Tag Archives: Andre Ward

LUIS ARIAS VS. ARIF MAGOMEDOV USBA MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP ADDED TO ANDRE WARD VS. SERGEY KOVALEV PAY-PER-VIEW 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®

 

NEW YORK, NY (April 27, 2017) –  USBA Middleweight Champion Luis “Cuba” Arias (17-0, 8 KOs) and prime contender Arif “The Predator” Magomedov (18-1, 11 KOs) will lead off the HBO Pay-Per-View lineup for Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2: “The 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.

 

Arias will be defending his title and undefeated record against one of the division’s top prospects. Magomedov has previously held the WBO’s Inter-Continental, Youth and NABO middleweight titles with only a single career loss coming against Andrew Hernandez for the vacant WBC USNBC middleweight title. Both fighters are eager to make an impression during their Las Vegas debut.

 

“Finally my opportunity has come. The road to the big stage has been long but it’s here and I’m ready. It’s time to prove to the world that I am a threat to anyone in this division. I have been saying it for some time, my record shows it, but now I’ll get the chance to prove it,” said Arias. “I’m coming to make a statement on June 17! My opponent has been beat before and will be beat again. Thanks to Roc Nation Sports and my handlers for making this happen. A new star will be born.”

 

“My goal is to be a world champion. I have been waiting for a fight like this. Arias is a tough opponent but I will be ready for him,” said Magomedov. “I am so excited to work with my new trainer, Marco Contreras and to fight on HBO Pay-Per-View. Be ready for ‘The Predator’ on June 17.”

 

“If the heat between the Ward-Kovalev rivalry hasn’t been felt yet, then the cross promotional matchup of Roc Nation Sports’ Luis Arias and Main Events’ Arif Magomedov will certainly add fuel to the fire,” said Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy Michael R. Yormark. “We are excited to have USBA Middleweight Champion Luis Arias make his Las Vegas debut and open the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast with a title defense on June 17 against Arif Magomedov.”

 

“Arif has been ready for this fight since the first Kovalev-Ward card in November. We are so pleased to finally give him this match-up,” said Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. “This is a huge opportunity for both Arif and Luis to test themselves on such a big stage. A win or a good showing by either fighter could catapult them in the rankings and put them on the map in this stacked middleweight division.”

 

USBA Middleweight Champion Luis “Cuba” Arias (17-0, 8 KOs), 26, takes great pride in his Cuban heritage. The Milwaukee-native chose his nickname in homage to his father’s homeland and its people, honoring them each time he steps into the ring. A former USA junior amateur standout, Arias made his professional debut on November 10, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, where he defeated Josh Thorpe via a four-round unanimous decision. Since joining Roc Nation Sports in February of 2015, Arias has advanced his undefeated record, paving way for his first title shot on August 20, 2016. In a homecoming at the Milwaukee Center, Arias captured the vacant USBA Middleweight title with a stoppage of Detroit’s Darryl Cunningham at the 1:11mark of the fourth round. Arias successfully defended his title on March 31, 2017 at the Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, winning a 10-round unanimous decision over Virginia’s Scott Sigmon. All three judges scored the fight 99-91 for Arias who put on a potent body punching display to settle a long-standing grudge with Sigmon.

 

Arif “The Predator” Magomedov (18-1, 11 KOs), 24, is a middleweight from Kizlyar, Russia. He made his professional debut in January of 2013 when he earned a decision win over Ruslan Sirazhev in Russia. Magomedov would go on to finish 2013 with a bang, posting a record of 8-0 with 6 KOs and none of those six opponents made it past the third round. He made his US debut in April of 2015 when he unanimously outpointed tough journeyman Derrick Findley. In May of 2015, he earned one of the biggest wins of his career when he scored a first-round knockout over the always tough and durable Darnell Boone. In July of 2015, Magomedov cruised to a unanimous decision win over previously undefeated and rising prospect Derrick Webster. In his most recent bout, Magomedov scored a second-round TKO over Chris Herrmann in Moscow, Russia. Arif is co-promoted by Main Events and Shamo Boxing and managed by Egis Klimas.

 

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, 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.

GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX VS. MOISES FLORES WBA SUPER BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP ADDED TO ANDRE WARD VS. SERGEY KOVALEV PAY-PER-VIEW 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®

 

NEW YORK, NY (April 19, 2017) – Reigning WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) will face WBA interim titleholder Moises “Chucky” Flores (25-0, 17 KOs) in a long-awaited mandatory 12-round WBA title defense that will tarnish one fighter’s perfect record. Rigondeaux vs. Flores has officially been added to the Pay-Per-View undercard of Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 17. 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.

 

“I would like to thank Roc Nation Sports, Caribe Promotions and HBO for the opportunity to fight on the biggest Pay-Per-View card of the year. It will be a night of great boxing that fans will not want to miss out on. It’s going to be a chance to show HBO what they want to see. Some say I’m not exciting but it’s not my fault that once my opponents feel my power, they start running and stop throwing punches. Regardless of that, I’m going to give them what they want. I will be standing in the middle of the ring toe-to-toe and putting on a show for the fans. This is where I’ll show the world what my fans got to see in my last fight in the UK against [James] Dickens,” said Rigondeaux. “I want to thank Moises Flores for having the courage to step in the ring with me and accepting the mandatory challenge unlike many great fighters in my division. Moises is an exciting Mexican fighter who will bring a fight. I will be ready to exhibit why I am one of the best pound-for-pound boxers and the world’s best at 122 pounds. I’m ready to give fans the best fight out there, and the best is to come the evening of June 17.”

 

“I’m very excited to have my world title fight with Guillermo Rigondeaux rescheduled for Saturday, June 17 on HBO Pay-Per-View,” said Flores. “I’d like to thank my team at Probox Management and TGB Promotions along with HBO for providing this opportunity. I never stopped my preparations from the original date and look forward to making the Mexican fans proud when I defeat the great Rigondeaux.”

 

“Roc Nation Sports is thrilled to add Guillermo Rigondeaux’s championship defense against Moises Flores to the Pay-Per-View undercard of Ward-Kovalev 2: ‘The Rematch’,” said Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy Michael R. Yormark. “We know these two champions are ready and eager to put on a big performance on boxing’s biggest stage and undoubtedly, ahead of the most anticipated fight of the year.”

 

“TGB Promotions is proud of this world title opportunity for Moises ‘Chucky’ Flores as he takes on one of the premier fighters in the sport, Guillermo Rigondeaux,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Chucky is well prepared and looking forward to making the Mexican fans proud of their new World Champion on June 17.”

 

Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs), was one of the most celebrated amateur boxers in Cuba before defecting and making his professional debut on May 22, 2009 in Miami, Florida. High expectations had no ill effect on Rigondeaux as he tore through his next five opponents. On November 13, 2010, in just his seventh pro fight, Rigondeaux faced Ricardo Cordoba for the vacant interim WBA World Super Bantamweight title and left the ring with the belt after scoring a split decision victory. Rigondeaux turned his attention to supremacy in the 122-pound division and accomplished what many considered the unthinkable by knocking out WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Rico Ramos on January 20, 2012, becoming a world champion in fewer than 10 professional bouts. On April 13, 2013 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Rigondeaux scored his biggest victory to date by defeatingWBO and Ring Magazine World Champion and 2012 Fighter of the Year Nonito Donaire. Rigondeaux came away with the victory by unanimous decision after out landing and out punching Donaire throughout the fight to unify titles. In November of 2015, Roc Nation Sports announced that it had signed Rigondeaux to an exclusive promotional agreement and featured him on the HBO Pay-Per-View undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez mega-fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, where he defeated veteran Drian Francisco via a 10-round unanimous decision. Prior to beating Francisco, Rigondeaux was stripped of his title belts due to inactivity, but remained the WBA champion in recess. In May of 2016, Roc Nation Sports announced that Rigondeaux was reinstated of his WBA belt ahead of a 12-round WBA World Super Bantamweight championship showdown against number 13 rated WBA super bantamweight contender Jazza Dickens on July 16 at the Cardiff Ice Arena in Wales. In his first ever appearance in the United Kingdom, Rigondeaux gave fans a thrilling knockout against Dickens. The southpaw landed a big left hook, shattering Dickens’s jaw, halting the fight in the second round with a referee’s decision. Rigondeaux will be raring to go on June 17 in his title defense against interim champion Moises Flores.

 

Moises “Chucky” Flores (25-0, 17 KOs) learned the fight game growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico, and spent the early years of his professional career building up his résumé in his home country. Now established as a title contender at 122 pounds, Flores looks to climb to the top of the division with his considerable talent. Flores is exceptionally tall for his weight class, measuring in at 5 feet 9 inches. As such, he tends to have a reach advantage over most of his opponents, although Flores isn’t one to merely fire punches from a distance and box from the outside. He likes to mix it up, and his record reflects that, with most of his opponents going down by knockout. Flores made his pro debut in August 2008 with a second round knockout of Oswaldo Salgado in Guadalajara, Mexico. He fought exclusively in Mexico over the first six years of his career and made quick work of most of his opponents. Flores made his U.S. debut in September 2014, winning a six round unanimous decision over Pablo Batres in Mesquite, Texas. He then gained a seventh round technical knockout of Mexican veteran Mario Macias in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in November 2014. That victory set up a 122-pound title shot against interim WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Oscar Escandon in Carson, California, in April 2015. In an electrifying, all-action brawl, Flores earned a split decision to win the title. In his last two fights, Flores was able to defend the interim WBA World Super Bantamweight title against Luis Emanuel Cusolito, while also adding the IBO World Super Bantamweight title against Paulus Ambunda. Flores looks forward to claiming the full rights to the WBA World Super Bantamweight title on June 17 when he faces current champion Guillermo Rigondeaux in a 12-round championship showdown.

 

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Ward-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, 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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ANDRE WARD VS. SERGEY KOVALEV 2: “THE REMATCH” OAKLAND PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO, PHOTOS AND QUOTES

 

 

 

 

Click HERE for Photos

Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Khristopher Sandifer

 

Click HERE for Video

Video Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Main Events

 

Oakland, CA (April 11, 2017) – On Tuesday at the Oakland Marriott in Oakland, CA, 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 regarding 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.

 

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.

 

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 appreciate everybody for coming out today. It’s always good to be home in the Bay Area. It’s amazing how in a short time, eight, nine, ten years, we put the Bay on the map in terms of the boxing world. Oakland used to be a major fight town, and we got away from it. But through myself and many other young fighters, contenders who may not have had opportunities that I was afforded, we’re doing our part to continue to represent the Bay in a major way and that’s a beautiful thing.

 

“I’m excited about this rematch. These are the things I dreamed about as a kid. I love it. I love the back and forth, some people being with me and some people not being with me. I don’t mind the stuff they talk about on social media. That’s perception. I try and deal in the reality.

 

“At the end of the day, you’ve got to see me on June 17, we’ve got to fight. I don’t care what you say, I don’t care what the team says. That’s going to make headlines. That’s all good and part of the business. I understand the business very well and I’m good with that. But if you guys know me – the boxing world knows me, the Bay Area knows me – I don’t have to do a lot of talking. To my young guys coming up, you don’t have to talk a lot. Just show up when you’re supposed to show up. Lock in and do what you got to do to prepare, and when it’s time in that biggest moment when the lights come on, find a way to get it done.

 

“Boxing right now is not like it used to be. It’s a climate right now where there’s a lot of talking. Guys don’t do what they say they’re going to do. They don’t perform and then they find excuses on why they didn’t perform. There’s only a handful of guys in history that I know that talked and then backed it up. We don’t have a lot of that today. So, it’s okay to not be the loudest talker in the room, but when it’s time to shine, be that guy. Be the hardest worker. And another thing, I want to encourage every fighter in this room – you don’t let anybody beat you before you get in the ring. I don’t care what you say, where you’re from, what your reputation is, it’s a healthy respect you have for an opponent to prepare physically and mentally, you got to have that. But you don’t let anybody – media, broadcasters, fighters, anybody – beat you before you get in the ring. You make them earn it. And if they do it, tip your hat to them and give it credit. But you’re not beating me on reputations. This is the first time this team has met a team where that stuff isn’t working. You beat me, you’re going to earn it.

 

“I hope he’s the best he can be. I hope he makes the adjustments he’s supposed to make. We’re going to get ready. We’re not taking it for granted. That’s what big rematches and big fights are all about. I want the best Sergey. I want his team to be focused. I want him to be focused and I know my team is going to be focused. Let’s see what happens. The question I have for him and his team is, with all that loud talking, who are y’all trying to convince? Me or him?”

 

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

 

“The other side is saying I have to prove a lot, I have to show a lot. I don’t need to prove or show anything. I showed and proved everything on November 19. Anybody who hasn’t seen that or doesn’t think that, you’re going to see it on June 17. This is what I promise and this is what I’m going to do. The ones who think about Andre Ward’s victory, you can still pray for him because I’m going to show it on June 17. He got those belts somehow. I think June 17 is going to be the day everybody’s going to see the way it’s supposed to be.”

 

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

 

“Hello Oakland! We are so happy to be here today. Today is a truly special day for this community, for this city. Oakland is synonymous with hard work, toughness, loyalty and pride. Today the native son returns. A man who represents all of those characteristics will stand before you, and unlike many in the professional sports world, Andre Ward is here to fight for Oakland! The best boxer in the world, the face of his sport, the hero and icon of this historic town – he fights for you. He did so last November, when he staged an epic comeback against dangerous Sergey Kovalev, and emerged victorious. After Andre’s win, there was a lot of talk, a lot of debate, a lot of speculation, a lot of excuses. But Oakland doesn’t make excuses, Oakland doesn’t talk, Oakland acts.

 

“In one of his latest posts, Sergey said Andre ‘slaps like woman’. Grammatical issues aside, on behalf of all the strong Oakland women in the audience today I’d like to say ‘thank you Sergey for the compliment’. As someone who has spent the better part of the past three decades promoting sports and entertainment events, I’ll give Sergey a lot of credit – he had some great soundbites in New York yesterday. He said ‘Andre wears a crown’. Actually Sergey, they are belts, you should know, I think a couple of them used to be yours. He said he dislikes Andre – which brings the number of people here in Oakland today that dislike Andre up to a total of two: you and Kathy. But in all seriousness, the stakes could not be higher for this rematch and when Sergey says Andre ‘will not show up for this fight,’ that tells me he hasn’t done his research. Andre has built his career on shining brightest in the biggest moments. June 17 is the biggest of moments – more than just wins and championship belts, this fight will ultimately dictate the fate of each fighter’s legacy.

 

“This is the type of fight that is decided by pride, guts, toughness, overcoming adversity, and who just wants it more. For Andre Ward, being raised by the city of Oakland is his ultimate advantage. He was born with incredible talent and ability, but Oakland gave him his toughness, his pride and his uncanny ability to stare down any challenge, and dominate it. June 17 will be no different – at the end of the night there will be only one champion, and there will be no excuses.”

 

Kathy Duva – CEO of Main Events

 

“If Andre Ward is half as tough in the ring as his promoter talks, I suppose Sergey may have his hands full. But we are coming to Las Vegas in June and Sergey has one goal in mind and that is to make sure that the winner actually wins the fight this time.

 

“Sergey Kovalev is probably the biggest perfectionist I’ve ever met. I’ve seen him walk away from fights that he knocked his opponent out in two rounds, and then apologize for his performance. Everybody keeps talking about excuses on the other side, and nobody’s making any. He is blaming himself, he has apologized to his fans for not making that win emphatic enough so that people could not take it from him because, with all the respect in the world to Andre Ward, he didn’t win Sergey’s belts they were taken from Sergey.”

 

James Prince – Manager of Andre Ward

 

“We’re excited about June 17, as we were the past year when we took care of Goliath over here. We know what we had to do with them, and now June 17 is right around the corner. I don’t know if Sergio’s manager repeated everything that Sergio was saying. It seemed to be a disconnection going on. I don’t know if he wanted to say what he was saying. I think they’re confused today as they’re going to be on June 17 in the ring when he sees he can’t accomplish the things he wants to accomplish.

 

“I said it to him yesterday and I’ll reiterate it today. For some reason, I get the feeling that he thinks somebody is scared of him. Bullies think that way. He feels like he can say things and impose fear in men of God’s heart. I told him men of God, we don’t fear nothing because we know no weapon formed against us shall prosper. I know Andre Ward doesn’t need any help with him, with the threats he’s making and feeling like he wants to hit Andre Ward in his head. A word to the wise, to all that’s listening – do what you got to do in the ring, because you’re in a place that’s called town business. We don’t play those kinds of games outside of the ring. Let’s stay focused and attempt to try and hit him in the head in the ring, because you’re going to have problems with that. But you’ll have real big problems outside of the ring.

 

“Andre Ward’s team means something to him. When we speak, our words carry value. For you to get up here and act like what we’re saying doesn’t mean anything, maybe that’s how it goes on in Russia but in the United States of America we put value in what we say. Once again, the United States of America shall be victorious on June 17, and no weapons formed against us shall prosper.”

 

Egis Klimas – Manager of Sergey Kovalev

 

“Talking is very, very cheap. Trust me, I’ve been in this business for a while, and I’ve seen it many times. Managers, trainers, promoters coming in and talking a lot of shit into the microphone. But then it comes to the night, these are the two men that are going to go in the ring, and they’re going to fight. Nothing to do with the promotion, nothing to do with the manager, nothing to do with the trainers. Trainers might be giving them the advice, but these two guys are going to survive.

 

“You can’t lie to the people’s eyes with what they saw on November 19. I’m not going to talk about it. I’m not going to go there because it’s already history. Forget about it. I want everybody to see who’s going to be coming to Vegas on June 17, what is going to happen. I want to thank everybody who’s involved in this fight and putting it together, HBO Pay-Per-View. I want to thank as always the media because without you guys nobody will know what happened here.”

 

Virgil Hunter – Trainer of Andre Ward

 

“It’s a good fight coming June 17 against the most dangerous and most feared light heavyweight in the world, Sergey Kovalev against a lucky victorious man in Andre Ward. So, I guess this fight here will pretty much settle it. I think if you look at the realistic facts of it all, I think only Sergey’s been in the media talking. I think Mr. Klimas should understand that we haven’t said a word. The other side has talked about ending people’s careers to knocking you out to insulting God almighty. All that’s coming from this side so we understand what goes on and I think it’s a lot of doubt, it’s a lot of anger. I don’t see Coach Jackson here today and to be honest I don’t expect to see him June 17 because you got to put the blame somewhere.

 

“I’m looking for a real good fight. Sergey Kovalev is definitely not underestimated. I don’t have a problem saying that before we fought I was a fan of his. I’m still a fan of his. I just won’t be a fan of his on June 17. This is not me blowing smoke. I admire his skill. I always knew that if we came across each other that it was going to be a tough fight, difficult fight, and a fight of attrition. And I expect the same thing June 17.

 

“I think Andre said it best when he said somebody’s will was going to be broke in that fight. But it would be nice to go into that without biting the hand that fed you. Everybody’s an expert from the reporters to the announcers when it comes to judging a fight. All of a sudden, they were all wrong that night. So, I think that’s an insult to what goes on in boxing. I think it wasn’t right. I think it was wrong particularly since HBO has built Sergey into the star that he rightfully is. Like I said before and I’ll say today, I’ll challenge anybody to sit with me and show me where he won the fight. He fought a hell of a fight because he’s a hell of a fighter, but he didn’t win the fight.

 

“So, I guess all of the answers will be answered June 17. My advice is relax, don’t be uptight. You can’t drink year in and year out and expect at some point for it not to catch up to you and I would bet money that if we could go internally and see inside that that’s one of the causes that’s causing him to get fatigued now. It’s not the overtraining, it’s not this and it’s not that. It’s just guys are standing up and going 12 rounds now. But you can’t drink vodka year in and year out and expect on fight night to fight somebody like Andre.”

 

Tony Walker – Vice President, HBO Pay-Per-View

 

“On behalf of my Executive Vice President Peter Nelson and the rest of the staff at HBO I’d like to thank everybody for coming out to talk some big-time boxing today. First, I want to thank Michael and Kathy and their staff at Roc Nation and Main Events.It’s not easy putting big time fights together no matter how much everybody wants it – and the fighters wanted it. The promoters worked and we have here June 17 one of the biggest sporting events of the year.

 

“I would also like to thank, as Michael did, the community of Oakland. This has always been a boxing city. We have great viewership numbers from Oakland and the entire Bay Area no matter who seems to fight. So, we appreciate the support – we love the support you give Andre. A great home-grown guy in every way and we know that we’re going to do some big business here in the Oakland area and throughout the Bay Area for the fight.

 

“I would just like to say that the fight will be distributed by all the usual distributors, the cable, the satellite and telephone companies and I guarantee you a good picture, great sound, and a great broadcast that night for the suggested retail price of $54.95. We think we have the best broadcast team in the business and its going to be a fun night to gather friends and the family for a great sporting event.

 

“I would just say that when a lot is on the line, as there is in this fight, there’s drama – and there’s no better TV then when drama is involved. So, thank you very much and we hope if we don’t see you in Las Vegas hopefully you’ll get a chance to watch it on HBO Pay-Per-View.”

 

 

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.

 

Follow the conversation using #WardKovalev. Follow us:

 

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www.throneboxing.com @RocNation @RocNationSports /RocNation /RocNation
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ANDRE WARD VS. SERGEY KOVALEV 2: “THE REMATCH” PRESALE ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12 TICKETS GO ON SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 14

 

 

 

NEW YORK PRESS CONFERENCE

VIDEO, PHOTOS AND QUOTES

 

 

Click HERE for Photos

Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Khristopher Sandifer

 cid:image002.jpg@01D2B22F.4BB38930

Click HERE for Video

Video Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Main Events

 

NEW YORK, NY (April 10, 2017) – 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.

 

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.

 

Follow the conversation using #WardKovalev. Follow us:

 

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www.mainevents.com @Main_Events @Main_Events /MainEventsBoxing /MEBoxingSeries
www.insidehboboxing.com @HBOboxing @HBOboxing /HBOboxing /HBOSports
www.mandalyabay.com @MandalayBay @MandalayBay /MandalayBay  

 

ANDRE WARD VS. SERGEY KOVALEV II “NO EXCUSES” SET FOR SATURDAY, JUNE 17 AT MANDALAY BAY EVENTS CENTER IN LAS VEGAS

PRESENTED LIVE BY HBO PAY-PER-VIEW®

 

NEW YORK, NY (April 4, 2017) – Roc Nation Sports, Main Events, Andre Ward Promotions and Krusher Promotions are pleased to announce the highly anticipated rematch between the unified Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, Andre “SOG” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) and former title holder Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs). Ward vs. Kovalev II “No Excuses” 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.

 

Team Ward and Team Kovalev will partake in a three-city press tour the week of April 10 to officially announce the fight, including New York City, the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Further details will be available in the coming days.

 

“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,” said Ward.

 

“I’m glad to know that rematch will happen. I really hope that Andre Ward will get into the ring for this rematch. Fans of boxing will see the real Krusher–the one they have missed for couple of my last fights. For me this rematch is very important as no other bout in my entire boxing career. Thanks a lot to all of boxing fans,” said Kovalev.

 

“Roc Nation Sports is proud to be the lead promoter behind a boxing rematch for the ages,” said Michael Yormark, Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy. “Last November, Andre showed the world he was boxing’s best. No doubt he will build upon his legacy come June 17 in another historic night. There’s no excuses, the rematch is on.”

 

“After the last fight, we are preparing for another unbelievable experience. Can’t wait for the bell to ring! This is sure to be another nail-biting roller coaster ride,” said Kathy Duva, CEO, Main Events. “This is the only fight that Sergey wants right now and he refused to settle for anything less than the chance to get his belts back. I’m told that Roc Nation and Andre Ward have lots of great ideas for the promotion and we can’t wait to see them in action!”

 

“After a razor thin decision last November in their first meeting, the boxing community has been eagerly waiting for a Ward-Kovalev rematch,” said Tony Walker, Vice President, HBO Pay-Per-View. “These are two world class prizefighters who embrace being on the sport’s biggest stage. Like Andre and Sergey, we can’t wait for June 17th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.”

 

“This spectacular rematch of pound-for-pound champions will be a ‘can’t-miss’ fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center,” said Richard Sturm, President of Entertainment and Sports for MGM Resorts International.  “We look forward to working with both Roc Nation Sports and Main Events once again on this championship event which should be one of the most thrilling fights of 2017.”

 

Known for his strong character and integrity outside the ring and his warrior’s instinct inside it, 33-year-old Andre Ward’s skill and talent were apparent early in his outstanding amateur career. He racked up every title in the books, culminating in a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. As the only male American boxer to claim Olympic gold in the past decade, Ward joined the likes of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya. He turned professional on December 18, 2004, scoring a second round technical knockout victory over Chris Molina at Staples Center in a fight that was televised live on HBO. He has gone on to rack up an undefeated record since then, building an ever-growing legion of fans in the process. After becoming the Ring Magazine and WBA Super Middleweight World Champion, rising to the number two spot on the pound-for-pound list and winning the 2011 Fighter of the Year Award (ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Ring Magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America), it was announced that Ward signed an exclusive promotional agreement with Roc Nation Sports in January 2015, opening a new chapter in his storied boxing career. Ward returned to the ring on June 20, 2015 at the Oracle Arena in front of his hometown fans in Oakland, California and scored a ninth-round knockout over Paul Smith. On March 26, 2016, Ward made his highly publicized 175-pound debut against Cuba’s undefeated and IBF number one rated light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera and came out victorious. Ward continued his conquest of the light heavyweight division on August 6, 2016, with a unanimous decision over Alexander Brand. Immediately following the win, Ward announced that he will be taking on unified Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev in the ultimate showdown for division supremacy and recognition as the best pound-for-pound fighter. In the most anticipated fight of 2016 on November 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Ward would prove to the world his dominance as one of boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighters by becoming the unified World Light Heavyweight Champion with a unanimous decision win over Kovalev, the reigning WBA, IBF and WBO titleholder.

 

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, the Russian Wrecking Ball, 34, is currently ranked #2 Pound-for-Pound by Ring Magazine and has been dominating boxing’s light heavyweight division with his aggressive, fan-friendly style since his breakout performance against then-unbeaten Nathan Cleverly in 2013 when he won the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title. One year after winning his WBO title Sergey went on to defeat future Hall-of-Famer Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins in a 12-round unanimous decision victory to add the WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Titles to his mantle. His rise to boxing stardom has been meteoric, as he has gone from an unknown fighter from Chelyabinsk, Russia to headlining HBO Pay-Per-View in just four years after signing with his first promoter, Main Events. In his last fight, Kovalev went the distance against former two-time world champion Andre “SOG” Ward. The bout ended in a highly-contested unanimous decision against Sergey even though Kovalev managed to knock down Ward and many thought the cards should have gone in his favor. Out of Kovalev’s 30 career victories 26 have come by way of knockout. Additionally, he has entered into championship rounds only three times in his professional career. Kovalev has always sought to test himself against the best boxing has to offer; he wants to prove in the ring that he deserves that mantle.

 

Ward vs. Kovalev II “No Excuses, a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight championships, is presented by Roc Nation Sports, Main Events, Andre Ward Promotions, Krusher Promotions and Corona Extra, and is sponsored by 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.

 

Follow the conversation using #WardKovalev.

Artur Beterbiev vs. Sullivan Barrera IBF LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT ELIMINATION BOUT April 21 in MIAMI

 

MONTRÉAL (February 17, 2017)It’s official: Montreal’s Artur Beterbiev(IBF #2 – 11-0-0, 11 KOs) will be in the most important fight of his career, against Cuban-born Sullivan Barrera(IBF #7 – 18-1-0, 13 KOs), for the mandatory challenger position for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heayvweight world title, held by American Andre Ward (31-0-0, 15 KOs). The Beterbiev vs. Barrera clash will take place April 21 in Miami, Florida.
 
“It is with great pride and confidence that we go into this fight in Miami,” Beterbiev’s promoter Yvon Michel(Groupe Yvon Michel).  “In order for Beterbiev to receive maximum credibility, he needs to demonstrate that he can perform anywhere in the world.  Because Sullivan Barrera, the only top-rated contender to accept the challenge to face Artur, could not cross the Canadian border, we agreed to have this fight take place in the United States.
 
“We are convinced that the many Quebecers who still live in Florida, at this time, will come to support Artur, who has made Quebec the adopted home for him and his young family.”
 
The Beterbiev-Barrera winner will become the mandatory challenger for the IBF light heavyweight champion, who will have until September, at the latest, to face the winner.]GYM won the IBF-ordered purse bid Feb. 2 (2017), winning with a $201,000 (USD) bid to $181,000 for Barrera’s promoter, Main Events. Due to the 75-25 percentage advantage going to the highest ranked fighter, Beterview will earn $188,250 to $62,750 for Barrera.
Ward won the IBF, WBA and WBO light heavyweight titles with a 12-round unanimous decision win over Sergey Kovalev, November 19, 2017, in Las Vegas.
Beterbiev was impressive in his most recent outing, last December 23 at the Lac Leamy Casino in Gatineau, stopping Paraguayan slugger Isidro Ranoni Prieto (26-1-3) in opening round (2:44).

Barrera also displayed tremendous skills during his most recent performance, this poast Dec. 16 in California, shattering the previously undefeated Vyacheslav Shabrankyy (17-0-0), of Ukraine, with a spectacular TKO victory in the seventh round.
More details about Beterbiev vs. Barrera will be announced in the coming days.

FNU Combat Sports Show: Miesha’s FU to Dana White, GSP and the Giant Fighters Union, Conor Being Conor and Ward vs. Kovalev recap

This week on the FNU Combat Sports Show we discuss a fantastic month of November as far as fighting goes. We only had two shows last month, so we kick off this week in catch up mode. We discuss Ward vs. Kovalev at length, go off on a few tangents and then get to Tony’s review of “Bleed For This.”  We then go back to MMA for Rich’s commentary on Miesha Tate telling Dana White, “FU, you’re not my boss..” after his request that she go to the hospital after her fight with Raquel Pennington. Tate retired earlier in the evening after a stellar career. Rich also gets going about the fighter union front and some new developments with Georges St. Pierre, Ex-Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, Cain Velasquez, T.J. Dillashaw and other UFC notables breaking new ground in the niche with the founding of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association.  We also manage to preview the upcoming weekend’s boxing schedule before the end of the broadcast tonight.

Part One:

 

Part Two:

SERGEY KOVALEV VS. ANDRE WARD OFFICIAL WEIGH-IN VIDEO, QUOTES & PHOTOS

 

 

 

KOVALEV-WARD “POUND FOR POUND”

SET FOR SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19

AT T-MOBILE ARENA IN LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

PRESENTED LIVE BY HBO PAY-PER-VIEW®

 

 

Click HERE for Photos

Photo Credit: Main Events/David Spagnolo

 

Click HERE for Photos

Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos

 

Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward Official Weigh-In (Click to Watch)

 

LAS VEGAS, NV (November 19, 2016) – In front of a packed crowd at MGM Grand Garden Arena, WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) and Two-Time World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) faced off at the official weigh-in ahead of their ultimate showdown on Saturday, Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joining them at the public event were all of the undercard fighters.

 

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, Corona Extra, Monster Products, JetLux, Zappos, Jordan Brand and Shoe Palace. 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. Tickets are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.

FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO, QUOTES & PHOTOS   KOVALEV-WARD “POUND FOR POUND” SET FOR SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 AT T-MOBILE ARENA IN LAS VEGAS, NEVADA PRESENTED LIVE BY HBO PAY-PER-VIEW®

  

Click HERE for Photos

Photo Credit: Main Events/David Spagnolo

 

Click HERE for Photos

Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos

 

Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward Final Press Conference (Click to Watch)

 

LAS VEGAS, NV (November 18, 2016) – On Thursday, Nov. 17, WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) and Two-Time World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) participated in the final press conference for their Nov. 19 “Pound For Pound” showdown at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The final press conference was hosted by renowned ring announcer Michael Buffer. 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.

 

Below is what the fighters, promoters and other dais guests had to say at the final press conference:

 

Sergey Kovalev, WBO, WBA & IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion:

 

“Hi everybody, I am very glad to be here. It is very nice. Maybe like two, three years ago, I can never imagine that I can get this level and fight Andre Ward, undefeated boxer and Olympic Gold Medalist. I have very big respect for him, for his success in the pro and amateur career. It is really great success but now we are facing each other and I should prove that I am better. Thanks a lot to HBO and personally to Peter Nelson, my promoter Kathy Duva and Main Events promotions, Egis Klimas and to my sponsor Hublot. I really hope that our fight will be very clear and honest. I am very excited for this fight and a little nervous because I never was on this level. HBO Pay-Per-View is the highest level in pro boxing and I am very happy to be here. Welcome to the TV screens on Nov. 19 and T-Mobile Arena where you will see very great fight. Thank you very much.”

 

Andre Ward, Two-Time World Champion:

 

“I want to thank everyone who is here today – the media, all my sponsors, MGM Grand, the great team that put this fight together and HBO. I was off to the side trying to mind my own business when Kathy Duva woke me up. She started talking, I don’t know why she keeps doing that, but it’s interesting that the ones that are not getting in that ring are the ones that are doing the most talking. They’re not feeling those punches, so she can keep doing what she’s doing. I love it, that’s what a big promotion is all about, what a big fight is all about; we’re not supposed to like each other. His side has been doing a lot of talking, and that’s fine, we love it. It’s not our first rodeo, we’ve been down this road before. We don’t always respond right away. Sometimes our silence is misinterpreted as us not getting it. We watch, we take notes, but in the meantime we keep working and we produce come fight night. That’s what we specialize in. So all the talking is great, I love it, but know one thing – I’m not taking no mess come Saturday night. Ima be there. Thank you very much”.

 

Kathy Duva, CEO, Main Events:

 

“Welcome everyone to the best, most significant and most anticipated fight of the year. Main Events’ journey with Sergey Kovalev began just four years ago. In the Fall of 2012, he made his first appearance in a U.S. televised co-feature on NBCSN. It was the first time he was ever on television in the United States. At the time, he told me he had three goals: 1. win title, 2. unify title, 3. become Pay-Per-View fighter. He made it very clear that this is what he wanted and that he would win fights. He made his first appearance on HBO less than a year later when he won the WBO title. His first appearance on HBO happened less than a year later, and he’s fought on HBO nine times in three years and now his first Pay-Per-View is finally here. I’m bringing this up now because there’s a storyline out there about what a shame it is that this fight isn’t as big as Mayweather-Pacquiao. As I tend to do when I try and solve problems, I did some research to try and gain some perspective. Floyd Mayweather fought on HBO nine times just like Sergey, and of course the four-year period where he headlined his first HBO PPV versus Arturo Gatti in June of 2005, Gatti was the big draw of that fight. Manny Pacquiao fought on HBO for two years before headlining his first HBO gig in January of 2005 with Eric Morales. Those events sold in hundreds of thousands of buys, it wasn’t until Floyd and Manny got the opportunity to defeat the already well-established superstar Oscar De La Hoya that they reached that million buy benchmark. They fought on parallel paths for 10 years on PPV to get to the place where they arrived last year, and that of course is where every fighter wants to be and that is where Kovalev and Ward want to go. And so they have to start somewhere. The fact that Manny’s first PPV opponent Morales had been on PPV before and had already attained legendary status with his trilogy with Mickey Ward and was well known to casual sports fans.

 

“Very few fighters ever get the chance to fight consistently in the rarified world of Pay-Per-View, and those are typically the same fighters who get to earn pound for pound status in the ring. In the past few months, I have watched Sergey work so far to promote this spectacular event. Sergey has shown me he has the chops to be the kind of star that has that rare ability to connect with each and every one of his fans, make new ones every time he’s out, and works very hard to convince them he’s worth paying to see. His boxing ability, his concussive punching power, his electrifying presence in the ring.

 

“Among Sergey’s goals, one that I added in was to be a big fighter in Las Vegas, so this is big. This is huge, we are so happy. I want to thank Bob Bennett of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, it’s such a pleasure to work with such professional people and you make our job a whole lot easier. I want to thank all of our sponsors. Finally, want to thank all of you for being here, and I just can’t wait until the bell rings.

 

“Our co-featured fight is NABF light heavyweight champion Alexander “The Nail” Roddick, who’s undefeated and making a lot of noise in the light heavyweight division, he’s from Ukraine. He’s going to be fighting Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba, who’s originally from Malawi and fighting out of Johannesburg, South Africa. They’re going to take part in a ten-round light heavyweight fight. A true crossroad-fight where I honestly have no idea who’s going to win. Obviously, Main Events is with Isaac, who put up a tremendous fight against Sergey a few months ago, I think he simply never gets the credit he deserves. He is quite possibly the second-best light heavyweight in the world, and I know Isaac has his eyes on coming back strong and impressing everyone Saturday night.

 

“Also opening the televised undercard, WBA continental middleweight champion, Curtis “The Cerebral Assassin” Stephens of Brownsville, Brooklyn. One of the most fun fighters in the whole business. Curtis, you brighten up our day, every day. He’s going to be facing James “The King” De La Rosa, 23-4 of San Benito, Texas in a ten-round middleweight bout. This has all the earmarks of a train wreck, but Curtis has his sight set on bigger and better things and I know he and James are going to be working very hard to impress because the middleweight division is hot, and there’s a lot of opportunity there.

 

“I don’t think I have to tell anybody in this room why this is a great fight or why you should be interested in it or why you should want to see it. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t already know that but we do need you to go out and carry the word out to the rest of the world. This is the fight that you bring your friend over, the one who likes boxing a little bit but isn’t sure. This is the fight that you tell your friend, the one who says MMA is better than boxing. Get them to come over your house to see this one because Kovalev-Ward is going to make big fans out of a lot of people, Saturday night, and I’m looking forward to that and seeing all of you there.”

 

Michael Yormark, Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy:

 

“Honesty is the best policy. So I’m going to start this off with a giant dose of honesty. For the next 48 hours, you’re probably going to hear a lot of respect and admiration between these two undefeated fighters. The simple fact is, we are just two days away from the biggest fight of the year, and I don’t expect them to admire one another. But who can blame them? The only thing standing between an undefeated record and boxing immortality is each other. That adds a layer of distaste and a very sharp edge to a fight that is already set to be an absolute classic. My perspective on this fight is pretty simple. Saturday night is going to be a tough night for Sergey, when he is systematically picked apart by the world’s best pound for pound boxer, Andre Ward.

 

“I’ve known Andre for quite a few years, and I’ve never seen him more focused, more determined, more motivated and more prepared for the biggest fight in his career. These moments are the ones that generational athletes live for and they dream about. This is an opportunity to make history, to write the latest chapter in Andre’s legend, and frankly, close the book on Sergey’s. Make no mistake about it, Team Ward has come to Vegas to win, and to walk out of Sin City with three—I repeat, three—new championship belts. Boxing needs a fight like this, two undefeated fighters in their prime. Edges sharpened by natural competitiveness, as well as an utter dislike. Fighting on the world’s biggest stage at T-Mobile Arena, and on HBO Pay-Per-View. It doesn’t get any better or bigger. Epic is the only word to describe it, and as a life-long boxing fan, I am thrilled to be a first-hand witness.

 

“I’d like to recognize the official fight partners we have secured for this event. Our presenting partner Corona as well as Monster Products, JetLux, Zappos, Jordan Brand and Shoe Palace. I’d also like to thank Andre’s fighting partners, including ProSupps and Lyft, Monster Products, BODYARMOUR and JetLux, as well as his long-standing partners Jordan Brand, POWERHANDZ and Shoe Palace. This support and the support from fans and media is a stark recognition of Andre as a true once-in-a-generation-athlete. His skill is matched only by his commitment to family and community. His competitiveness equal only by his charisma. At Roc Nation, we are honored to represent this man, an Olympic gold medalist, undefeated since he was 13 years old, the pride of Oakland, and of course, the next light heavyweight champion of the world.

 

“While our main event looks to be a fight for the ages, it is a deep and talented undercard that will make Saturday’s event a truly special one. Roc Nation is proud to work with a number of talented fighters on the card, starting with Dallas-native Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker, who is putting his undefeated record and NABO Junior Welterweight title on the line against Darleys Perez on HBO Pay-Per-View. We will also feature rising heavyweight superstar Darmani “Rock Solid” Rock of Philadelphia, as he looks to improve to 6-0 against Brice Ritani-Coe during his Las Vegas debut. Opening up the freeview telecast on the Pay-Per-View events channel prior to the official telecast, will be an eight-round junior welterweight bout featuring undefeated rising prospect Sonny “Pretty Boi” Frederickson of Toledo, Ohio. The freeview will also be available through live streaming on HBO Boxing’s YouTube channel. Frederickson will take on Gabriel Deluc of Boston, Massachusetts. Another Toledo, Ohio native, with an unblemished record, Tyler “Golden Child” McCreary will go toe-to-toe with Vincent “Pooh Bear” Jennings of Grand Rapids, Michigan in an eight-round featherweight bout. Fans will be able to catch the matchup on the freeview portion of Kovalev-Ward as well. Meanwhile, National hero and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields will make her much anticipated professional debut on the freeview broadcast. She will be taking on longtime rival Franchon Crews who will also be making her pro debut in a four-round middleweight bout. Simply put, boxing fans are in for a treat on Saturday evening and we are ecstatic to be a part of it.

 

“We’ve heard a lot of honesty today. But clearly Saturday is going to be an epic night. Kovalev-Ward is without a doubt going to be the fight of the year in boxing, we all know that. Roc Nation is proud to be a part of it, it’s in our DNA to promote big global events, and we are honored after working on this fight for the better part of last year, we have finally arrived at the moment of truth. There are a lot of organizations and people that have helped this event, and I’d like to thank all of them. First and foremost, Team Ward, including James Prince, Josh Dubin and Virgil Hunter. Peter Nelson and Tony Walker from HBO for bringing this fight to a global audience. Richard Sturm and Sid Greenfeig from MGM, as well as T-Mobile Arena GM Dan Quinn for hosting this event at a world class facility. Kathy Duva and her team at Main Events, who have been our partners on this fight from the very beginning. Last but certainly not least, the city of Las Vegas, the spiritual home of the biggest events in boxing, and the rightful setting for a fight that will change the face of the sport for many years to come.”

 

John David Jackson, Trainer of Sergey Kovalev:

 

“Thank you to all the press for being here. I want to thank two different groups. First, I want to thank Main Events promotions. These women at Main Events plus my man, Joe Rotonda, are truly some of the greatest people in the world. If you want to find a promotional company that will treat you fairly to all fighters and across the board and give you what you deserve in boxing, then go see them. Number two, I would like to thank all the press that is out here at this event. It is truly wonderful to see some of the people who, with their words, can help boxing swim or sink. Your words help a lot. Sometimes you don’t help us as much as we would like to be helped but I am so grateful to see all of you out here because we need this to keep boxing striving. This is a wonderful, beautiful sport that sometimes can get funky but all in all it is a wonderful, beautiful fight. I thank all of you that came out to support and write your words down for this wonderful sport.

 

“One fight does not define a fighter’s career. That last fight for both fighters it is what it truly was: a tune-up. They did what they were supposed to do. They both won convincingly in order to make this fight happen here. I don’t remember what reporter asked that but that is the answer to your question. One fight does not define a fighter’s career.

 

“Some of the things I say are to get into someone’s head but what it boils down to is that I do respect these people; they are very good people. The whole team is very good. They are very professional. To answer [Virgil’s] question which was a two-part question. He said in the last fight I was there for a week. I would love to tell you that wherever you got your information from was bad information. I was there longer than two weeks or three weeks. Whoever said I was there for a week I am glad they said that. It makes it look like we are a bad team. I love that. To answer your questions about the cohesiveness of our team, whatever goes on in camp, whatever disagreements that we may have or people say we have, I want you to remember this, all the writers out here, come fight night we will leave the same way that we came in – undefeated. Sergey wins every fight. He wins the way he is supposed to win and he did everything that I asked of him. With that said, I look forward to Nov. 19 and I will see you all there. Thank you very much.”

 

Egis Klimas, Manager of Sergey Kovalev:

 

“Thank you everybody for being here. Media, without you nobody will know where we’re going or what we’re doing, so thank you very much. Wanted to thank our promoter Main Events, Kathy Duva did a very good job bringing us to this stage to this very big fight. MGM Grand, very good host, thank you very much. HBO Pay-Per-View has brought the whole audience in America. I hope I didn’t miss anyone else. Of course I’m very, very proud to represent one of the best fighters in the world and hopefully, we’re going to see that Saturday night, who’s the pound for pound boxer. I hate when trainers, managers, promoters start talking about how it’s going to beat each other because they aren’t the ones stepping the in the ring. None of the promoters, trainers or managers can understand what’s going to happen in the ring. It’s only two warriors who will be in the ring. We have two best light heavyweight fighters in the world who are going to show on Saturday night who is the best pound-for-pound fighter. I hope it’s the best show that we’ve seen in years. Thank you very much”.

 

Virgil Hunter, Trainer of Andre Ward:

 

“I’ve been here for many fights and to see the media room filled for this fight, it really makes me feel good. I would like to thank Peter Nelson, the team at HBO, my Rap-A-Lot family, Richard Sturm and MGM. I would also like to thank the press, no matter who you choose to win.

 

“I turned 63, last Wednesday, and it’s no secret that I’ve worked with youths, all of my professional career. It does have an emotional effect on me when it comes to young men. Watching HBO’s My Fight touched me deeply. My heart goes out to Sergey Kovalev and everybody now knows Andre Ward’s background.

 

“I believe it’s going to be a great fight. I believe that Kovalev is everything that they say he is. He is a dangerous opponent; he’s coming intended to win. We’ve seen him do things to opponents that when they step into the ring, they shiver. Now, it’s just up to us to dilute that situation. I’m looking forward to Nov.

19.

 

“I would encourage all promoters to treat your fighters fairly, don’t hoodwink them. Don’t keep them robots. Encourage them and teach them how to be businessmen. If you have a champion, he deserves a champion’s ration.”

 

James Prince, Manager of Andre Ward:

 

“I’d like to thank God for this opportunity. HBO, the commitment and sacrifices that they made to bring this fight to us. MGM Grand and Richard Sturm. We appreciate Roc Nation, our promoter – JAY Z, all those in the background supporting Michael Yormark, who has been on the line of duty doing a great job. Antonio Leonard is in the house, we appreciate you Tony and all that you do. The list goes on and on. I feel really grateful for this opportunity, and I speak on behalf of Team Ward. We’ve been looking forward to this day, it’s here, and I’m going to deal with the elephant in the room: this is Russia vs. the United States of America. In my opinion, the best of Russia can’t beat the best of the United States of America in anything. I just needed that to be said. We have a Russian fighter over here, Kovalev; we respect your fight game, you’re a great fighter. You remind me of Goliath. We have my man Andre Ward, whom I consider David. I don’t know if you all understand David and Goliath but that’s what we’re dealing with here. Come Saturday night, we’re going to have an opportunity to see the modern-day David, which is Andre Ward, defeat Goliath. I mentioned this at the last press conference in New York, and Ms. Duva said to me that Andre Ward doesn’t have a sword. But she missed the real substance of the story, she missed the learning on David. His obedience and all of these different spiritual realms where David was concerned. He’s fixing to fight the S.O.G, that’s the Son of God, if you all didn’t know, that’s Andre Ward. So, no, we don’t have a sword, and we can’t cut his head off and raise it up as David did, but Andre Ward is going to raise the belt up come Saturday night.”

 

Bob Bennett, Nevada State Athletic Commission:

 

“It’s unequivocally a pleasure and an honor for the Nevada State Athletic Commission to regulate this very sensational championship fight. This event should be second to none. You should know we take our job very seriously, and we’ve done our homework and we’re ready to go to work. At this time, we would like to thank Kathy Duva and Main Events, and Michael Yormark from Roc Nation for having this electric championship fight in the fight capital of the world. We’d also like to recognize Richard Sturm and the MGM for hosting this event at the T-Mobile and HBO for broadcasting the event, and for the shows leading up to the event, which have definitely been entertaining and interesting. Last but not least, we want to recognize and thank the warriors, all the fighters, because without them, none of us would be here.”

 

Richard Sturm, President of Entertainment and Sports, MGM Resorts International:

 

“We are thrilled to once again host an international championship at the T-Mobile Arena. This weekend, we close our company’s boxing calendar as Russian Sergey Kovalev battles American Andre Ward. We look forward to this matchup of these two undefeated fighters. Kovalev returns to Las Vegas following his 2015 knockout win over Nadjib Mohammedi while Andre Ward and his team make their Las Vegas debut. As we have seen over the last seven months, T-Mobile Arena has quickly changed the landscape of entertainment and sports in Las Vegas, and we look forward to continuing that tradition. We’d like to give a special thanks to Kathy Duva and Main Events Team, and Michael Yormark and the Roc Nation staff. Both fight camps, Tony Walker with HBO Pay-Per-View and Bob Bennett of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.”

 

 

Tony Walker, Vice President, HBO Pay-Per- View:

 

“Thank you all for coming out today to talk about the great sport of boxing. I’d like to thank Roc Nation and Main Events and their staffs for putting together such a great main event, and also a fantastic undercard that we will televise on Saturday night. The wonderful thing about the main event is that it’s been a very, very long time since two elite fighters have made their Pay-Per-View debut against each other. Credit to Andre and Sergey for coming together and making this a big time event. All of the elements are there for it to be a big fight. Both fighters have applied their trade over several years fighting everyone who got in their way. Winning, their undefeated, all the pride in the world, and most importantly, the outcome is in doubt. Quite diverse group of opinions among you over who’s going to win the fight, and that’s what sells Pay-Per-View. For those of you who have not seen the HBO video pieces that were produced to showcase the fight and the fighters, I would encourage you to go to HBO On Demand, HBO GO or HBO.com and check out those shows. They’re provocative entertainment and I think they’re going to get you all primed for Saturday night. This month in November, there have been several high profile Pay-Per-View shows, and I have to give thanks to our distributors on the cable TV, satellite, Telco side, who have promoted this Pay-Per-View show and given us a great presence in the marketplace and really given it its due with all the other stuff going on. We have a great broadcast team on Saturday night, the telecast starts at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. The Pay-Per-View suggested retail price is a very attractive $54.95, and we look forward to seeing you there.”

 

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, Corona Extra, Monster Products, JetLux, Zappos, Jordan Brand and Shoe Palace. 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. Tickets are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.

NABO JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION MAURICE HOOKER & TWO-TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST CLARESSA SHEILDS MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES AND PHOTOS

 

KOVALEV-WARD “POUND FOR POUND” SET FOR SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 AT T-MOBILE ARENA IN LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

 

 

Click HERE for Photos

Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos

 

Las Vegas, NV (November 15, 2016) – NABO Junior Welterweight Champion Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker(21-0-2, 16 KOs) and Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields participated in a media workout in Las Vegas, NV on Monday, Nov. 14, ahead of their undercard appearances on Kovalev-Ward “Pound For Pound” taking place Saturday, Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena.

 

Shields, who will be making her professional debut against American rival Franchon Crews, will be featured on the freeview telecast beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT on the Pay-Per-View events channel prior to the official telecast, and through livestreaming on HBO Boxing’s YouTube channel.

 

Hooker, who will be defending his NABO title against veteran Darleys Perez (33-2-1, 21 KOs), will be featured during the televised undercard leading up to the main event on HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

 

Both fighters put on a display of mitt work, heavy bag, speed bag and shadow boxing for the media in attendance. Below is what the rising stars had to say during the media workout:

 

Maurice Hooker, NABO Junior Welterweight Champion:

 

“Kovalev-Ward is a special event. I’m going to do what I do best and hopefully, steal the crowd. The crowd is going to love me…they love knockouts, and that is what I am ready to give them.

 

“Aaron Pryor is one of the best. He brought a lot of knockouts. He was a great fighter whom a lot of people dodged. Like him, I’m coming into this fight with people dodging me. They are afraid because they don’t know what I can do. This fight means a lot…an opportunity to show them who I am. I am going to bring the knockout just like ‘The Hawk’ would.”

 

“I want to stay busy. I want to fight Ricky Burns and Eduard Troyanovsky and win ‘em belts. Shout out to my big bro Terrance Crawford. He’s doing his thing. Hopefully, he gets a fight with Pacquiao, move up and let me take over.

 

“My prediction for Saturday is a knockout. I love knockouts. I am always going for the knockout. With every punch that I throw, even the jab, I am going to try to take Darleys Perez’s head off.”

 

Claressa Shields, Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist:

“I’ll have been in camp for seven weeks. I’m excited. I’m ready to take on this new task of being a professional fighter and ultimately, winning a belt.

“When deciding to go pro, I thought about my legacy—I didn’t want to disappear for four years, and win another gold medal but have people not know my name or what I look like or how I box.

“Expect to see a really good fight, a very skilled fight from me, this Saturday. The world is going to see a level of boxing that no woman boxer has ever showed before. I’m a smart fighter. I’m an entertaining fighter. I throw everything well and have great combinations.

“Franchon Crews and I have sparred and boxed before in huge tournaments. She’s coming into this fight fully prepared and I’ve been training for a KO. In the amateurs, my overall record was 77-1 but I’ve never KO’d anyone. Now, we have smaller gloves, no headgear and I’m way stronger than I’ve ever been. This is a different kind of pro debut. This should actually be a World Championship fight between me and Franchon Crews but somehow, she took it for a pro debut.

“I love boxing. That’s why I commit my time and body. I look forward to fighting in front of all the fight fans. I have friends, family, fans from all over flying into Vegas just to see me fight, so hopefully I can pack the house before the main event.”

 

Follow Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker on Twitter @mightymohooker, Instagram @mauricemightymohooker and Facebook: www.facebook.com/mauricemightymohooker/.

 

Follow Claressa Shields on Twitter @ClaressaShields, Instagram @ClaressaShields, and Facebook:www.facebook.com/claressa.shields.7.

 

 

 

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, Corona Extra, Zappos and JetLux. 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. Tickets are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.

 

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