WBA, WBO, and IBF light heavyweight champion Andre Ward will rematch Sergey Kovalev at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) took all of Sergey Kovalev’s (30-1-1, 26 KOs) light heavyweight titles away from him last November, and now the two men will go head-to-head once again this year. On Tuesday, an official announcement confirmed that Ward vs. Kovalev 2 is all set for June 17th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. As was the case for their first fight, the rematch will be televised on HBO pay-per-view.
Ward defeated Kovalev by unanimous decision (114-113 x3) to hand the Russian his first ever defeat, and he did so after being knocked down in the second round. The razor-thin contest saw the native of Oakland, California become a world champion in his second weight class, having previously ruled over super middleweight for years. Kovalev exercised his rematch clause and now it’ll be Ward’s promoter (Roc Nation) running the show.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, the purse split will be 60-40 in Ward’s favor. In their first fight, Ward had a $5 million purse to Kovalev’s $2 million. The first matchup drew in 160,000 buys, with neither man having previously headlined an HBO pay-per-view before.
Also on course for Ward vs. Kovalev 2, which is billed as “No Excuses,” is Cuban WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) against Mexico’s Moises Flores (25-0-1 NC, 17 KOs). Ticket sales and PPV pricing info have not yet been revealed, but the three-city press tour will kick off on April 10th.