By Yuri Tarantin
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva is confident that WBA/WBO/IBF light heavyweight king Sergey Kovalev (29-0-1, 26KOs) will face Olympic gold medal winner Andre Ward (29-0, 15KOs) in the fall - provided both men win their upcoming fights.
Kovalev returns on July 11 in Yekaterinburg against Isaac Chilemba, while Ward will face Alexander Brand on August 5th.
A date of November 19th is hold for Kovalev-Ward at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
- Were there other options for Sergey Kovalev's bout in July?
Our main goal, of course, was to have Sergey fight in Russia. However, we received an offer from China, where Sergey is also popular. Sergey decided to give up the option of fighting in China and wanted to fight near his native city. I think it clearly shows how important it is for him to return home to his fans.
- How difficult was it to sign a contract to fight with Andre Ward? Did the negotiations go smoothly?
- Not to say that we did not have disagreements. However, from the very beginning for me it was obvious that Ward really wants to fight with Sergey. During the negotiations, Ward and his team have conducted themselves professionally. It was that type of negotiation where both sides are very eager to agree and sign a contract. So everything went a little more smoothly than I expected.
- Tell us about working with Roc Nation? This is a new company that does business relatively quiet and there is little that we know about it, except that it was founded by Jay-Z.
- I'm not familiar with Jay-Z, as he leaves the management of the boxing business to the people on his team who he hired just for this. Most of them I know for many years from their work in other promotional companies. So working with them was easy for me.
- Do you think Kovalev-Ward will be one of the biggest fights that you've ever organized?
- I certainly hope so! Of course, my company organized some really big fights, including Leonard H?arns, Pryor-Arguello 2, Holyfield-Foreman, the Holyfield-Bowe trilogy, Whitaker-Chavez, De La Hoya-Vargas, the trilogy between Gatti and Ward, and this is one of the biggest fights that come to mind. So the bar is quite high.
Definitely it will be one of the biggest fights that we've organized recently. So we are very happy, and we hope that this will be the first of many big fights for Sergey Kovalev.
Yuri Tarantin covers boxing for Allboxing.ru