Below is what the fighters and dais guests had to say at the final press tour stop:
“I didn’t have to take this fight. This fight is for you, the fans. This fight is for the boxing community, because this is the fight everybody clamored about. At the end of the day, where I come from, it’s about showing up. It’s not about all that talking. It sells tickets, it sells Pay-Per-Views and we get a couple of headlines. But if you watch my career, we don’t say anything we just go get it done. June 17 is going to be no different. Reality check.”
“I’m glad to be back in LA, I feel more comfortable here at home than at Oakland. They said I should prove something more, for who? For them? No. I already proved it for myself and for everybody in the boxing world that I came from nothing, nowhere at all as a professional and amateur boxing. I had never been in a world championship or Olympic games, but I came here to the United States and got to where I am right now. Believe in yourself that everything will be good. And I believe in myself and I will get my belts back on June 17. Believe me and be sure I will finish your boxing career.”
“It’s quite simple – these guys do not like each other and are literally foaming out the mouth to get back in the ring together. Last November, Andre Ward staged an epic comeback against Sergey Kovalev, and proved he is in a class of his own in the boxing world. Immediately after the match the excuses starting rolling in from Team Kovalev. There was a lot of talk, a lot of debate, a lot of speculation, a lot of finger-pointing and hand-wringing. So, like the true champion that he is on June 17, Andre will be back in the ring with Sergey to once again prove his superiority and continue to cement his legacy as boxing’s best.”
“Both Sergey and Andre have a history now. As Michael pointed out, they both have something to prove, they each have a story. Right now, Sergey’s story is that he wants his belts back. Andre’s story is that he wants respect, because he may have those belts but as Egis just illustrated, the respect is still with this man. And that is because, as Egis said, he went to Wales to win his world title, he went to Philadelphia to win his other world titles when he fought Bernard Hopkins. He went to Canada to fight Jean Pascal. He is champion of the world whether or not he’s got the belts at this moment or relinquished them temporarily, he’s still a champion to an awful lot of people.”
“With that being said, the United States versus Russia. Y’all have a president, Putin I think is his name. And we know Trump, he’s a boxing fan. Maybe we need to call on Trump to call Putin. I think Trump’s a betting man. We may need to crank up something there between the presidents and see what we can get going. Once again, no weapon formed against us shall prosper. Y’all keep on hoping. They call you ‘manager of the year’. I’m going to be ‘manager of that night’, and that’s all that matters.”
“Yesterday, we went to Andre’s hometown of Oakland. He might be the best in Oakland, I believe that. We’ve been there. We’ve been in England, we’ve been in Canada, we went all around the world which means a world champion. Andre never fought out of – maybe two times, one time he fought Sergey in Nevada and one time he fought in Jersey. Most of his fights were at home in Oakland. We hope this fight is going to be much better. After the press conference, we stopped to grab something to eat. Three or four people from his hometown recognized Sergey and came up to him and said ‘we hope this time you won’t leave it to the judges. You got robbed, you’ve got to kick his ass’. That was in his hometown. We’ll see you guys on June 17.”
LAS VEGAS (April 12, 2017) – The hottest ticket in town is for the sold-out Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. mega fight that is set for Saturday, May 6 at T-Mobile Arena. Due to the demand of closed circuit telecast tickets, additional locations have been added for the Cinco de Mayo weekend showdown between two-division world champion Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) and former WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs).
In addition to the previously announced MGM Grand Ballroom viewing location, Liberty Loft at New York-New York Hotel & Casino and The Still at The Mirage Hotel & Casino will now show Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. live on Saturday, May 6, giving fans the opportunity to experience an exciting night of boxing live in Las Vegas in an electrifying setting side-by-side with other fight fans.
Tickets for the closed circuit telecast of Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. are priced at $75, not including applicable fees. All seats are general admission and additional tickets go on sale Wednesday, March 12 at 10 a.m. PST at any MGM Resorts International box office or concierge desk. Tickets also can be purchased by phone with a major credit card at 800-745-3000.
Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. is a 12-round fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Adriana’s Insurance and Interjet. Lemieux vs. Reyes is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Eye of the Tiger Management, Matthysse vs. Taylor is a 10-round fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Arano Boxing and Star Boxing. Diaz, Jr. vs. Avila is presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event will take place on Saturday, May 6 at T-Mobile Arena and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions: We’re very happy, thank you very much to the media from all over the world. We are roughly less than 30 days away from the big event, Canelo vs. Chavez, which will take place on the Cinco de Mayo weekend on May 6 at the brand new, state-of-the-art, T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas.Just to let you know, the response has been unbelievable. We haven’t had a Mexican showdown on Cinco de Mayo weekend in a very, very long time. And the demand has been incredible. I haven’t seen anything like it since Barrera vs. Morales; since De La Hoya vs. Chavez, Sr. This is going to be an incredible weekend for all boxing fans.
I would like to thank the best partner in the business, who is HBO, for being our broadcaster for this incredible event. At this moment, let me take the opportunity to thank our sponsors: Tecate, BORN BOLD, Hennessey, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Adriana’s Insurance and Interjet, which will be doing a massive, massive, marketing pitch on a global scale, which has been unheard of in the sport. They have created several different spots and commercials, which will be kicking in during the next few days.
We have created a special commercial for the actual fight, which should be a huge surprise to many. It will be a commercial that transcends the sport of boxing. And obviously, it’s because of the two fighters who are involved.
This fight is not only a fight for the boxing fans, but also a fight that casual sports fans have really been behind and supporting because of their careers, because of their records. So we’re really, really excited as you can hear.
Also, we will be having the Canelo’s media workout on Wednesday, April 19 at the House of Boxing in San Diego. More details will follow, so you want to stay tuned. One thing about Canelo, he’s been very courteous to the media. He opens up his camp. He lets people in every single day, so the media can follow his every move so they can be part of the fight, so we want to thank Team Canelo.
On that note, it is my pleasure to introduce to you team Canelo. First off, I would like to introduce to you the manager and trainer of Canelo, his manager, Jose “Chepo” Reynoso.
JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO, Manager and Trainer of Canelo Alvarez: Hello, everybody. Good afternoon to everybody.
I’m very happy how camp is going and training is going, and we’re anxious and ready to give everybody a spectacular performance on May 6.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Also at this time I would like to introduce to you the trainer of Canelo Alvarez, who has been doing an incredible, incredible job. We have seen the progression, his growth, his speed, his power, which has been unbelievable, at the tender age of 26 years old. I would like to introduce to you the trainer, Eddy Reynoso.
EDDY REYNOSO, Head Trainer of Canelo Alvarez: Good morning to everybody that’s listening. We’re doing very well. We’re training very hard, and we’re just anxious and ready for May 6.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: At this moment, I would like to introduce to you the young man who at the tender age of 26 years old has already accomplished more than 99 percent of the fighters — which fighters achieve in their entire career. He’s a two-time division world champion at both the junior middleweight and middleweight doubles. He has had his hand raised in victory 48 times with 34 knockouts. You know, he has taken all comers and has defeated almost every single one, including Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Austin Trout, champions like Sugar Shane Mosley, the spectacular knockout against James Kirkland, the masterful boxer Erislandy Lara; the list goes on and on and on, and he’s only 26 years old.
CANELO ALVAREZ,Former Two-Division World Champion: Good afternoon to everybody. Just want to say thank you, once again, for supporting another one of our fights, and for being here. I am looking forward to do what I always do: train hard, 100 percent focus and ready to give you guys all a great performance.Q. Canelo, is Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. the first of the 50 opponents that you feel you want to rip his head off?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, he’s one more of the 50 of all my opponents that I’ve faced. I’ve wanted to rip their head off; I wanted to beat them; I wanted to them knock them out. This is a little extra. There’s a little bit more motivation, of course, because of the rivalry, but it’s another one of my fights.Q. Eddy, what’s the most difficult part of facing Chavez, Jr.? Is it the weight, the strength, the technique, or his strength?
EDDY REYNOSO: Well, the most difficult part of facing Chavez is that he’s Mexican. And anytime you have a fight between two Mexicans, it’s a guaranteed spectacular fight and brings out that extra in a fighter, and makes it that much tougher and guarantees the war.Q. Oscar, as far as the Pay-Per-View, with all the expectation and people expecting this great fight and waiting for this great fight, what do you expect the Pay-Per-View to be in the US?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: We’re very happy with how it’s going. Obviously the way the tickets sold out and now Pay-Per-View, closed circuit is opening it up. MGM is opening up more properties for closed circuit. Won’t give you a number now, but we’re very happy and we can see that it’s going to do very well and break some records.Q. Canelo, I know you have had world titles before and you’ve been a champion multiple times but this is not a title fight. In your opinion, is this even a bigger fight than any defense or world title or fighting for a world title, just because of the pride that’s at stake? And how significant is this fight to you and your fans and pretty much all the Mexican boxing fans; is the pride almost a bigger deal than a world title?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Titles are very important to me but this is above that. This goes above a title, any title. It’s for honor, for pride, and it’s very important for me. And to keep making history in my career.Q. Oscar, I was wondering if you could address that, also. You were in a lot of fights in your career against other Mexican opponents, Mexican-American opponents, whether it was Genaro Hernandez or Rafael Ruelas, or certainly your huge fights with Julio, Senior. Can you speak to what Canelo is talking about, that maybe the pride and the glory for Mexico, that sort of attitude is perhaps even a bigger deal to the Mexican boxers than having a title at stake, or maybe even the money, for all I know. What are your thoughts about that?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: These are the types of fights that take you to a whole new level in terms of your boxing abilities inside the ring. It makes you obviously train harder. It gives you that extra motivation. If you want to go run ten miles today, well, guess what, you’re going to run 11 or 12 because you’re just so amped, because this fight is so personal.And look, both fighters are going to be in the best shape of their life. But for some strange reason, there’s something extra that comes out in you. You know, Canelo and Chavez, Jr. are going to find out that, wow, I didn’t know I can do this move; or I didn’t know I can throw this combination at such a fast pace; or, you know, that extra motivation, it’s going to be all instinctual. It’s going to be all because of that pride, because of what’s at stake.
We’re going to see two completely different fighters, fighters that we’ve never seen before inside the ring on May 6, and it’s all because of that pride that’s at stake.
Q. Could you rate this among other big-time all Mexico fights, whether it’s Barrera and Morales as you mentioned in your opening remarks, or certainly the fights between, Barrera and Marquez? There’s been a lot of great Mexicans that fought each other, but obviously fights that you were involved in against other Mexican fighters, can you put it in any kind of context for me?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, in terms of action, inside the ring, yes, I would say kind of like Barrera – Morales. But in terms of the event, of how big it is, I cannot remember a fight against two Mexicans that has created so much interest, anticipation. So this is probably the biggest boxing event with two Mexican fighters.Q. Canelo, You’re going up quite a bit in weight compared to your typical fighting weight. I wonder if you can talk about, what’s been the biggest factor in that and how do you feel putting on that weight, and how do you think he’ll take your power at the new weight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve been feeling very good. I’ve been training with sparring partners who are much bigger, who are light heavyweights that are much bigger than me. I’m feeling very comfortable, and very strong. I’m not having to dehydrate as much. I’m still having to go down in weight because I’m above the weight that the fight is scheduled at, but I don’t have to dehydrate totally. We’ll see come fight night how I feel, how the body adapts. I’m a fighter that knows how to adapt to the situations, and my body adapts well. I’m just anxious and looking forward to giving the public a beautiful fight, a great fight, come May 6.Q. He quit against Andrzej Fonfara; Oscar gave his father quite the trouble in their rematch. Do you think you can make this guy quit?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Everything’s possible in boxing and as the great Bernard Hopkins once said: “Once a quitter, always a quitter.” So anything’s possible.Q. Canelo, what do you think about the pictures that Chavez, Jr. has been posting? What do you think of his conditioning, his physical being now, and do you think that he seems to be posting these pictures to try to clean the image of his past performance with his training regimens?
On the contrary, I’m very happy that he’s working hard, that he’s training hard and that he’s doing good, because you know what, that’s guarantees the people a great fight. I’m doing my thing like I always do. I have my conditioning. I’m feeling strong and I’m looking good. But I’m glad that he is, as well.Q. Is the bet still on that you guys made?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, his dad didn’t let him.Q. I was interested in knowing, what is your history in knowing and talking to Chavez, Jr. personally? How far back does the rivalry go and how have you always perceived him as a person?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Well, this rivalry goes back about ten years, you know, to our time in Guadalajara. They had the opportunity to make this fight years ago. They had the power to make this fight back then. They didn’t want to.As a person, you know, I don’t know him well, but just from what I hear from his actions and all, it’s like a guy that just doesn’t sustain what he says. You know, he just says a lot of things. It’s almost like he’s a little kid.
Q. Canelo, you like Oscar, have overcome earlier in your career the idea that you’re a pretty boy and not a true Mexican Warrior. So as things stand right now, how do you gauge the temperature of the Mexican public as to whether they will be supporting you or Chavez, Jr. in this fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, my fans are there. My fans know that I started from nothing, from the bottom up, from zero, and have worked my way up with a lot of sweat and sacrifices.He has his fans, as well. But I think a lot of his fans are more his father’s fans than his, and his fans follow his father, what his father says, because he’s shown a lot of ups and downs in his career, and he himself has not had a real disciplined career. He is not a role model for the young children and the young fighters. And you know what, I’ve always said, whether I have 1,000, 5,000, 20,000 or millions, I’m very fortunate. I’m very happy and I’m very appreciative of my fans and I’ll give them 100 percent all the time.
Q. This motivation that Chavez, Jr. is showing in his camp, his training and his talking, does that bother you? Do you appreciate it? What do you think about that, because obviously he seems highly motivated for this fight against you?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I hope so. I hope everything we’re hearing is true, and that he is training extra hard and extra motivated, because that just makes me happy. That makes me happy because that just means we’re going to give the public, the fans, a beautiful fight.Q. We know you prepare yourself very good. We know you prepare yourself 100 percent and you’re always training hard to go the distance and prepare for the 12 rounds, but do you think this fight will go the 12 rounds?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, there’s a very high percentage this fight could end by a knockout, because of our styles, obviously the weight, the size of each other. And obviously a knockout is spectacular, for the fighter, for the fans, and we’ll see.We’ll see what’s going to happen come the fight, and we’re going to give it 100 percent to do everything possible to give the fans what they want.
Q. Oscar, Triple G is most likely going to be out till the fall. It looks like he’s not going to be fighting this June 10 fight in Kazakhstan. Are you pleased by that in terms of possibly making the fight with Triple G and Canelo for the fall?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: All my focus is on Canelo and Chavez, Jr. I actually didn’t even know he was not going to fight in June. That’s obviously a great indication. But all focus is on this fight.Q. Canelo, do you view this match up with Chavez, Jr. in any way as preparation for the eventual fight with Golovkin, just in terms of his size and style?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, not at all. This is just another fight and it’s a very important fight for me, and I’m not focusing on any other fighter but the fight that I have in front of me.Q. You’ve mentioned in a couple interviews that it bothers you that Chavez, Jr. talks so much behind your back, but when he’s face-to-face with you, doesn’t say much. Is that an extra motivation for come fight night to shut him up?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, I mean, obviously we have a strategy and I can’t say it now. Sometimes you build on that: Bell rings, the first round and that goes out the window and you’ve got to adapt to something else. And that’s what we’re doing: We’re working hard, we’re preparing, we’re training hard to come in with a plan and see how he brings it and we can adapt to it.Q. What does it feel like to train at this heavy weight? From the outside looking in, you sound happier and livelier on this conference call alone. Has it been an easier transition than going into training camp having to worry about cutting weight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, I don’t think of that. I don’t even give it a thought. It’s something that doesn’t even cross my mind. Look, I’ve got to go in there, do my job, and do what I have to do. And that’s part of boxing, to hurt your opponent and beat your opponent more than he can beat you. So that’s what I’m focused on, going in there and winning and beating him.Q. Your trainers, Eddy and Chepo, they do a tremendous job, but they don’t always get the recognition. Why do you think that is?
And I haven’t tested positive, ever, in my career, and he’s tested two or three times. So he should shut up and worry about himself and stop saying those stupid things.Q. I just wanted to ask, being that this fight is taking place at a higher weight, do you now consider yourself a true middleweight and do you consider yourself the Middleweight Champion of the World?
And as far as the weight, after this fight, I’m not looking past this fight. I’m focused 100 percent on this fight, but I’m now staying at middleweight. I’ll stay at 160 pounds.OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you very much and this concludes our call. A reminder to all the media, we will host Canelo’s final media day at the House of Boxing in San Diego, and more details to follow.
Again tickets are going extremely fast for closed circuit, which is a good indication everybody is excited, so we will see you May 6. And some closing comments from Canelo and we will end the call.
CANELO ALVAREZ: I want to thank all of you for all the support you’ve given in the promotion. I’ll see you all on April 19 for the public workout and then during the fight week for May 6. I want to see all the people there in support. Thank you so much.
LOS CAMPEONES MUNDIALES INVICTOS
GILBERTO RAMIREZ Y JESSIE MAGDALENO
EN ENTRENAMIENTO PARA PRENSA
¡Este Jueves! 13 de abril a las 12:00 del mediodía Pacifico
Magnifico Gym en South Gate, California
Dentro de 12 días expondrán sus títulos mundiales;
En vivo por Pago por evento desde StubHub Center
LOS ANGELES, California – Los campeones mundiales invictos de la Organizacion Mundial de Boxeo (WBO) Oscar Valdez, Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez y Jessie Magdaleno quienes se están preparando para exponer sus respectivas coronas el sábado 22 de abril en el StubHub Center se presentaran en un entrenamiento para los medios de comunicaciones este jueves 13 de abril en el Magnifico Gym, localizado en el 9201 California Avenue de South Gate, Californiam, 90280. La cita es las 12:00 del mediodía y los boxeadores hablaran antes de iniciar el entrenamiento.
Valdez (22-0, 19 KOs) de Nogales, Sonora, México expondrá su corona de peso pluma de la OMB por segunda ocasión ante el clasificado número uno de la OMB Miguel Marriaga (25-1, 21 KOs) de Arjona, Colombia; Ramírez (34-0, 24 KOs) de Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México, expondrá su corona de peso supermediano de la OMB por primera vez ante el clasificado mundial Maksim Bursak (33-4-1, 15 KOs), de Kiev, Ucrania; Magdaleno (24-0, 17 KOs) de Las Vegas, Nevada expondrá su campeonato de peso pluma junior ante el brasileño Adeilson Dos Santos (18-2, 14 KOs) de San Paulo, Brasil.
El medallista olímpico de Estados Unidos Shakur Stevenson estará haciendo su debut profesional como parte de las peleas que serán televisadas por pago por evento.
Promovido por Top Rank en asociación con All Star Boxing, Zapari Boxing Promotions y Antonio Leonard Production la función se realizara el sábado 22 de abril en el StubHub Center de Carson, California y será producida y distribuida por Top Rank Rank Pay-Per-View.
ANDRE WARD VS. SERGEY KOVALEV 2: “THE REMATCH”
PRESALE ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12
TICKETS GO ON SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 14
NEW YORK PRESS CONFERENCE
VIDEO, PHOTOS AND QUOTES
Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Khristopher Sandifer
Video Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Main Events
NEW YORK, NY (April 10, 2017) – On Monday at Le Parker Meridien in New York City, Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Andre “SOG” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) and former Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) formally addressed the media on their highly-anticipated rematch on 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.
TIDAL members will have access to a special presale beginning on Wednesday, April 12 at 1:00 p.m. ET/ 10:00 a.m. PT. Members can find details for purchasing tickets by visiting TIDAL.com/WardKovalev or by logging in to their TIDAL accounts via web browser, desktop app or mobile app.
Fans already enrolled for email updates on MainEvents.com will receive an email with the presale information. Anyone interested in receiving the presale code can sign up for email updates at www.mainevents.com.
M life Rewards loyalty members, Ticketmaster and AXS/AEG customers will receive access to a pre-sale scheduled from Wednesday, April 12 at 10:00 a.m. PT to Friday, April 14 at 9:59 a.m. PT. To join the M life Rewards program, or for more information, visit mlife.com.
Tickets for Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” go on sale to the public on Friday, April 14 at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT. Tickets priced at $1,255, $755, $505, $355, $255 and $105 not including applicable service charges will be available on axs.com and at the Mandalay Bay Events Center box office.
Below is what the fighters and dais guests had to say at the press conference:
Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion
“I want to thank everybody for coming out today – the media, obviously, HBO, Peter Nelson and their whole team, these guys work tirelessly to get these kinds of things done. I appreciate my team, James Prince, Josh Dubin, Roc Nation and everyone at Roc Nation, JAY Z, Juan and Desiree Perez, Michael Yormark. It’s important to have a good team. We talk a lot about fighting, we talk all about matchups, but when we talk about support, it’s frowned upon. When we see fighters 10, 15, 20 years from now shuffling in a room, nothing to show what they fought for, that’s okay. By the grace of God and by way of my team, that’s not going to happen to me.
“Unfortunately, there’s perception and there’s reality. Perception is every one thing that’s written, every opinion but as you grow and learn this business, it’s not about perception. Nobody can point to a fight where I turned. Not one point. That’s not in my track record. So, I don’t mind the perception. I don’t care about Instagram. This is chess, not checkers. You can make all the rules you want to make, but it’s about the checkmate. That’s when the game is over.
“My team is working on life after boxing. Educating me on the ins and outs. A lot of people talk about money, but they don’t talk about the upside. They’re not talking about the personal sponsorships for the fight, and your obligations for the sponsorship. They’re not talking about the television rights and foreign rights, the merchandise. ‘Be tough, keep focus, destroy the fight’. I’m not with that man. I want the whole thing, I want to understand everything. The fight is not the end.
“They have to understand, there’s nothing scary about this man. You realize we just fought 12 rounds four months ago? Everyone wants to highlight the knockdown, that’s probably one of the most beautiful moments of my career. And did you guys see the other 10 rounds? Nobody’s talking about that. But that’s what makes us who we are. It’s hard concrete down there, we don’t want to fall. We’ve got another drive, we’ve got another gear we’ve got to tap into when we hit adversity and hit the cannons. You guys saw that, in the biggest moment of my career.
“I didn’t get to where I’m at because there’s something unique about me. I didn’t get to this point by happenstance. Some may not like it, but you got to respect it. You don’t have to, but we’ve earned the position that we have. We don’t mind being understated. The fight is academic. When my team green-lighted it, I said go ahead and announce it. The reality is, you’ve got to see me on June 17. That’s the reality of the situation. I love to talk, it’s all good. We knocked heads for 12 rounds, that’s the reality of the situation. He felt me, he knows. On June 17, that’s how we’re going to do. We’re going to get started a little early. Whether you’re with me, or whether you’re against me, tune in. Appreciate everybody’s time. Don’t miss this fight, June 17. You got what you asked for.”
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – Former Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion
“Hello everyone. I am thankful the fight will take place on June 17. Well, will take place on paper for now. I’m appreciative of my team and Team Ward that this fight will actually happen. I want to apologize to my fans for my performance the last time but we’re going to get this squared either way. We’re going to see who is the best fighter. I’m very excited for June 17. The only thing I hope is that a week or two before the fight, Andre Ward does not get injured and he has enough balls to come out and fight me on June 17.”
Michael Yormark – Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy
“Legacies are built on seminal moments. When the lights shine brightest, when the challenge seems insurmountable, when the eyes of the world are on you – that is when great athletes see the rarest of opportunities to shape their legacy, to ensure that their name lives on. Evander Holyfield said, ‘a champion shows who he is by what he does when he’s tested’. Back in November the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world tested each other like they had never been tested before in their careers. On that night, World Champion Andre Ward faced a defining moment and countered with an epic comeback victory over Sergey Kovalev. After that showdown, there was a lot of talk, a lot of debate, a lot of speculation, a lot of excuses. But on June 17 we put all of that talk to bed, because Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” is officially on, and from this day forward there will be no excuses.
“Andre Ward is the best boxer in the world – there is simply no debate. He is undefeated, breathlessly talented, and has gladly taken on any fighter with the guts to face him. For Andre, this fight represents the final nail in the coffin for the rest of this division and his would-be competitors, and the latest feat in a career that can only be defined as flawless. For Sergey, he has a lot to prove, which may be why he’s been so, let’s call it active on social media. After falling short in November, Sergey has become his own personal hype machine. In one of his latest tweets he demanded Andre, ‘pray to me’. Sergey, I think what you were trying to say was ‘pray for me’, which we all will do before you get back into the ring with Andre on June 17.
“We return to Las Vegas where all big fights belong, live at the Mandalay Bay Events Center and on HBO Pay-Per-View. Roc Nation is proud to be the lead promoter of this global event, presented by Corona Extra and powered by Monster Products. This event would not have been possible without the support of Richard Sturm and Sid Greenfeig of MGM, and HBO’s Peter Nelson and Tony Walker – I’d like to take this opportunity to specifically thank them. MGM and HBO are synonymous with the biggest and best boxing events and Roc Nation is honored to be working in partnership with them for yet another historic fight. I’d also like to thank our chairman JAY Z and President of Roc Nation Sports Juan Perez for their support of this sure to be epic event. Additionally, a big thank you to our presenting partner Corona Extra, as well as Monster Products. I would also like to acknowledge Le Parker Meridien for their support and hosting us here today. Despite what you read in some corners of the boxing world, this rematch was always inevitable, both fighters wanted it, both promoters wanted it and I would be remiss if I did not sincerely thank Main Events and Kathy and Nicole Duva for their professionalism and class in negotiating and finalizing the June 17 fight. Last but certainly not least thank you to Team Ward – Andre, James Prince, Josh Dubin and Virgil Hunter – not only for once again putting your unblemished, championship record on the line under the bright lights of Sin City, but for being incredible partners throughout this process and the best ambassadors the sport of boxing could possibly ask for. Thank you.”
Kathy Duva – CEO of Main Events
“Thank you, HBO, thank you Le Parker Meridien, Mandalay Bay and of course our sponsors, Corona and Monster. I’ll make it short and sweet. My greatest hope for June 17 is that the winner wins this time. Sergey’s going to do everything in his power to make sure there’s no question on who that is.
“I expect he’s going to show us all how to get your titles back. And here he is, future light heavyweight champ of the world, Sergey Kovalev.”
James Prince – Manager of Andre Ward
“I’d like to thank God for this opportunity, HBO, Peter Nelson. I’d like to thank Roc Nation, who has stood by us 1000%, solid as a Roc. We’re looking forward to this fight coming up, David versus Goliath, part two. Like I said, the last time, and I reiterate the same thing because not much has changed, we’ve cracked the code. Sergey, your code has been cracked, we know who you are now. Come June 17, you will see one of the greatest fights ever. As I stated earlier in the interview with HBO, don’t be surprised if Kovalev gets knocked out this fight. Don’t you be surprised. So, we look forward to that moment and I notice that you’ve been real vocal about a lot of things, but you need to know, we don’t have no fear. So, understand that, once again, the United States will be victorious against Russia as always.”
Josh Dubin – Manager of Andre Ward
“This industry, unfortunately, has some nasty, ugly people in it that say and do nasty things and show their behind too much. A lot of the things you hear about our beautiful sport is true. I’m so fortunate to have been blessed by kings, that have enriched my life, to be able to grow and get to know these men. James Prince and Andre Ward have been all class and dignity and professional. They don’t need to tell you what you think might sell a fight, or what you think people might want to hear, but just what’s real. What a breath of fresh air. I thank both of you for enriching my life and allowing me to grow on this journey with you.
“We’re always hearing about role models, and why aren’t athletes role models – well look no further. You’ve got a family man who is spiritual, you can’t bait him and get him to say what you think he should say or want him to say because you curse him out on social media. We’re not into all that, these are kings over here. You can keep tweeting on your phone over there, but we won already. We won in life, we won in this sport, and we’re just going to continue winning. This is a formality at this point. A formality. So, you can cry and complain and all that, but that’s what bullies do when they don’t get their way. Bullies make excuses, bullies try to intimidate when they don’t get their way. Bullies of all sorts, in the ring and in business. Well, you didn’t get your way, you ain’t getting your way and you’re not going to get your way. Period. The reason that probably is, if we bring in spirituality, is the moral arc of the universe does bend towards good and greatness and kings. So, with that, I say this: you want to tune in to this one, because you’ll want to be able to say, ‘I got to see the best fighter to ever walk in the ring, fight again and conquer again’. Don’t miss it. Thank you.”
Daniel Bagdasarov – Egis Klimas’s Assistant
“I want to thank the media and MGM. He’s happy about the rematch and that it actually happened. We’re excited about it, we’re ready. Thank you to all the promotions that have gone into the fight, thank you HBO for making this happen. Thank you so much.”
Peter Nelson – Executive Vice President, HBO Sports
“I want to thank all the media for being here, this fight came together initially because of what you asked for. First and foremost, I want to thank the fighters, Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. The two of them at the zenith of their careers and the apex of their undefeated records deciding to get in the ring against one another, and that’s exactly the expectation that fight fans should have. It’s something to be celebrated and we’re excited we are going to have the rematch on June 17.
“Again, these two men decided they want to step up and fight each other, the controversy of time when a lot of fighters walk the other way from one another. Some fights, they’re so good, the fighters earn each other’s respect. Some fights are so great that the fighters earn each other’s disrespect. I’ll let all of you decide which one this is.
“I think that what we’ve seen over the past few months is people arguing more and more about who actually won that fight. Again, the credit is to the fighters because every second of the first fight, they were there to compete. Every second of this rematch, they’re going to be there again. There is too much at stake, in terms of legacy and in terms of pound stature, in terms of this moment and the future. What we know to expect is that on June 17, the stuff of HBO PPV legend gets made. Sergey Kovalev and champion Andre Ward are going to do everything in their power to bring home the belt.”
Ward vs. Kovalev 2: “The Rematch,” a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight World Championships, is presented by Roc Nation Sports, Main Events, Andre Ward Promotions, Krusher Promotions and Corona Extra, and is sponsored by Monster Products and 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.