World Champ Sergey Kovalev – Forces gathered for light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev atop the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday.
But nowhere to be seen was Andre Ward and company.
Kovalev (30-0- 1, 26 KOs) will be fighting Andre Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) on November 19, for the WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles the Russian fighter now holds. But complications have developed as Andre Ward’s promoter RocNation Sports has balked at holding the fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas per their verbal commitment.
“We have an agreement with the T-Mobile Arena as far as I’m concerned,” said Kathy Duva of Main Events that promotes Kovalev.
Despite the absence of Ward it was hard to detect sadness from Kovalev.
“I’m not disappointed but it would be much better if he was here you know,” said Kovalev to the media that numbered around two dozen reporters. “The most important thing is he should be in the ring on Nov. 19.”
Ward just fought this past Saturday against Colombia’s Alexander Brand at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. Those witnessing the fight were severely disappointed by the lack of excitement or competitiveness.
Ward, 32, was expected to arrive in LA where the media press conference took place. The reporters waited for more than an hour before a disgruntled group huddled to decide what to do.
They proceeded with the press conference without Andre Ward.
“He (Ward) felt that it was too close to his fight to have to travel,” offered Duva as an explanation.
Kovalev, 33, fought last month against South Africa’s Isaac Chilemba. The fight took place in Ekaterinburg, Russia and the champion was unable to “krush” the competition as usual. Fans were disappointed.
But with both light heavyweights undefeated in their careers, and both recognized among the top fighters pound for pound, it remains one of the most anticipated fights of the year. But in reality it is more special than usual.
“This will be only the third time two fighters face each other in the ring for pound for pound (status) who are undefeated,” said Michael Buffer who emceed the press conference. “The first one was in 1990 when it was Julio Cesar Chavez and Meldrick Taylor, a Main Event fighter. And the second was Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya in 1999.”
Kovalev and Ward will be in lofty company if it takes place.
“I’m really excited because we’re the best boxers right now in the light heavyweight division,” said Kovalev. “Just three months before the fight and it will happen. Just take your time and it will happen.”
Kovalev said he will be training in Big Bear with his coach John David Jackson. The Russian light heavyweight trained in the California mountain resort several years ago but left to train in Florida. Now he returns to the mountaintop in preparation for his battle with Ward.
“Any fight is dangerous. But this fight is very important for me because this is really high level for both of us,” said Kovalev. “When I was a child I dreamed to be on this level. And for me this fight means a lot. This fight for me means everything. After this fight we will find out who is the best pound for pound.”
Stay tuned for further developments.
World Champ Sergey Kovalev