Boxing Light Heavyweight Wrap Up – HBO recently announced that June 17th would see a re-match between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev for the WBA, IBF and WBO world titles at 175 pounds. The two first met last November 19th on HBO pay-per-view and what ensued was a closely fought, technical contest that the judges saw for Ward via unanimous scores of 114-113. Many observers felt Kovalev did enough to retain the belts he was defending and the re-match was talked about almost instantly.
There was talk that Ward might retire and the negotiations never seemed to get off the ground. Memories of the long road to get to the first fight and the difficult negotiations between Roc Nation and Main Events, the representatives for Ward and Kovalev respectively. The negotiations for the re-match were completed basically behind he scenes and now we look up and the fight is two months away.
The first match was a meeting of the #1 and #2 guys in the weight class. For that it was compelling in the build up. Once the two got into the ring however, it was not a barn burner of a fight, rather, the two engaged in a highly technical match-up best described as a “chess match.”
The first PPV between the two men did just under 200,000 ppv buys by most estimations, which is not an astounding number. Consider that HBO signed Ward to a three fight deal and that it aired two fights by both men prior to their meeting the sales did not seem to represent a strong return on the cable giant’s investment.
One interesting thing has happened between the two men in the meantime and that is that the have developed a healthy disdain for each other. Before the first match-up, both men recognized that the other was good and there was a begrudging respect between the two. The aftermath of the first fight has seen Ward show his cocky side in victory while Kovalev stews. The two men engaged on a recent three city press tour to announce the rematch and Kovalev was quoted as saying “just the way he looks at me makes me want to punch him in the head.”
The two men sit atop a stacked 175 pound light heavyweight division that has seen a lot of activity lately. The podcast also talks about prospect Dmitry Bivol, who went to 10-0 this past weekend and won an interim world title with the WBA, as well as Cuba’s veteran slugger Sullivan Barrera who went to 19-1 with a knock out victory last Saturday night. The lone loss of Barrera’s career came at the hands of Andre Ward and he has bounced back with two stoppage wins since to keep his name in the title picture.
Boxing Light Heavyweight Wrap Up – TnS Podcast #41
The 41st TalknShoot Podcast also sees the discussion meander to several other PPV fights that will be offered later this year. Cinco de Mayo weekend sees Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr meet up in an all-Mexican match-up with high expectations and Manny Pacquiao’s “World Tour” is on again as he is now scheduled to face Australia’s Jeff Horn on July 2nd.
We also touch a little bit on the theme of pay-per-view and whether the format is dying for boxing. Don’t miss our TnS Boxing Podcast #40 for more on Boxing and PPVs.
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Boxing Light Heavyweight Wrap Up
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