Sergey Kovalev of Russia will be fighting Andre Ward of Oakland on Saturday, June 17 from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas in a fight that is being touted as simply "The Rematch." A sequel to their classic 2016 bout, this is a huge boxing match because it is for the WBA, WBO, IBF and The Ring Magazine light heavyweight titles. Here are three other reasons why the Kovalev-Ward tilt is one of the biggest fights of 2017.
Their career domination in the ring: Kovalev and Ward have dominated their opponents throughout their professional careers. A combined 61-1-1, Ward has a career record of 31 wins and zero defeats with 15 knockouts, while Kovalev’s career record is 30 wins, one defeat and one draw with 26 knockouts. Kovalev’s only professional loss came against Ward in a unanimous decision at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Nov. 19.
Their first match was epic: When Ward beat Kovalev last year, the bout went the full 12 rounds. However, the three judges only scored the fight 114-113 in favor of Ward. His comeback was all the more impressive given that Ward was knocked down in the second round, but was able to regroup effectively and ended up victorious.
The Ward-Kovalev rivalry has an element of controversy: Boxing fans love great storylines with an element of controversy and there is no question that the Kovalev-Ward rivalry has some tension. In their November fight, Kovalev believed the three American judges showed bias toward Ward, and HBO boxing analyst Larry Merchant believed Ward received a favorable "hometown decision." Kovalev has also voiced his frustration that Ward is receiving more money than he is for the match. Ward is guaranteed $6 million for fighting Kovalev.
Revisit their first fight in full in the video above and get tickets to the Kovalev-Ward rematch at the Mandalay Bay Events Center by clicking here.