The light heavyweight showdown between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward is back on, according to a joint news release sent by Main Events and Roc Nation Sports on Saturday.
Main Events, Kovalev’s promoter, and Roc Nation Sports, Ward’s promoter, will stick to the original plan of having the HBO pay-per-view fight on Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena.
“I am very excited to finally get my chance to face Andre Ward on Nov. 19,” said Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 knockouts), the WBA/WBO/IBF 175-pound champion. “I want to face the best competition. I want to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
Both camps went dark for more than two weeks after a dreadful news conference Aug. 9 in Los Angeles put the bout on hold. Main Events had a grand event planned to announce the highly anticipated matchup, but only Kovalev showed up. Roc Nation requested last-minute negotiations, and rumors began flying that Ward wanted the fight in New York City or his hometown of Oakland, California.
Main Events promoter Kathy Duva said Aug. 11 that Roc Nation never wanted the fight to leave Las Vegas. Ward’s camp wanted contracts to be reviewed by lawyers and signed before moving on to ticket sales.
“There is no greater thrill for a boxing promoter than putting together a fight that the fans want to see,” Duva said. “Sergey has always strived to be the best and face the best, and on Nov. 19 the new pound-for-pound king will be crowned.”
In one of the most competitive fights that could be made in boxing today, Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) is a minus-135 favorite over Kovalev, who is plus-105, according to VegasInsider.com.
“I have been doing this for 22 years, and if I am not ready to fight the best now, then I will never be ready,” said Ward, 32. “I have been preparing for these moments since I’ve been a kid.”
Kovalev, a 33-year-old Russian, is ranked No. 2 on Ring Magazine’s best pound-for-pound list. Ward, the last American to win an Olympic gold medal, is No. 4.
Tickets will go on sale at 11 a.m. Friday. Tickets start at $55 and will be available on axs.com and at the T-Mobile Arena box office.
Contact Gilbert Manzano at email@example.com or 702-383-0492. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.