By Steve Kim
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva can now finally say it - the rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev (who met last November) is a go.
"We do have a fight, it got done this morning," confirmed the head of Main Events to BoxingScene.com this afternoon. The rematch is set for June 17th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. This news was originally reported by Mitch Abramson of ringtv.com.
Ward defeated Kovalev in a highly disputed decision in their first go-around and in the process captured the WBA, WBO and IBF 175-pound titles. There was a rematch clause that was held by Main Events in case of a Kovalev loss. There was talk that RocNation Sports wanted some adjustments in that contract and Ward had hinted at retirement.
But a compromise was struck and the rematch is on.
Duva stated - "From our perspective it's really not that different, at all. We don't want to talk about the details in the press but we got what we needed."
It was clear that Kovalev yearned for the opportunity to avenge his loss and regain his belts and he gave Main Events a clear directive to strike a deal with Roc Nation Sports.
"I did," admitted Duva, who added, "but I still did my job and I didn't really give anything away that was terribly important. So we basically have the deal we bargained for a year-and-a-half. The differences are nothing of substance."
The rematch will be handled for the most part by Roc Nation Sports.
"We're co-promoting but Roc Nation is going to take the lead, as they have the champion," Duva conceded. "The last time Main Events was sort of carrying the ball. This time Roc Nation will carry the ball."
When asked if the slight delay in scheduling the rematch will diminish interest in Ward-Kovalev II, Duva reasoned - "I think it'll pick up whenever it's happening. One could argue that doing it too soon is a mistake, as well. So it really doesn't matter. it is what it is. The fights going to be on June 17th and we're just happy it's coming and Sergey wants the opportunity to get his titles back. That's what we bargained for from the very start and we have it."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com