Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev rematch set for June 17

04/04/2017 17:19

IBF, WBA and WBO light heavyweight champion Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) will fight previous titleholder Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) in a rematch on June 17 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Ward will defend the world titles he won from Kovalev by a disputed unanimous decision last November.

Kovalev scored a second round knockdown but the American battled back to win the closely fought contest 114-113 on all three scorecards.

The Russian has exercised his right to an immediate rematch.

"You got what you asked for, now you have to see me on June 17," said Ward. "This time leave the excuses at home."

Kovalev said: "I'm glad to know that rematch will happen. I really hope that Andre Ward will get into the ring for this rematch. Fans of boxing will see the real 'Krusher', the one they have missed for couple of my last fights. For me this rematch is very important as no other bout in my entire boxing career. Thanks a lot to all of boxing fans."

In addition to deciding the world’s best light heavyweight, this fight could also settle who is the current number one pound for pound fighter in the sport.

Also on the card, WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) will defend his title aganist mandatory challenger Moises Flores (25-0, 17 KOs).

The bout was initially scheduled for February 25 on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto-James Kirkland fight, but that card was canceled.

 Rigondeaux has not fought since last July when he stopped James Dickens in Wales. The Cuban retained his WBA belt after breaking Dickens' jaw in the second round with a huge left hand. The Welshman was forced to retire at the end of the round.

Mexico's Flores won the WBA interim belt with a points win over Oscar Escandon and has defended it twice, including going to Namibia and outpointing former WBO bantamweight champion Paulus Ambunda last June.