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.
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ABOUT ROC NATION SPORTS
Roc Nation Sports, a sub-division of Roc Nation, launched in spring 2013. Founder Shawn “JAY Z” Carter’s love of sports led to the natural formation of Roc Nations Sports, supporting athletes in the same way Roc Nation has been working alongside and advocating for artists in the music industry for years. Roc Nation Sports focuses on elevating athletes’ career on a global scale both on and off the field. Roc Nation Sports conceptualizes and executes marketing and endorsement deals, community outreach, charitable tie-ins, media relations and brand strategy. Roc Nation Sports launched its boxing division, a full service promotional company which represents Five-Time World Champion Miguel Cotto and Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Andre Ward, in August 2014. Roc Nation Sports’ roster includes premiere athletes such as Robinson Cano, Skylar Diggins, Kevin Durant, Geno Smith, Victor Cruz, CC Sabathia, James Young, Dez Bryant, Ndamukong Suh, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Cespedes, Jaelen Strong, Todd Gurley, Wilson Chandler, Erick Aybar, Justise Winslow, Willie Cauley-Stein, Jerome Boateng, Miguel Sano, CJ Prosise, Ronnie Stanley, Henry Ellenson, Caris LeVert, Mike Gbinije, Melvin Ingram, Rudy Gay, Ty Lawson, Leonard Fournette, Juju-Smith-Schuster, Isaac Rochell and Josh Hart.
ABOUT MAIN EVENTS PROMOTIONS
Main Events is internationally recognized as one of the top boxing promotional firms in the world. Main Events has promoted boxing legends Evander Holyfield, Arturo Gatti, Lennox Lewis, Pernell Whitaker and many more. Main Events was founded in 1978 by Hall-of-Fame promoter Dan Duva, who passed away in 1996, and is now run by his widow Kathy Duva. Main Events is committed to promoting quality fights that boxing fans want to see. Currently, Main Events promotes a stacked roster of international contenders, including former WBO, IBF and WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev. Main Events gained a reputation throughout the 80’s and 90’s as the sport’s number one incubator for new talent. Nearly 40 years after the company’s birth, Main Events is still turning out boxing stars and future world champions.
ABOUT THE MANDALAY BAY EVENTS CENTER
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is set on 120 lush acres featuring Mandalay Bay Beach, a tropical pool paradise with real sand. The Mandalay Bay Events Center, award-winning restaurants, exhilarating entertainment, unique shopping, Shark Reef Aquarium and the recently expanded 2-million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center combine to make Mandalay Bay a distinctive Las Vegas resort destination. The resort offers three distinct hotel experiences: Mandalay Bay with 3,211 luxurious rooms and suites reflecting a modern tropical ambiance; Four Seasons Hotel, a AAA Five Diamond hotel offering 424 rooms and suites; and the luxury all-suite Delano Las Vegas. Mandalay Bay is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM). For more information and reservations, visit mandalaybay.com, call toll free at (877) 632-7800 or find us on Facebook and Twitter.
ABOUT CONSTELLATION BRANDS
Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a Fortune 500® company, is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, New Zealand and Italy. Constellation is the No. 3 beer company in the U.S. with high-end, iconic imported brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra and Pacifico. The company’s beer portfolio also includes Ballast Point, one of the most awarded craft brewers in the U.S. In addition, Constellation is the world’s leader in premium wine, selling great brands that people love, including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Mark West, Franciscan Estate, Ruffino and The Prisoner. The company’s premium spirits brands include SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila, and High West Whiskey.
Based in Victor, N.Y., the company believes that industry leadership involves a commitment to brand building, our trade partners, the environment, our investors and to consumers around the world who choose our products when celebrating big moments or enjoying quiet ones. Founded in 1945, Constellation has grown to become a significant player in the beverage alcohol industry with more than 100 brands in its portfolio, about 40 facilities and approximately 8,000 talented employees. We express our company vision: to elevate life with every glass raised. To learn more, visit www.cbrands.com.