LAS VEGAS, NV (June 16, 2017) – On Thursday, June 15, Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) and former WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs), along with their teams, participated in the Fight Week Powered by Monster Final Press Conference for their highly-anticipated showdown. Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” will take 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.
Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos
Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion
“Thank you everybody, before I start I just want to send my prayers out to Daniel Franco and his family. It broke my heart when I heard, and on top of that, he is a stablemate of mine. He has fought on several of my undercards. It’s the worst situation that a fighter can find themselves in so I just want to let his family know that I’m praying for him. I would love to speak to him at some point in time and I’m dedicating this victory to him and his family because he is a brother in this sport. It’s a tough situation but we are praying and I know he’s going to pull through.
“I’m excited to be here. I’m the same guy that I was last time, the guy that I was five fights before, two years before. We don’t have a lot of highs and lows in this camp. You know we’ve been grinding from the beginning, we’ve got a blue collar mentality, we put our head down, we don’t take no mess. We fight to stay humble because we know where our strength comes from and if that strength is removed, we’ve got problems. It’s no different in this fight. I’m no higher than I was last time. Emotionally, I’m no lower. I didn’t train any harder. There was no major overhaul but we’re going to make adjustments. We know his side is going to make adjustments. At the end of the day, I’m not going to be distracted by the talk. I’m not going to be distracted by the ploys. I had a couple of missions in mind when I came to Las Vegas–to glorify God with my performance and the way I act outside the ring, to defend my belts that I won back in November, and to get home and kiss my wife and kids.
“I’m locked in on what I’ve got to. I hope everyone tunes in to HBO Pay-Per-View. And those who are reading this, if you are here, come to the fight. It’s going to be a tremendous fight. I’m expecting his best. You’re going to see a different Andre Ward. I’m just going to leave it at that. You’re going to see another guy in there Saturday night; and that is my favorite time – show and tell time. All the talking is good for the fans, it’s good to build it up, it’s all good but anybody that knows me, knows that I’m about the action. About getting it done. I’m thankful to be in this position. I’ve been in this position for over a decade and I’m blessed to be at the highest level for as long as I have.
“I’m excited to see some of these young fighters on the undercard. A lot of guys who I know; that I’ve watched develop. This is [their] time to shine. This is [their] moment. And my boy, Rigondeaux, I’m always happy to be on a card with him. That’s a master. Nothing but respect.”
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