As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, a deal was finalized for the highly anticipated rematch between IBF, WBA, WBO light heavyweight champion Andre “SOG” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) and former title holder Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs).
Ward vs. Kovalev II - which is being called “No Excuses” - will take place Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Like thier first meeting, the eveny will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Both fighters will take part in a three city fight tour during the week of April 10, with stops in New York City, the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
When the fight was finalized, Ward sent a loud message in the direction of Kovalev.
“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.
But Kovalev, in his true outspoken style, sent a loud message in response.
"Be ready motherf***er! I'll finish your boxing career," Kovalev stated.
The two fighters met last November before a lively crowd at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena. Ward survived a second round knockdown to win a twelve round round unanimous decision over Kovalev to capture the three light heavyweight belts.
All three judges gave Ward the win by a single point, 114-113.
The aftermath had a lot of controversy, as fans were debating for weeks over which fighter actually deserved the decision. Kovalev was convinced that he was robbed on the official cards, while Ward felt the Russian puncher was simply being a sore loser.
There was an immediate rematch clause, which Kovalev exercised within a few days of suffering his first career defeat. After months of negotiations, the two sides were finally able to strike a deal on Tuesday.