HBO Sports, widely acclaimed for its innovative boxing programming, takes an in-depth look at the most intriguing matchup of 2016, the highly anticipated Nov. 19 Pay-Per-View showdown between undefeated light heavyweight stars Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward, when MY FIGHT: KOVALEV/WARD debuts SATURDAY, OCT. 29 (10:35-11:05 p.m. ET/PT).
The special will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO and HBO On Demand, and at hbo.com/boxing, as well as other new media platforms.
Unified light heavyweight champ Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs), who resides and trains in southern California, puts his crown and undefeated record on the line against formidable challenger Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) of Oakland, Cal., a former Olympic gold medalist who cleaned out the 168-pound division and has set his sights on top prize in the 175-pound division.
MY FIGHT cameras travel with Kovalev to his hometown in Chelyabinsk, Russia and connect with Ward in the Bay Area to chronicle the long journey both men took to reach the elite level of professional boxing.
MY FIGHT: KOVALEV/WARD is narrated by Liev Schreiber.
On Saturday, Nov. 19, Kovalev and Ward meet at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, in a telecast to be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. (ET)/ 6:00 p.m. (PT).
OAKLAND, CA (October 3, 2016) – Two-Time World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) officially kicks off training camp in Hayward, CA with trainer Virgil Hunter ahead of his November 19 showdown at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs). Ward’s training camp, which will serve as a base for Ward over the next several weeks as he continues his quest to dominate the light heavyweight division, is sponsored by a resounding collection of American-based companies including Jordan Brand, Shoe Palace, JetLux, and ProSupps.
Below is what Team Ward had to say about the start of training camp:
ANDRE WARD, Two-Time World Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter:
“I’ve been in pre-camp mode for weeks now following my last fight, and have been mentally preparing for the work ahead of me. It’s an exciting feeling to be in full camp mode, where I can dedicate 100% of my mind, body and soul to the battle I am about to face. This is a fight that we have been working up to since last spring. The game plan hasn’t changed. I am here and I am ready.”
VIRGIL HUNTER, Andre Ward’s Trainer:
“No one beats Andre Ward when it comes to training camp. We’re going into camp with the mentality of another day, another fight, another win. His strive for perfection, work ethic and consistency is what makes him a champion.”
JAMES PRINCE, Andre Ward’s Manager:
“With everything set for the biggest fight of the year on November 19, we are excited to open training camp. What is done here for the next few weeks will play a major part in the final outcome. We thank God for the opportunity and look forward to giving the boxing community and all of our fans, the fight that they have been anticipating.”
Tickets for the most anticipated fight of the year are on sale now and start at $55 on axs.com and at the T-Mobile Arena box office.
Kovalev vs. Ward “Pound For Pound”, a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and is sponsored by the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Rosneft and Corona Extra. The championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
NEW YORK, NY (September 6, 2016) – On Tuesday, September 6, No. 2 Pound-for-Pound and WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) and No. 4 Pound-for-Pound and Two-Time World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) participated in an official press conference at Le Parker Meridien in New York City, in advance of their November 19 “Pound for Pound” showdown at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Kovalev vs. Ward “Pound for Pound” will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets start at $55 and are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.
Tickets for the most anticipated fight of the year went on sale to the public on Friday, Sept. 2 at 11:00 a.m. PT. Tickets start at $55 and are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.
Below is what the fighters, promoters and other dais guests had to say at the press conference:
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion
“It’s a big moment in my career. I want to thank all of the people who are involved with this fight, my promoter Kathy Duva, Roc Nation and HBO Pay-Per-View. Thank you to all of my fans. It will be a fight to remember; one for the history books. I just want to give the fans a really great fight in Vegas and on HBO Pay-Per-View.”
Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – Two-Time World Champion
“I’m grateful to be here today. I want to thank everyone who is associated with this event—the good, the bad, the press, all of it. Obviously HBO, Peter Nelson, Roc Nation, Main Events, everyone who’s associated with it. It’s hard to thank everybody. It’s a lot of people that you guys know of that worked on this fight to get it done. There’s a lot of different nuances that go into getting a fight like this done, but it’s done. That’s what we should all focus on.
“I thank God for this opportunity. I thank God for my career and being able to compete at a high level through the peaks and valleys. Sometimes that gets overlooked, a veteran in the game. I’ve paid my dues and I continue to pay my dues. This is just another opportunity. I’ve been in this position before and so has my opponent. It doesn’t matter what the other side says, how they feel, what they say. He’s got to get it done and I’ve got to get it done. When those bright lights come on who it’s all about who executes and who gets it done. I don’t have to throw chairs. I don’t have to cuss. I don’t have to act crazy. I said let’s fight, lets fight. You’re selling yourself. I know that what I possess and what I have is in me, and not on me.”
Kathy Duva – CEO, Main Events
“Finally. There was a time when fighters didn’t consider preserving their undefeated records to be paramount to engaging in actual competition. There was a time when undefeated fighters who were heading to the Hall of Fame actually sought out greater and greater challenges as their careers progressed. There was a time when fighters were courageous athletes and not simply cynical businessmen.
“The two men who are here with us today—both in their athletic primes, both unbeaten, and, in my opinion, both heading to the Hall of Fame someday—chose to put their 0’s on the line and face each other to find out just which one of them is the very best. That is why they deserve to earn your pay-per-view dollars, this is what pay per view is supposed to be. That is why we should move heaven and earth in order to come to the beautiful T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas where this fight will take place. That is why the winner will earn the title of best pound-for-pound fighter in the ring.
“Since Ring Magazine began to keep records of the pound-for-pound fighters there have only been two occasions when two unbeaten top five fighters have competed in the ring for pound-for-pound supremacy. The first was Meldrick Taylor vs. Julio Caesar Chavez Sr. in 1994, the second time was Oscar De La Hoya vs Felix Trinidad in 1999. That means that on November 19th, this will be the very first time in the 21st century that such an event will occur in our sport. Let’s hope this is the start of something new, a throwback to the way boxing used to be when it was at its best. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 17 years before this happens again. Let’s hope all the up and coming young sweet scientists learn and follow the example of these young great athletes who sit here today.
“So as I said, finally, I’m quite pleased to officially announce “Pound for Pound” and that on Saturday, November 19th, two of the five best fighters in the whole world will fight each other. WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, who is 30-0, will risk all three of his world titles against two-time world middleweight champion Andre “SOG” Ward, who is also 30-0. The fight will take place in Las Vegas, sponsored by our friends at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, at the beautiful new T-Mobile Arena. Tickets are available now, they’re starting at $155 right now because the box office has already sold out all of the $55 tickets we put on sale. You can only get these tickets at the T-Mobile box office and online through AXS.com. I’m happy to report that tickets at other prices are moving much faster than expected and currently there are very few left at the $755 price point and the $155 price point.
This will be live on HBO Pay-Per-View. The suggested retail price is going to be $54.95. It will be presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions. In addition to the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, the fight sponsors will be Rosneft and Corona.”
Michael Yormark – Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy
“Let’s make something absolutely clear – on Nov. 19, the stakes could not be higher. In a few minutes, you’ll hear from Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev, the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. They will be calm, they will be professional, they will be respectful, but make no mistake about it, in 10 weeks’ time they will be fighting for something they have spent their entire life pursuing – the title of world’s best boxer. For a true competitor like Andre Ward, there could not be a loftier goal. To walk in to the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the undisputed fight of the year, in front of a capacity crowd and millions watching live on HBO Pay Per View, and to know that Andre has the chance to walk out of that ring as the undisputed face of boxing for the better part of the next decade.
“The Cold War may long be over, but the USA vs. Russia rivalry has never been stronger. It is a battle of world super powers, a matchup of styles as well as beliefs, a collision of two fighters, two cultures, two fan bases. Just like old times, it’s the Americans and the Russians once again. But this is not the space race or Rocky Balboa vs. Ivan Drago. This is for real, and Andre Ward is no underdog. Andre has been training and preparing his whole life for a moment like this – facing an elite opponent on a global stage to find out who the best is. On Nov. 19, I have no doubt that Andre will pick up right where the 100-plus medal-winning American Summer Olympic team left off, with a decisive victory over a worthy challenger in Kovalev, and the title of pound-for-pound king.”
Egis Klimas – Manager, Sergey Kovalev
“I am very proud to represent one of the best fighters in the world, Sergey Kovalev. It’s been a very long road since 2009 when he came here to the United States. He never was pushed by any media, he never was mismatched, he never was protected like many fighters are nowadays. Many don’t know how we used to sit in the van and go from the East coast, town to town, just to get a fight. He never asked me in his career who his opponent is. He just asked when he was fighting and what weight he should be. Again, I’m very proud to represent Sergey Kovalev and I want to thank Andre Ward’s team at Roc Nation for taking this opportunity and putting on the best fight of the year. There has been talk earlier that this is going to be fifty-fifty chance. People also mentioned that they don’t know how it is going to turn out. But, I want to thank a powerful woman, Kathy Duva. She has done a very good job throughout Sergey’s career. I want to thank HBO, T-Mobile Arena, MGM, everybody who was involved in making this fight happen. I’m a little nervous, a little excited, but I am looking forward to whatever it is and can’t wait to see you guys in Vegas on November 19. Thank you.”
James Prince – Manager, Andre Ward
“I’d like to thank God for this opportunity, HBO, Main Events, Roc Nation. I’m really grateful for everyone working so hard to make this fight happen. I witnessed the work and the sacrifice that was made on every side. This fight is kind of simple to me…David versus Goliath. Sergey is Goliath, Andre is David. Once again, I’m really thankful for this opportunity. Andre’s been on this journey for all his life preparing for this moment. So it’s here, the 19th of November.”
John David Jackson – Trainer, Sergey Kovalev
“This fight is one the fans deserve to see. Andre Ward is a very good fighter, undefeated as an amateur. To be undefeated as an amateur is one thing that comes from training. That always speaks volumes for him. On the other side of this we’ve got Kovalev. He’s the Krusher, he seeks and destroys. So come November 19, I expect a great fight between two great fighters. The winner deserves to be pound-for-pound the best boxer in the world. Watch it on Pay Per View, watch this fight. All the talk, all that’s done, now it’s time for preparation and to go to war. And that’s what we’re here for, to go to war. Come November 19th, we’ll see two great fighters trying to be the best pound-for-pound in the world. We’ll see what happens, expect one great fight between two great fighters.”
Virgil Hunter – Trainer, Andre Ward
“I just want to thank you all for showing up and turning out and supporting this great event. A fight of this magnitude is deserving of the fans and Pay-Per-View that are supporting the fight. Obviously, it’s a great fight between two champions and I’m glad to be part of it. See everybody in Vegas.”
Peter Nelson – Executive Vice President, HBO Sports
“I want to thank all the media for being here. It’s all of you that write consistently about the desire to see this sport flourish, have the best fight the best, that causes fights like this to materialize. I want to thank Kathy Duva of Main Events, I want to thank Michael Yormark with Roc Nation, Egis Klimas, James Prince, Josh Dubin for all the work that they’ve done behind the scenes in putting the fight together. There’s been plenty of times where the politics of the business of boxing have superseded fan’s interest over the actual fights themselves.
“I’m happy to report that this fight has consistently captivated everyone’s imagination. Anyone who says today that they know what is going to happen on November 19 is the definition of a liar. We know that there is no telling what can happen. But that, to Kathy’s point, is what defines great fights. It’s about fighters like Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev who have decided to be in the business of putting unified titles on the line and of putting pound-for-pound records on the line, about putting undefeated status on the line, about putting money, status, power on the line, about putting daring to be great on the line, about putting legacy on the line, and the rest of the business end takes care of itself. That’s what great fighters do. That’s why we are all so proud to be part of this event. That’s why there are all these people on the stage that we are all so proud that we are associated with an event where two great fighters will come together for this on HBO Pay-Per-View.
“I want to thank the T-Mobile, it’s a great arena and we are excited to be back there. It looks to be a great undercard that is going to formulate on the show as well. We are excited to see it all come together and look forward to seeing you all on November 19. Thank you.”
Tuesday, September 6 at 12:00 PM – Le Parker Meridien
New York, New York: On Tuesday in New York City, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) and Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) will formally address the media with details surrounding their upcoming fight for “Pound for Pound” supremacy and Kovalev’s WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Championships. The event will also be streamed live via KovalevWard.com.
Tickets start at $55 and are available on axs.com, t-mobilearena.com and at the T-Mobile Arena box office.
Kovalev-Ward “Pound for Pound” Official Press Conference
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – No. 2 Pound-for-Pound* and WBO, WBA & IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion
Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – Two-Time World Champion
John David Jackson – Trainer of Sergey Kovalev
Virgil Hunter – Trainer of Andre Ward
Egis Klimas – Manager of Sergey Kovalev
James Prince – Manager of Andre Ward
Kathy Duva – CEO of Main Events
Michael Yormark – Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy
Peter Nelson – Executive Vice President, HBO Sports
Le Parker Meridien – The Estrela Room – Penthouse Level
119 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019
Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016
12:00 p.m. ET – Media Arrival and Lunch
12:30 p.m. ET – Press Conference Begins
Kovalev vs. Ward will take place Saturday, Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. “Pound for Pound” is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and sponsored by MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.
Kovalev and Ward are currently ranked the No. 2 and No. 4 pound-for-pound boxers in the world, respectively, by The Ring Magazine, making their hotly anticipated fight only the third bout in the history of The Ring Magazine pound-for-pound list to pit two undefeated Top 5-ranked pound-for-pound fighters against each other. Oddsmakers and pundits have this fight evenly matched at 50-50 and it is poised to be a sure-fire 2016 Fight of the Year candidate. History will be made on Nov. 19th!
*According to The Ring Magazine
Follow the conversation using #KovalevWard.
Tickets for the most anticipated fight of the year go on sale to the public on Friday, Sept. 2 at 11:00 a.m. PT. Tickets start at $55 and are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.
Ward dispatched with Brand after 12 rounds – winning all the rounds. Next up is Vegas on Nov 19th. More details coming soon from this fight and Andre’s next fight in Vegas.
Oracle Arena had a good excited crowd tonight; chanting SOG SOG at times, booing Sergey Kovalev, the Light Heavyweight Champion, when on screen.
Before Andre’s fight we caught the 1st round of Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker fight wih Tyrone Barnett for the NABO Junior Welterweight Championship. No other rounds to watch as Hooker beat up Barnett (knocked him down a minute into the fight) and KO’d him at 2:17. Hooker was the fan favorite.
The crowd waits patiently for Andre to enter; and there he is. He’s looking good, and ready.
As with most fights, the opponents feel each other. Andre starts forcing Brand back. Nothing much in this round. The best I could give Brand would be a tie.
We get some action in this round. Andre lands a head shoot; he takes to the center, moving Brand back and circlingthe ring. Brand looks cautious. Andre lands a good punch to Brands face just before the bell Andre wins round.
Brand has an unusual style. He keeps his right up by his jaw and his left down across his waist; his arms seem to go all over he place. Jabs by Andre, he continues to bring the fight to Brand, working from the middle of the ring. There is some grappling this round; both respond well to the ref. Andre is more active than Brand.
Andre wins another one.
Andre backs up Brand, getting minor shots to the head. Seems that Andre is working the head tonight rather the body. He moves to the outside for a short time, still presses the fight. Brand is being tricky with his movement, but Andre lands a head shot and then another. Brand takes them well enough.
Another round for Andre
Andre immediately lands a punch to Brands face. Both fighters (one actually is a boxer) circling each other in the center of the ring. Another head shot by Andre; he keeps chasing Brand. Andre connects to the head again as neither combatants is not hitting the body.
Andre takes round 5; looking good out there.
They are tying each other up. Now Andre gets some body punches in. Brand get a glove to Andre’s head with no effect. Andre works his jab now; jabbing faster than Brand can block. SOG lands a nice punch to Brands face just before the bell. I don’ think Ward will lose any rounds. He is working hard and continues to back up Brand.
Same ring tactics continues and Andre scores again. They grapple and Andre gets some kidney punches in. Andre’s able to block Brands somewhat wild punches. They trade some swings that miss. Brand gets it in the face again but he has been taking these OK. Brand has a small nick over his right eye.
Brand loses another round. It’s going to take a lucky wild KO for him to win.
Nice punch to Brands face as the round opens. Andre continues to control the ring. Both fight in the middle now, trading punches with Andre being more accurate. With Brand moving his head so much, need to guess where it will be to hit.
Andre wins the round.
Andre working Brands head, landing a hard one. One or two more and Brand goes down for a count. Another good head shot to Brand at the bell.
9th scored for SOG, doing the art of boxing.
What can I say; same ol’ chase. Brand is covering up more; has his gloves up by his face. Brand’s probably tired of getting hit on the face and head. Andre lands a strong punch to his face at the bell.
Round to Andre
A great shot to Brand’S face, a hard shot. Andre lands a right cross and he continues to move in and move Brand around the ring.
What else! Andre takes the round.
Andre takes some ice on his left shoulder between rounds. A minute in, the referee takes time to look at Andre’s face. Blood? NO. Andre stays in the center, pressing Brand back. Some wild punching by Brand. Bell rings and the fighters hug.
All 3 judges score the fight 120-108. Not a round goes Brands way; not a mark on Andre.