THE wheels are officially in motion for one of boxing’s most elusive and anticipated match-ups in recent history. At long last, on November 19, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) and Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) will glove up and face each other to determine light heavyweight supremacy. The press conference to officially kick off the promotion took place on Tuesday in New York City.
Along with the WBA, IBF, and WBO belts, the title of probably the best fighter on the planet will also be up for grabs when Kovalev and Ward finally meet.
It’s a fight that fans have been demanding for years and one that seemed to hang by a thread even as recently as four weeks ago. Main Events chief, Kathy Duva, seemed exasperared with her co-promoters last month and even wondered aloud if Ward was looking for a way to back out of his agreement to face the “Krusher.”
The former unified super middleweight champion couldn’t help but quip about that fact. “Kathy I showed up,” said a smiling Andre Ward. “I’m thankful to be here today. I want to thank everybody that’s associated with this event. There’s a lot of different nuances that go in to place to get a fight like this done but it’s done and that’s what we all should focus on.”
Regardless of the outcome of his upcoming match, Ward’s name will be mentioned along with those of the greatest 168-pounders of all time. Moreover, he is a former Olympic gold medalist, has won a couple of fighter of the year awards, has been listed on pound for pound lists for well over a half decade, and hasn’t lost a fight, supposedly, since he was 12 years old.
“I’m a young veteran in the game,” said Ward. “I paid my dues and I continue to pay my dues and this is just another opportunity. You know, I’ve been in these positions before. So has my opponent, and it doesn’t matter what the other side says and how they feel. He’s gotta get it done. I’ve gotta get it done and it’s going to determine, when those lights come on, who executes and who gets it done. That’s what it boils down to and that’s what I focus on.”
Despite all of his accolades, and an astonishing career thus far, Ward is still searching for that career defining victory. A win over Sergey Kovalev will, undoubtedly, cement his legacy in the sport.