Tag Archives: light heavyweight

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.

Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis Stevenson Faces Andrzej Fonfara in Championship Rematch That Headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, Presented by Premier Boxing Champions, Saturday, June 3 Live on SHOWTIME from Bell Centre in Montreal

 
Light Heavyweight Showdown Between Top Contender Eleider Alvarez and Former World Champion Jean Pascal 
Featured as Co-Main Event on SHOWTIME
Tickets on Sale Now! 
MONTREAL (April 21, 2017) – WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson will take-on hard-hitting Polish contender Andrzej Fonfara in a rematch of their 2014 slugfest on Saturday, June 3 in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, live on SHOWTIME from the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Televised coverage will also include a matchup of top light heavyweights as WBC number-one contender Eleider Alvarez (22-0, 11 KOs) faces former world champion Jean Pascal (31-4-1, 18 KOs) with both men looking to get a shot at the winner of the main event next.
Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) and Fonfara (29-4, 17 KOs) battled at Bell Centre on May 24, 2014 as Stevenson was able to survive a knockdown late in the fight to win a decision and defend his belt for the third time. Both men threw huge shots all the way until the final bell and will look to pick up where they left off on June 3.
“I’m very excited for this rematch with Fonfara, but it is going to be a short night for him because they don’t pay me for overtime,” said Stevenson. “I’m very happy to be back in the ring for my first fight of 2017. I can’t wait to fight in front of my hometown fans at the Bell Centre. The first time I fought Fonfara was at the Bell Centre in 2014 and now we’re back doing it for a second time. I will put on a great, exciting show for the fans in my hometown, and for the fans on SHOWTIME.”
“I feel good that I’m back here after three years,” said Fonfara. “I’m ready for revenge. I’m a different fighter physically and mentally. I’ve shown in a couple of fights that I’m a better fighter. It’s a great opportunity to get the rematch and be a world champion. The last fight against Chad Dawson gave me experience because it was very technical. But really all the fights since then – Julio Chavez, Jr., Nathan Cleverly and even Joe Smith – have helped me prepare for Stevenson again. I changed my team, got a new coach and a trainer, which makes me physically and mentally where I need to be for this fight. I don’t have a problem fighting in Montreal. I love Montreal. It’s a beautiful city with beautiful people. It will be a great night of boxing and I’m sure that I will be victorious on the night of June 3.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Group Yvon Michel (GYM) in association with Warriors Boxing, are priced from $80 to $350, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at the Bell Centre box office, on www.evenko.ca, at GYM (514) 383-0666) or at Champion Boxing Club (514) 376-0980.
“This is one of the best shows in Quebec in a long time,” said Yvon Michel, President of GYM. “It’s the kind of event that will inject some adrenaline into boxing in Quebec. We have two fights that could be main events anywhere in the world and on any network. Adonis will defend his title for the eighth time. To be a world champion for four years is exceptional. Fonfara has a style that can give Adonis some problems.’
“In the co-main event we have a former world champion in Pascal who still believes he can be world champion. He will have a tough assignment with Alvarez, a fighter who just proved he belongs with the best in the world with his win over Lucian Bute. If he beats Pascal he will have beaten two of the best stars that Canada has ever produced in back-to-back fights. He will prove to be a threat to anyone in the future.”
“We’re really looking forward to taking on Stevenson at the Bell Centre in Montreal on SHOWTIME,” said Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing, Fonfara’s promoter. “Andrzej was just 26-years-old when they fought last time and it was a big step up for him. We believe he’s now ready to win because he has gained a significant amount of experience in matches with Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., Nathan Cleverly and Chad Dawson. We’re thrilled to be given the opportunity to fight Stevenson for the world title for a second time.”
Stevenson won the world light heavyweight title in June of 2013 in Montreal, via a sensational 76-second, first-round knockout over the then-undisputed king of the division Chad Dawson. The impressive victory earned Stevenson “Knockout of the Year” and “Fighter of the Year” accolades. From there, Stevenson went on to record stoppage victories over Tavoris Cloud and Tony Bellew in addition to the decision over Fonfara. Born in Haiti, but fighting out of Quebec, Stevenson defended his title twice in 2015 before making the seventh defense of his belt in an exciting firefight with Thomas Williams Jr. that ended with a fourth-round knockout for the reigning champion. The lineal 175-pound champion trains out of the late Emanuel Steward’s Kronk Gym with his head trainer Sugar Hill.
Now training in Oakland with Virgil Hunter, Fonfara enters this bout coming off of a 10th-round stoppage victory over former world champion Chad Dawson in March at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The fighter out of Warsaw, Poland bounced back from his defeat to Stevenson with a TKO victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and a decision over Nathan Cleverly in a 2015 Fight of the Year contender. The 29-year-old won his first 13 fights after moving up to light heavyweight in 2010 including wins over Gabriel Campillo, Glen Johnson and Tommy Karpency.
A 2008 Colombian Olympian fighting out of Montreal, Alvarez worked his way into the mandatory position for the WBC title with victories over Isidro Ranoni Prieto and Isaac Chilemba in 2015. He followed those up with wins over Robert Berridge and Norbert Dabrowski before his most recent matchup that saw him deliver a sensation fifth round knockout over former world champion Lucian Bute.
Originally from Haiti, Pascal and his family moved to Canada when he was a child and began boxing at the age of 13. He would eventually become one of the most accomplished fighters from Montreal. Pascal became a world champion in 2009 when he defeated previously unbeaten Adrian Diaconu. He would go on to defend the title three times, including a victory over Chad Dawson. After losing his title to Bernard Hopkins, Pascal has picked up victories over Lucian Bute, Yuniesky Gonzalez and most recently Ricardo Ramallo in addition to two challenges of former unified world champion Sergey Kovalev.
For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @AdonisSuperman, @Andrzej_Fonfara and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOBoxing, www.Facebook.com/barclayscenter.  PBC is sponsored by Corona, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

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.kovalboxer.com @KrusherKovalev @SergeyKrusherKovalev /thekrusher /kovalboxer
www.throneboxing.com @RocNation @RocNationSports /RocNation /RocNation
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www.mandalyabay.com @MandalayBay @MandalayBay /MandalayBay

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:

 

www.andresogward.com @AndreWard @AndreSogWard /AndreSogWard  
www.kovalboxer.com @KrusherKovalev @SergeyKrusherKovalev /thekrusher /kovalboxer
www.throneboxing.com @RocNation @RocNationSports /RocNation /RocNation
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.

ANDRZEJ FONFARA BACK IN THE GYM TRAINING WITH VIRGIL HUNTER, WAITING FOR NEXT CHALLENGE

Photo by Stephanie Trapp
BAY AREA, CA (March 29, 2017) – WBC #7 light-heavyweight contender, Andrzej Fonfara (29-4, 17 KOs), is back in the Bay Area, CA, training with Virgil Hunter.  After scoring a technical knockout in his last fight against former world champion, Chad Dawson(34-5, 19 KOs), Fonfara is ready for the next challenge as he looks to get back into a world title fight.
“I took a few weeks off to rest my body, but now I’m ready to get back in the gym training with Virgil Hunter,” said Fonfara. “I’m making the proper sacrifices, coming to California with no fight date, because I know in this sport your name can be called at any time.”
With a possible date looming, Fonfara feels he’s back on track to fight all top contenders in the light-heavyweight division.
“I’m in a great position being ranked in number seven by the WBC.” Fonfara continued.  “I just want to stay sharp and be ready for any fight that might come my way.  Training with Virgil now is only going to make me a better fighter.  I’ll be ready for anyone that my team puts in front of me.”

Promoter Yvon Michel sets record straight about Cancelled Beterbiev-Barrera IBF title eliminator

Nobody wants to fight undefeated light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev (R)
(Photo by Vincent Ethier)
MONTREAL (March 13, 2017 – Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) president Yvon Michel has responded accordingly to unfounded allegations recently made in the media by Sullivan Barrera about GYM and its undefeated world light heavyweight contender, Artur Beterbiev, to set the record straight regarding the recently announced cancelled Beterbiev-Barrera International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight title eliminator.
“Despite Barrera’s claims,” Michel insisted, “he didn’t sign a contract because he never intended for fight Artur.  In Team Barrera’s letter, he lied and showed his ignorance trying to distract from the facts.
“For the conclusion of this unfortunate saga, the IBF has informed me that it has ruled to ban Barrera from its world rankings, or from participating in one of its sanctioned fights, for the next six months.  I’ve also been informed that, if nobody in the IBF top 10 is available and agrees to fight Artur, the IBF will declare him as its No. 1 mandatory challenger for the winner of the Ward-Kovalev rematch.  Artur will be back in the ring in late April, early May. The mandatory defense for the Ward-Kovalev II winner, or Ward if that fight doesn’t happen, is due in September.”
IBF Light Heavyweight Ratings: Champion – Andre Ward, 1. Unrated, 2. Artur Beterbiev, 3. Sergey Kovalev, 4. Erik Skoglund, 5. Enrico Kolling, 6. SUSPENDED, 7. Oleksandr Gvozdyk, 8. Dominic Bosel , 9. Robert Stieglitz, 10. Trent Broadhurst.
Below, Michel sets the record straight, point-by-point, in terms of the open letter Team Barrera sent to the media.
Michel didn’t negotiate with Barrera’s promoter, Kathy Duva, and asked for it to go to an immediate purse bid.
“Kathy Duva (CEO/Main Events) came to my office the day before the deadline set for Barrera’s acceptance to participate in the IBF title eliminator to speak about the situation.  Our hope was to fight Barrera but because he is prohibited from traveling to Canada, I confirmed our intention with Ms. Duva to accommodate Barrera and leave Canada and make the fight in the United States.  We were in the same position a year ago, when Barrera pulled out of the same title eliminator because he couldn’t get a visa to fight in Canada.   Artur was then supposed to fight Karo Murat, but he suffered an injury and was unable to fight.  Barrera later defeated Murat to move into the IBF mandatory position in which he then lost to Andre Ward.
“Kathy told me the number she had in mind to make the fight.  I said that I would see if there were enough resources for that amount and promised to call her the following day.  I did and explained that there weren’t enough resources to meet that purse structure.  Nevertheless, not long after I received confirmation Barrera was officially taking the challenge, I then decided to move forward and immediately requested a purse bid date, which is the prerogative of any promoter, knowing what was Main Events’ expectation in terms of their fighter’s purse. In this business, everybody knows the best way to determine the true market value of a fight is a purse bid, where promoters are evaluating their resources and making their bid accordingly. We still had still seven days to make an offer, one and other, and make a deal up to five minutes before the bid was due. Main Events never made us an offer and neither did we.”
GYM’s winning purse bid was $251,000, substantially more than Main Events’ bid of $182,000, of which Beterbiev would receive 75-percent of the winning bid.  Barrera would have received $62,750, compared to $45,500 he would have earned if his own promoter had won the bid.
Beterbiev reported on social media that his fight versus Barrera would be held March 4th in Brooklyn, New York and Michel reported that the fight would be held in late March, early April, in New York.  Barrera had trained for those dates but didn’t receive a contract.
 
“GYM won the purse and pursuant to IBF rules and regulations, the fight had to be held within 30 to 90 days,” Michel continued.  “We deposited $50,000, per IBF rules, and received a confirmation letter from the IBF all was conform.  As per IBF regulations, within 15 days after the purse bid, we filed contracts for the two fighters.  Artur signed his five minutes after he received the contract and it was then sent to the IBF.  We executed Barrera’s contract, sending it to Main Events for Barrera with a copy sent to the IBF. Soon after I received notice from the IBF that everything was in order and that we had complied with the IBF requirements.”
Michel sent an improper agreement to Main Event listing various dates.
 
“We knew we had a PBC date, either April 14, 21 or 29.  It’s very common for fight dates written in the initial fighter contract to vary one week before or after the date listed.  I contacted IBF president Daryl Peoples and said April 21st was the most likely date but that it could end up being a week earlier or after.  He recommended to be transparent and  to write all three potential dates into the contract. We did and then sent it to Main Events for Barrera to sign.  Main Events noted that IBF rules said only one date and site could be written in the contract.  Daryl complied with the objection so we then officially confirmed April 21st would be the date of the fight and Florida the site.  We then sent a GYM executed corrected IBF bout agreement back to Main Events to be signed by Barrera and filed with the IBF on February 16th.
“Meanwhile, GYM received a request, from Main Event to produce a Provision of Service agreement for Barrera’s participation. GYM was not obliged to positively fulfill that request but, as a display of good faith, we did so in belief the contract that Barrera would sign and Main Events would file it at the IBF office, on that date, as per its rules. Soon after, GYM received a letter from IBF championship chairman, Mr. Lindsey Tucker, that all requirements had been fulfilled to officially sanction the bout.”
The Florida location for the fight had been selected by GYM for three reasons. 1. Beating Barrera in his own backyard would send strong message for Beterbiev within the division; 2. GYM had received an offer from Miami-based SMY Sports and Entertainment’s president M. Eric Senecal, who wanted the buy the rights to produce the event; 3. GYM’S longtime and very close relationship with Florida-based Warriors Promotions, Mr. Leon Margules.
On behalf of GYM, Margules had reserved the April 21st date with the Florida Athletic Commission.  SMY Sports & Entertainments made a deal with GYM that had a deadline to deposit the agreed upon money guarantee. They had reserved the Seminole Hard Rock arena in Fort Lauderdale. If SMY was not able to deliver money and site, GYM had a backup plan, proposed by Margules, who had a deal and a site on hold, Hialeah Racetrack in nearby Hollywood (FL). No matter what would transpire, the fight was guaranteed at a site in Florida, April 21st for a PBC event to be televised on FS1.
Barrera’s manager was contacted by one of the promoters to help pay Yvon Michel and finance the bout.
 
“This is a tortuous claim and a terrible lie,” Michel said.  “Nobody representing GYM ever made that kind of request.  The truth is a local promoter, M. Michael Luzbet, whom I’d never met and never made any deals of any sorts with in the past, wanted to be a partner with SMY Sports and Entertainments. He tried to raise his share of money to participate but SMY rapidly disassociated themselves from Michael Luzbet.
“How the group (SMY) was raising money wasn’t really my concern, but they had found sponsors and were counting on the important Quebec community residing in Florida at that time of the year, as well as the important Cuban population and their contacts with the Russian community, to sell VIP tables and tickets.  It wanted the rights to put the show on in Florida but they were concerned because they had heard a rumor that Barrera hadn’t signed a contract and he was going to pull out of the fight.
They then requested a guarantee that Barrera (who lives in Miami) was going to fight before confirming their money deposit. I was in Quebec City at that time for the Alvarez-Bute fight.  Mr. Lindsey Tucker was there representing the IBF and I spoke to him.  He said he believed the IBF had received a signed contract from Barrera.  I contacted SYM to say everything was fine and that I had requested a copy (of the Barrera-signed contract) from Lindsey.  Daryl People then informed me that there was a misunderstanding and they did not have a signed contract from Barrera.  It is only then I realized Main Events had pressured Barrera to sign the agreement without success. We asked the IBF president to pressure Main Events to have Barrera sign the contract because, without it, we were jammed in the promotion of the event. This is exactly what happened.”
Team Barrera implied that Yvon Michel couldn’t promote a show of this magnitude in the U.S.
 
“I’ve promoted more than 200 shows, never defaulting or cancelling a single show, including  involvement in more than 50 world championship fights and many multi-million dollars events, much bigger than this title eliminator.  This statement just shows his ignorance about what we’re all about and who we are and was just smoke screen to his behavior.  I’ve promoted shows with the majority of the major promoters in the world; DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Promotions, Don King Promotions, Golden Boy, Main Events… just about everybody. It was unbelievable for them to write such an impertinent line.”
Team Barrera unjustly belittled the quality of Beterbiev’s last two opponents, calling them cow farmers from Argentina.
 
“This is terrible to be so insolent to fellow world contenders. Both fighters were world ranked in the top 15 at that time. (Ezequiel Osvaldo) Maderna (23-2, 16 KOs) had never been knocked out and (Isidro) Prieto (26-1-3, 22 KOs) had suffered only one loss, a decision to the WBC #1 contender Eleider Alvarez.  Beterbiev knocked them both out (Maderna in the fourth round, Prieto in the first), so downgrading the quality of Artur’s 2016 opponents was totally unwarranted.  If Barrera ever actually got into the ring with Beterbiev, he would have fallen into the same category as Maderna and Prieto, who were both fierce competitors but not in the same league of Beterbiev.”
Michel firmly believes Barrera never intended to fight Beterbiev for his share of the purse bid and, to cover up, he tried to place the blame on others. His promoter spent time and money for the bid at the request of its fighter, Barrera, believing he had a legitimate chance of winning the fight. It is obvious that sentiment was not shared by Barrera, even if the fight was to be held in his own backyard in Florida.
“The truth of this matter is that Barrera lied to distract media attention from the fact he didn’t sign a contract and clearly wanted no part of Beterbiev,” Michel concluded.  “We don’t disrespect any contender who prefers not to challenge Artur Beterbiev for the mandatory position. We also believed that Main Events did everything in its power to convince their fighter to keep his words and to go forward with the fight. Main Events is not at blame. We also have respect for Barrera’s fighting abilities but we have no respect for the person Barrera is with his despicable, unprofessional, shameful and disgraceful attitude in handling the present situation.
“On a personal note, I have never met Sullivan Barrera. I never had to directly communicate with him, I never had to do business with him, everything went through his promoter, Main Events, and I really don’t envy them! Soon, GYM will have two light heavyweight world champions and I can guarantee Barrera will never be in their plans.
“We’ve moved on from Sullivan Barrera to find an opponent who has the desire to step into the ring to fight Artur Beterbiev. While Barrera will still be suspended by the IBF, Beterbiev will be World Champion!”
Beterbiev, a two-time Russian Olympian, holds two amateur victories over his fellow countryman, Kovalev, the former world light heavyweight champion. Whether it’s Kovalev or Ward, Artur Beterbiev will be more than ready for the challenge to fight for the world light heavyweight championship this September.
INFORMATION:
Twitter: @yvonmichelgym, @ABeterbiev
Instagram: @YvonMichelGYM, @Groupeyvonmichel, @ArturBetebiev
ABOUT GROUPE YVON MICHEL (GYM):  Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) was founded in 2004 by Yvon Michel and his associates. The organization’s mission is the development of high-level boxers through coaching support and especially by competitive management. To achieve its objectives, GYM actively recruits talent and organizes events and it is associated with the popular series, “Premier Boxing Champions (PBC),” and has developed major Videotron partnerships with Loto Quebec, TVA Sports, Centre Videotron, Casino de Montreal and Lac Leamy, Tonik GroupImage and Lapointe Dental Centre, in addition to collaborating closely with Rixa.

ANDRZEJ FONFARA EYES TOP TEN CONTENDERS, BADOU JACK SPECIFICALLY

Photos By: Sean Michael Ham / Premier Boxing Champions
CHICAGO, IL (March 9, 2017) – After stopping former world champion, Chad Dawson (34-5, 19 KOs), with a stunning tenth-round TKO, WBC #8 light-heavyweight contender, Andrzej Fonfara (29-4, 17 KOs), is welcoming challenges from everyone in the top ten.

“I’m looking forward to my next fight and the possibilities that have opened up with my victory over Chad Dawson,” said Andrzej Fonfara. “My main goal is to avenge my loss toJoe Smith Jr., but if I can’t get him in the ring, then I’m looking to face anyone in the top ten of the light-heavyweight division.”
With the light-heavyweight division loaded with talent, Fonfara seeks a meaningful fight with one of the top contenders, more specifically, former WBC super-middleweight champion, Badou Jack (20-1, 12 KOs), who recently vacated his world title at 168 pounds.
“Badou Jack seems like the perfect opponent, but I must warn him, this is not the super-middleweight division,” Fonfara continued. “Badou Jack has never faced punchers like those fighting at 175 pounds.  He must earn his shot to a world title fight, just like I did when I was coming up.  This makes for a perfect opportunity for us to fight, with the winner moving up the rankings.

DUBLIN MAIN EVENTERS SOUND OFF AHEAD OF CAGE WARRIORS 81 TITLE CLASH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Ireland’s Karl Moore and America’s Josh Clark will do battle for the vacant Cage Warriors light-heavyweight world title on Saturday night

Cage Warriors 81 will see a new light-heavyweight world champion crowned as Ireland’s Karl Moore takes on American TUF veteran Josh Clark in the main event at the 3Arena.

Moore heads a cast of Irish fighting talent looking to claim victory on home turf this weekend, and says he’s ready to step up and deliver a performance to not only send the Irish fans home happy and capture the light-heavyweight title last held by current UFC middleweight world champion Michael Bisping.

“I’m honoured to be able to fight for such a prestigious belt,” said Irish challenger Moore.

“The last guy who wore this went on to win the UFC belt as well. That’s what I plan to do also.

“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity all my life and no matter who Cage Warriors put in front of me, I’m going to steamroll over them.

“No one is going to take that belt from me in my own country and when I win it I will go on and conquer the world!”

Moore’s opponent Clark also told Cage Warriors he was excited for the opportunity to compete on the Emerald Isle this weekend.

“I can’t wait to fight Saturday night,” he enthused.

“I am willing to go through whatever to get my hand raised!

“I am going to find out how tough Karl Moore really is and I am going to leave with that belt!”

The light-heavyweight title fight tops a packed fight card as Cage Warriors makes its long-awaited return to Dublin this weekend.

Tickets are available via ticketmaster.ie.

FIGHT CARD
Bout order TBC

PRO CARD
Karl Moore (7-1) v Josh Clark (10-3) – Cage Warriors light-heavyweight title (205lbs)
Catherine Costigan (5-2) v Wendy McKenna (1-0) – atomweight bout (105lbs)
Joe McColgan (3-0) v Arnold Quero (13-5, 1 NC) – lightweight bout (155lbs)
Darren O’Gorman (4-1) v Blaine O’Driscoll (3-1) – bantamweight bout (135lbs)
Hughie O’Rourke (pro debut) v Arann Maguire (0-1) – bantamweight bout (135lbs)
Håkon Foss (7-3) v Martyn Harris (4-2) – welterweight bout (170lbs)
Lloyd Manning (2-0) v Paul McBain (2-0) – featherweight bout (145lbs)
Eric Nolan (pro debut) v Marcin Zembala (pro debut) – catchweight bout (150lbs)

AMATEUR CARD
Bill Farrell v David Piotrowicz – light-heavyweight bout (205lbs)
Richie Stack v Pawel Politylo – featherweight bout (145lbs)
Mark Gallivan v Makinde Adeyemi – welterweight bout (170lbs)
Francis Treacy v Stephen Treacy – lightweight bout (155lbs)
Austin Lynch v Alex Brophy – bantamweight bout (135lbs)
Colm O’Regan v Mateusz Kopyto – catchweight bout (161lbs)
Ivan Blanita v Gary Coffey – welterweight bout (170lbs)
Gary Wallace v Darren Sarsfield – catchweight bout (161lbs)
David Whelan v Brandon Myers – bantamweight bout (135lbs)
Adam Darby v Leon Hill – lightweight bout (155lbs)
Barry Hanna v Matthew Whyte – catchweight bout (132.2lbs)

BROADCAST DETAILS

The main card will be broadcast live in Ireland on eirSPORT 1, Viasat in Scandinavia, Setanta in Eurasia and streamed worldwide on UFC Fight Pass.

For the latest news and updates from Cage Warriors please visit CageWarriors.comand follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
www.CageWarriors.com

CAGE WARRIORS FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP is Europe’s leading and longest-running mixed martial arts promotion. An Irish-owned brand with offices in the UK & Ireland, CWFC is the sport’s fastest-growing organisation, having staged 80 events in 12 countries across three different continents since its establishment in 2002. Home to some of biggest stars of MMA’s past, present and future.