This week at the Oakland Marriott in Oakland, CA, Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Andre “SOG” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) formally addressed the media regarding his highly-anticipated rematch against Sergey Kovalev 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.
Tickets for Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” go on sale to the public today. 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 Ward had to say at the press conference:
“I’m excited about this rematch. These are the things I dreamed about as a kid. I love it. I love the back and forth, some people being with me and some people not being with me. I don’t mind the stuff they talk about on social media. That’s perception. I try and deal in the reality.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to see me on June 17, we’ve got to fight. I don’t care what you say, I don’t care what the team says. That’s going to make headlines. That’s all good and part of the business. I understand the business very well and I’m good with that. But if you guys know me – the boxing world knows me, the Bay Area knows me – I don’t have to do a lot of talking. To my young guys coming up, you don’t have to talk a lot. Just show up when you’re supposed to show up. Lock in and do what you got to do to prepare, and when it’s time in that biggest moment when the lights come on, find a way to get it done.
“Boxing right now is not like it used to be. It’s a climate right now where there’s a lot of talking. Guys don’t do what they say they’re going to do. They don’t perform and then they find excuses on why they didn’t perform. There’s only a handful of guys in history that I know that talked and then backed it up. We don’t have a lot of that today. So, it’s okay to not be the loudest talker in the room, but when it’s time to shine, be that guy. Be the hardest worker. And another thing, I want to encourage every fighter in this room – you don’t let anybody beat you before you get in the ring.
“I don’t care what you say, where you’re from, what your reputation is, it’s a healthy respect you have for an opponent to prepare physically and mentally, you got to have that. But you don’t let anybody – media, broadcasters, fighters, anybody – beat you before you get in the ring. You make them earn it. And if they do it, tip your hat to them and give it credit. But you’re not beating me on reputations. This is the first time this team has met a team where that stuff isn’t working. You beat me, you’re going to earn it.
“I hope he’s the best he can be. I hope he makes the adjustments he’s supposed to make. We’re going to get ready. We’re not taking it for granted. That’s what big rematches and big fights are all about. I want the best Sergey. I want his team to be focused. I want him to be focused and I know my team is going to be focused. Let’s see what happens. The question I have for him and his team is, with all that loud talking, who are y’all trying to convince? Me or him?”
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.