk a lot about fighting, we talk all about matchups, but when we talk about support, it’s frowned upon. When we see fighters 10, 15, 20 years from now shuffling in a room, nothing to show what they fought for, that’s okay. By the grace of God and by way of my team, that’s not going to happen to me.

“Unfortunately, there’s perception and there’s reality. Perception is every one thing that’s written, every opinion but as you grow and learn this business, it’s not about perception. Nobody can point to a fight where I turned. Not one point. That’s not in my track record. So, I don’t mind the perception. I don’t care about Instagram. This is chess, not checkers. You can make all the rules you want to make, but it’s about the checkmate. That’s when the game is over.

“My team is working on life after boxing. Educating me on the ins and outs. A lot of people talk about money, but they don’t talk about the upside. They’re not talking about the personal sponsorships for the fight, and your obligations for the sponsorship. They’re not talking about the television rights and foreign rights, the merchandise. ‘Be tough, keep focus, destroy the fight’. I’m not with that man. I want the whole thing, I want to understand everything. The fight is not the end.

“They have to understand, there’s nothing scary about this man. You realize we just fought 12 rounds four months ago? Everyone wants to highlight the knockdown, that’s probably one of the most beautiful moments of my career. And did you guys see the other 10 rounds? Nobody’s talking about that. But that’s what makes us who we are. It’s hard concrete down there, we don’t want to fall. We’ve got another drive, we’ve got another gear we’ve got to tap into when we hit adversity and hit the cannons. You guys saw that, in the biggest moment of my career.

“I didn’t get to where I’m at because there’s something unique about me. I didn’t get to this point by happenstance. Some may not like it, but you got to respect it. You don’t have to, but we’ve earned the position that we have. We don’t mind being understated. The fight is academic. When my team green-lighted it, I said go ahead and announce it. The reality is, you’ve got to see me on June 17. That’s the reality of the situation. I love to talk, it’s all good. We knocked heads for 12 rounds, that’s the reality of the situation. He felt me, he knows. On June 17, that’s how we’re going to do. We’re going to get started a little early. Whether you’re with me, or whether you’re against me, tune in. Appreciate everybody’s time. Don’t miss this fight, June 17. You got what you asked for.”

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – Former Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion

“Hello everyone. I am thankful the fight will take place on June 17. Well, will take place on paper for now. I’m appreciative of my team and Team Ward that this fight will actually happen. I want to apologize to my fans for my performance the last time but we’re going to get this squared either way. We’re going to see who is the best fighter. I’m very excited for June 17. The only thing I hope is that a week or two before the fight, Andre Ward does not get injured and he has enough balls to come out and fight me on June 17.”

Michael Yormark – Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy

“Legacies are built on seminal moments. When the lights shine brightest, when the challenge seems insurmountable, when the eyes of the world are on you – that is when great athletes see the rarest of opportunities to shape their legacy, to ensure that their name lives on. Evander Holyfield said, ‘a champion shows who he is by what he does when he’s tested’. Back in November the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world tested each other like they had never been tested before in their careers. On that night, World Champion Andre Ward faced a defining moment and countered with an epic comeback victory over Sergey Kovalev. After that showdown, there was a lot of talk, a lot of debate, a lot of speculation, a lot of excuses. But on June 17 we put all of that talk to bed, because Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” is officially on, and from this day forward there will be no excuses.

“Andre Ward is the best boxer in the world – there is simply no debate. He is undefeated, breathlessly talented, and has gladly taken on any fighter with the guts to face him. For Andre, this fight represents the final nail in the coffin for the rest of this division and his would-be competitors, and the latest feat in a career that can only be defined as flawless. For Sergey, he has a lot to prove, which may be why he’s been so, let’s call it active on social media. After falling short in November, Sergey has become his own personal hype machine. In one of his latest tweets he demanded Andre, ‘pray to me’. Sergey, I think what you were trying to say was ‘pray for me’, which we all will do before you get back into the ring with Andre on June 17.

“We return to Las Vegas where all big fights belong, live at the Mandalay Bay Events Center and on HBO Pay-Per-View. Roc Nation is proud to be the lead promoter of this global event, presented by Corona Extra and powered by Monster Products. This event would not have been possible without the support of Richard Sturm and Sid Greenfeig of MGM, and HBO’s Peter Nelson and Tony Walker – I’d like to take this opportunity to specifically thank them. MGM and HBO are synonymous with the biggest and best boxing events and Roc Nation is honored to be working in partnership with them for yet another historic fight. I’d also like to thank our chairman JAY Z and President of Roc Nation Sports Juan Perez for their support of this sure to be epic event. Additionally, a big thank you to our presenting partner Corona Extra, as well as Monster Products. I would also like to acknowledge Le Parker Meridien for their support and hosting us here today. Despite what you read in some corners of the boxing world, this rematch was always inevitable, both fighters wanted it, both promoters wanted it and I would be remiss if I did not sincerely thank Main Events and Kathy and Nicole Duva for their professionalism and class in negotiating and finalizing the June 17 fight. Last but certainly not least thank you to Team Ward – Andre, James Prince, Josh Dubin and Virgil Hunter – not only for once again putting your unblemished, championship record on the line under the bright lights of Sin City, but for being incredible partners throughout this process and the best ambassadors the sport of boxing could possibly ask for. Thank you.”

Kathy Duva – CEO of Main Events

“Thank you, HBO, thank you Le Parker Meridien, Mandalay Bay and of course our sponsors, Corona and Monster. I’ll make it short and sweet. My greatest hope for June 17 is that the winner wins this time. Sergey’s going to do everything in his power to make sure there’s no question on who that is.

“I expect he’s going to show us all how to get your titles back. And here he is, future light heavyweight champ of the world, Sergey Kovalev.”

James Prince – Manager of Andre Ward

“I’d like to thank God for this opportunity, HBO, Peter Nelson. I’d like to thank Roc Nation, who has stood by us 1000%, solid as a Roc. We’re looking forward to this fight coming up, David versus Goliath, part two. Like I said, the last time, and I reiterate the same thing because not much has changed, we’ve cracked the code. Sergey, your code has been cracked, we know who you are now. Come June 17, you will see one of the greatest fights ever. As I stated earlier in the interview with HBO, don’t be surprised if Kovalev gets knocked out this fight. Don’t you be surprised. So, we look forward to that moment and I notice that you’ve been real vocal about a lot of things, but you need to know, we don’t have no fear. So, understand that, once again, the United States will be victorious against Russia as always.”

Josh Dubin – Manager of Andre Ward

“This industry, unfortunately, has some nasty, ugly people in it that say and do nasty things and show their behind too much. A lot of the things you hear about our beautiful sport is true. I’m so fortunate to have been blessed by kings, that have enriched my life, to be able to grow and get to know these men. James Prince and Andre Ward have been all class and dignity and professional. They don’t need to tell you what you think might sell a fight, or what you think people might want to hear, but just what’s real. What a breath of fresh air. I thank both of you for enriching my life and allowing me to grow on this journey with you.

“We’re always hearing about role models, and why aren’t athletes role models – well look no further. You’ve got a family man who is spiritual, you can’t bait him and get him to say what you think he should say or want him to say because you curse him out on social media. We’re not into all that, these are kings over here. You can keep tweeting on your phone over there, but we won already. We won in life, we won in this sport, and we’re just going to continue winning. This is a formality at this point. A formality. So, you can cry and complain and all that, but that’s what bullies do when they don’t get their way. Bullies make excuses, bullies try to intimidate when they don’t get their way. Bullies of all sorts, in the ring and in business. Well, you didn’t get your way, you ain’t getting your way and you’re not going to get your way. Period. The reason that probably is, if we bring in spirituality, is the moral arc of the universe does bend towards good and greatness and kings. So, with that, I say this: you want to tune in to this one, because you’ll want to be able to say, ‘I got to see the best fighter to ever walk in the ring, fight again and conquer again’. Don’t miss it. Thank you.”

Daniel Bagdasarov – Egis Klimas’s Assistant

“I want to thank the media and MGM. He’s happy about the rematch and that it actually happened. We’re excited about it, we’re ready. Thank you to all the promotions that have gone into the fight, thank you HBO for making this happen. Thank you so much.”

Peter Nelson – Executive Vice President, HBO Sports

“I want to thank all the media for being here, this fight came together initially because of what you asked for. First and foremost, I want to thank the fighters, Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. The two of them at the zenith of their careers and the apex of their undefeated records deciding to get in the ring against one another, and that’s exactly the expectation that fight fans should have. It’s something to be celebrated and we’re excited we are going to have the rematch on June 17.

“Again, these two men decided they want to step up and fight each other, the controversy of time when a lot of fighters walk the other way from one another. Some fights, they’re so good, the fighters earn each other’s respect. Some fights are so great that the fighters earn each other’s disrespect. I’ll let all of you decide which one this is.

“I think that what we’ve seen over the past few months is people arguing more and more about who actually won that fight. Again, the credit is to the fighters because every second of the first fight, they were there to compete. Every second of this rematch, they’re going to be there again. There is too much at stake, in terms of legacy and in terms of pound stature, in terms of this moment and the future. What we know to expect is that on June 17, the stuff of HBO PPV legend gets made. Sergey Kovalev and champion Andre Ward are going to do everything in their power to bring home the belt.”

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, and is sponsored by Monster Products and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. 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.