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Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2: “The Rematch”
Los Angeles Press Conference
Video, Photos and Quotes
 

Click HERE for Photos
Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Khristopher Sandifer
 
Click HERE for Video
Video Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Main Events
LOS ANGELES, CA (April 12, 2017) 
On Wednesday at the Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles, CA, 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 regarding 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.
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 final press tour stop:

Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion
“I want to thank LA, tremendous fight city, tremendous fight town. I’ve been here a lot as a young boy coming up, taking the trips from Northern California, paying my dues early. I appreciate you guys coming out.
“I told the people in New York, you’ve got perception and you’ve got reality. You’ve got a lot of misinformation coming from that side. You’ve got a lot of lies coming from that side. A lot of old school tactics. It’s 2017 man. All that old school stuff that his side is trying to do, it’s not going to work. At the end of the day, we’ve got a date. You’re selling fear, we’re not buying it. At the end of the day, you’ve got to see me June 17. I don’t care what you say, I don’t care where you’re from, I don’t care how you came up, it doesn’t matter bro. You’re going to have to see me June 17, it’s that simple.

“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.”

 
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – Former Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion

“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.”

 
Michael Yormark – Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy
“Ward-Kovalev 2 was officially announced just over a week ago, and since then we have been overwhelmed with hype, media coverage, trash talk, and verbal sparring. In fact, Team Kovalev as the B-side promoter has made a habit of playing nice on the dais and then talking trash to the media when they are a safe distance from Andre – a lot of good it’s done so far. But, just as I mentioned in New York, and again yesterday in Oakland, all of this chatter means nothing now and will mean even less come June 17 when the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world go toe-to-toe, and only one man is left standing as champion – with the loser being left with no one to blame but himself – No Excuses!

“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.”

Kathy Duva – CEO of Main Events
“Michael’s speech, as always so eloquent and he did a great job of thanking everyone, so I’m not going to waste your time repeating everything he said. People at HBO, people at MGM, our sponsors, I appreciate everything you do for us. There’s one group he didn’t thank and I’m going to take the time to do that today. I’ve done this I hate to admit for 40 years. I was three when I started, I was the youngest publicist in the history of boxing. My job as publicist is to deal with you, the press. I know that you don’t make a fortune. I know that most of you do this the same reason I do, for love. We are afflicted by this disease. You come out here, most of you on your own dime, on your own time. Nobody here is going to be a millionaire yet you come and have the same passion as we do. You cover this sport so closely because you share that passion. I want you to know how much Sergey Kovalev and Main Events appreciate that. We’re never going to forget you.

“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.”

 
James Prince – Manager of Andre Ward
“Now, to get down to business over here. Kovalev’s manager, let me begin with him. The man got up here and said he doesn’t talk a lot, but as we can see he had quite a bit to say. He said a lot, but he didn’t tell the truth, but I like to shine the spotlight on some of those lies he told. As far as Andre Ward, he’s a gold medalist. When you become a gold medalist, that means you fought not only people in Russia, but people around the world. He represented the United States of America in 2004 and won the gold medal. That means you traveled the world and defeated everybody before you. Who can dispute that? We have a good medalist here, which means we have the truth.
“I keep telling these guys over here, beginning with Sergio, I keep telling them that you can’t sell no fear to us, we’re men of God. We’re not buying any fear about what you want to do. We’ve cracked your code and we’re going to pick up where we left off come June 17.

“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.”

 
Egis Klimas – Manager of Sergey Kovalev
“As Michael was saying about Andre Ward, he had one thing right, undefeated. But undefeated doesn’t mean the best. Muhammad Ali wasn’t undefeated. Many of the great fighters weren’t undefeated because they fought real fighters. Nowadays, it’s a lot of protection going on.

“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.”

 
 
Tony Walker – Vice President, HBO Pay-Per-View
“Thank all of you for coming out today to talk some big-time boxing. On behalf of our Executive Vice President Peter Nelson and the rest of the HBO Sports staff, it’s really a pleasure to be here talking boxing with folks in LA who are some of the greatest boxing fans in the world. I’ve got to thank Michael, Kathy, Andre, Sergey and all their staffs for putting together this show. It may have been inevitable, but it’s not easy putting together a big-time boxing match nowadays as so many just don’t get made.

“This is a showcase event, it’s going to be special. We think it’ll be one of the biggest sporting events of the year, it’s a hot show. The first fight left people wanting more. The fight itself was great, it was tactical and dramatic. There’s drama built in the narrative from the first fight coming into today. Drama is always good TV, and we expect a special telecast on June 17.” 

Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2: “The Rematch”
Oakland Press Conference Video, Photos and Quotes
 
Click HERE for Photos
Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Khristopher Sandifer
 
Click HERE for Video
Video Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Main Events
Oakland, CA (April 11, 2017) – On Tuesday at the Oakland Marriott in Oakland, CA, 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 regarding 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.
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 appreciate everybody for coming out today. It’s always good to be home in the Bay Area. It’s amazing how in a short time, eight, nine, ten years, we put the Bay on the map in terms of the boxing world. Oakland used to be a major fight town, and we got away from it. But through myself and many other young fighters, contenders who may not have had opportunities that I was afforded, we’re doing our part to continue to represent the Bay in a major way and that’s a beautiful thing.
“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?”
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – Former Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion 
“The other side is saying I have to prove a lot, I have to show a lot. I don’t need to prove or show anything. I showed and proved everything on November 19. Anybody who hasn’t seen that or doesn’t think that, you’re going to see it on June 17. This is what I promise and this is what I’m going to do. The ones who think about Andre Ward’s victory, you can still pray for him because I’m going to show it on June 17. He got those belts somehow. I think June 17 is going to be the day everybody’s going to see the way it’s supposed to be.”
Michael Yormark – Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy
“Hello Oakland! We are so happy to be here today. Today is a truly special day for this community, for this city. Oakland is synonymous with hard work, toughness, loyalty and pride. Today the native son returns. A man who represents all of those characteristics will stand before you, and unlike many in the professional sports world, Andre Ward is here to fight for Oakland! The best boxer in the world, the face of his sport, the hero and icon of this historic town – he fights for you. He did so last November, when he staged an epic comeback against dangerous Sergey Kovalev, and emerged victorious. After Andre’s win, there was a lot of talk, a lot of debate, a lot of speculation, a lot of excuses. But Oakland doesn’t make excuses, Oakland doesn’t talk, Oakland acts.
“In one of his latest posts, Sergey said Andre ‘slaps like woman’. Grammatical issues aside, on behalf of all the strong Oakland women in the audience today I’d like to say ‘thank you Sergey for the compliment’. As someone who has spent the better part of the past three decades promoting sports and entertainment events, I’ll give Sergey a lot of credit – he had some great soundbites in New York yesterday. He said ‘Andre wears a crown’. Actually Sergey, they are belts, you should know, I think a couple of them used to be yours. He said he dislikes Andre – which brings the number of people here in Oakland today that dislike Andre up to a total of two: you and Kathy. But in all seriousness, the stakes could not be higher for this rematch and when Sergey says Andre ‘will not show up for this fight,’ that tells me he hasn’t done his research. Andre has built his career on shining brightest in the biggest moments. June 17 is the biggest of moments – more than just wins and championship belts, this fight will ultimately dictate the fate of each fighter’s legacy.
“This is the type of fight that is decided by pride, guts, toughness, overcoming adversity, and who just wants it more. For Andre Ward, being raised by the city of Oakland is his ultimate advantage. He was born with incredible talent and ability, but Oakland gave him his toughness, his pride and his uncanny ability to stare down any challenge, and dominate it. June 17 will be no different – at the end of the night there will be only one champion, and there will be no excuses.”
Kathy Duva – CEO of Main Events
“If Andre Ward is half as tough in the ring as his promoter talks, I suppose Sergey may have his hands full. But we are coming to Las Vegas in June and Sergey has one goal in mind and that is to make sure that the winner actually wins the fight this time.
Sergey Kovalev is probably the biggest perfectionist I’ve ever met. I’ve seen him walk away from fights that he knocked his opponent out in two rounds, and then apologize for his performance. Everybody keeps talking about excuses on the other side, and nobody’s making any. He is blaming himself, he has apologized to his fans for not making that win emphatic enough so that people could not take it from him because, with all the respect in the world to Andre Ward, he didn’t win Sergey’s belts they were taken from Sergey.”
James Prince – Manager of Andre Ward
“We’re excited about June 17, as we were the past year when we took care of Goliath over here. We know what we had to do with them, and now June 17 is right around the corner. I don’t know if Sergio’s manager repeated everything that Sergio was saying. It seemed to be a disconnection going on. I don’t know if he wanted to say what he was saying. I think they’re confused today as they’re going to be on June 17 in the ring when he sees he can’t accomplish the things he wants to accomplish.
“I said it to him yesterday and I’ll reiterate it today. For some reason, I get the feeling that he thinks somebody is scared of him. Bullies think that way. He feels like he can say things and impose fear in men of God’s heart. I told him men of God, we don’t fear nothing because we know no weapon formed against us shall prosper. I know Andre Ward doesn’t need any help with him, with the threats he’s making and feeling like he wants to hit Andre Ward in his head. A word to the wise, to all that’s listening – do what you got to do in the ring, because you’re in a place that’s called town business. We don’t play those kinds of games outside of the ring. Let’s stay focused and attempt to try and hit him in the head in the ring, because you’re going to have problems with that. But you’ll have real big problems outside of the ring.
Andre Ward’s team means something to him. When we speak, our words carry value. For you to get up here and act like what we’re saying doesn’t mean anything, maybe that’s how it goes on in Russia but in the United States of America we put value in what we say. Once again, the United States of America shall be victorious on June 17, and no weapons formed against us shall prosper.”
 
Egis Klimas – Manager of Sergey Kovalev
“Talking is very, very cheap. Trust me, I’ve been in this business for a while, and I’ve seen it many times. Managers, trainers, promoters coming in and talking a lot of shit into the microphone. But then it comes to the night, these are the two men that are going to go in the ring, and they’re going to fight. Nothing to do with the promotion, nothing to do with the manager, nothing to do with the trainers. Trainers might be giving them the advice, but these two guys are going to survive.
“You can’t lie to the people’s eyes with what they saw on November 19. I’m not going to talk about it. I’m not going to go there because it’s already history. Forget about it. I want everybody to see who’s going to be coming to Vegas on June 17, what is going to happen. I want to thank everybody who’s involved in this fight and putting it together, HBO Pay-Per-View. I want to thank as always the media because without you guys nobody will know what happened here.”
Virgil Hunter – Trainer of Andre Ward
 “It’s a good fight coming June 17 against the most dangerous and most feared light heavyweight in the world, Sergey Kovalev against a lucky victorious man in Andre Ward. So, I guess this fight here will pretty much settle it. I think if you look at the realistic facts of it all, I think only Sergey’s been in the media talking. I think Mr. Klimas shouldunderstand that we haven’t said a word. The other side has talked about ending people’s careers to knocking you out to insulting God almighty. All that’s coming from this side so we understand what goes on and I think it’s a lot of doubt, it’s a lot of anger. I don’t see Coach Jackson here today and to be honest I don’t expect to see him June 17 because you got to put the blame somewhere.
“I’m looking for a real good fight. Sergey Kovalev is definitely not underestimated. I don’t have a problem saying that before we fought I was a fan of his. I’m still a fan of his. I just won’t be a fan of his on June 17. This is not me blowing smoke. I admire his skill. I always knew that if we came across each other that it was going to be a tough fight, difficult fight, and a fight of attrition. And I expect the same thing June 17.
“I think Andre said it best when he said somebody’s will was going to be broke in that fight. But it would be nice to go into that without biting the hand that fed you. Everybody’s an expert from the reporters to the announcers when it comes to judging a fight. All of a sudden, they were all wrong that night. So, I think that’s an insult to what goes on in boxing. I think it wasn’t right. I think it was wrong particularly since HBO has built Sergey into the star that he rightfully is. Like I said before and I’ll say today, I’ll challenge anybody to sit with me and show me where he won the fight. He fought a hell of a fight because he’s a hell of a fighter, but he didn’t win the fight.
“So, I guess all of the answers will be answered June 17. My advice is relax, don’t be uptight. You can’t drink year in and year out and expect at some point for it not to catch up to you and I would bet money that if we could go internally and see inside that that’s one of the causes that’s causing him to get fatigued now. It’s not the overtraining, it’s not this and it’s not that. It’s just guys are standing up and going 12 rounds now. But you can’t drink vodka year in and year out and expect on fight night to fight somebody like Andre.”
Tony Walker – Vice President, HBO Pay-Per-View
“On behalf of my Executive Vice President Peter Nelson and the rest of the staff at HBO I’d like to thank everybody for coming out to talk some big-time boxing today. First, I want to thank Michael and Kathy and their staff at Roc Nation and Main Events. It’s not easy putting big time fights together no matter how much everybody wants it – and the fighters wanted it. The promoters worked and we have here June 17 one of the biggest sporting events of the year.
“I would also like to thank, as Michael did, the community of Oakland. This has always been a boxing city. We have great viewership numbers from Oakland and the entire Bay Area no matter who seems to fight. So, we appreciate the support – we love the support you give Andre. A great home-grown guy in every way and we know that we’re going to do some big business here in the Oakland area and throughout the Bay Area for the fight.
“I would just like to say that the fight will be distributed by all the usual distributors, the cable, the satellite and telephone companies and I guarantee you a good picture, great sound, and a great broadcast that night for the suggested retail price of $54.95. We think we have the best broadcast team in the business and its going to be a fun night to gather friends and the family for a great sporting event.
“I would just say that when a lot is on the line, as there is in this fight, there’s drama – and there’s no better TV then when drama is involved. So, thank you very much and we hope if we don’t see you in Las Vegas hopefully you’ll get a chance to watch it on HBO Pay-Per-View.”
 
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.
Follow the conversation using #WardKovalev.

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Victor O. Garcia - Head Boxing Video Reporter
Victor O. Garcia is the Head Boxing Video Reporter. Victor is in charge of running the videographer staff and video production on our you tube channel at Real Combat Media Boxing. Victor is also the Head of the RCM Boxing Ranking's panel and covers major boxing events in the California and Nevada regions. In the past, Victor boxed as an amateur and found his passion to become a contributor for the sweet science. You can follow or message Victor on Twitter @IAmVicGarcia and on Instagram @official_victor_garcia.