Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev II
|Date||June 17, 2017|
|Venue||Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Title(s) on the line||WBA, WBO, IBF and The Ring light heavyweight titles.|
|Tale of the tape|
|Ward wins via 8th-round technical knockout|
Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev II, billed as "The Rematch", was a boxing superfight for the unified WBA, WBO, IBF, and vacant The Ring magazine light heavyweight titles between the top-two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Andre Ward won by an 8th round TKO. The bout was held on June 17, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada and was televised on HBO Pay-per-view.
Kovalev's manager Egis Klimas announced that negotiations had begun for the rematch between Ward and Kovalev. According to the NSAC, The T-Mobile Arena was put on hold for June 17, 2017 on HBO PPV. On March 24, 2017 Kovalev revealed via Social Media that he had signed his end of the deal. It was also noted that the rematch would take place at the Mandalay Bay in Paradise, Nevada on HBO PPV.
On April 4, 2017, Roc Nation Sports and Main Events confirmed that terms were agreed for the rematch to take place on HBO PPV. The fight being billed as "No Excuses". Ward addressed the public by stating, "I'm going to keep it short and sweet. You got what you asked for -- now you have to see me on June 17. This time leave the excuses at home." The Las Vegas Sun confirmed the bout will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The fight purses were revealed before the fight with Ward taking a guaranteed career-high $6.5 million and Kovalev, not having a base purse, would receive a percentage of PPV and gate revenue.
In front of 10,592, The fight ended in the 8th round with a victory for Ward once again. A big right hand from Ward had Kovalev in trouble which was followed by borderline punches. With Kovalev slumped over on the ropes, the referee Tony Weeks felt he had no choice but to stop the fight. At the time of stoppage, two judges had Ward ahead 67-66, whilst the third judge had it 68-65 in favour of Kovalev. CompuBox stats showed that Ward landed 80 of 238 punches (34%) whilst Kovalev landed 95 of his 407 thrown (23%).
Ward praised Kovalev in the post-fight interview, "He's a good fighter, and I have nothing but respect for him. First time around, the man is world champion, and he's been on top a long time. I give him credit. He is a great fighter, and when you fight great fighters, you have to raise your game." Kovalev said the fight could have continued, "I don't know. I can't explain it. Not every round, but I thought I was doing very good. I was better, and he was better this fight. I didn't feel like I was getting knocked down with his punches --- I could have continued," Kovalev said. "I didn't feel the punch. This is fighting. We are boxers. Yes, he did punch me, but he didn't hurt me. The fight should have continued."
According to Yahoo Sports, the fight only generated around 130,000 buys on HBO PPV. The replay was shown on regular HBO averaging 752,000 viewers and peaked at 947,000, which was during the final round.
|Light heavyweight||Andre Ward (c)||def.||Sergey Kovalev||TKO||8|
|Super bantamweight||Guillermo Rigondeaux (c)||NC.||Moises Flores|
|Light Heavyweight||Dmitry Bivol||def.||Cedric Agnew||TKO||4|
|Middleweight||Luís Arias||def.||Arif Magomedov||TKO||5|
|Featherweight||Tramaine Williams||def.||Christopher Martin||TKO||2|
The fight had press conferences in three cities in the United States:
- April 10, 2017 — New York City, New York
- April 11, 2017 — Oakland, California
- April 12, 2017 — Los Angeles, California
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- "Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev rematch set". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
- "Ratings - The Ring". The Ring. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- "P4P | Transnational Boxing Rankings Board". www.tbrb.org. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- "Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev rematch set for June in Las Vegas". LA Times.
- "Andre Ward v Sergey Kovalev II set for June 17 in Las Vegas". World Boxing News.
- "Ward-Kovalev 2 set for June 17 in Vegas". Fightnews.com.
- "Ward vs. Kovalev Rematch Talks Finally Underway - For June 17? - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- "Duva and Roc Nation start talks for rematch of Ward-Kovalev June 17 - The Ring". The Ring. 2017-02-27. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
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- "Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev agree to rematch June 17 in Vegas". LasVegasSun.com. 2017-04-04. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- "Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev purses revealed". Boxing News and Views. 2017-06-16. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
- "Ward stops Kovalev by eighth-round TKO". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
- "Ward vs Kovalev II: Andre Ward produces stunning stoppage win over Sergey Kovalev in rematch". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
- "Andre Ward Stops Sergey Kovalev in Eight To Retain Belts - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
- "Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2 Disappoints Greatly On PPV Buys". Fightful.com. 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
- "Ward-Kovalev Rematch Replay Peaked at 947K Viewers on HBO - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
- "Ward-Kovalev rematch underperforms at gate". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
- "Ward-Kovalev Rematch: Paid Attendance Was Only 6,366 - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
- "Ward-Kovalev set for 3-city press tour • Boxing News". Boxing News. 2017-04-07. Retrieved 2017-04-07.