LOS ANGELES (April 7, 2017) Unified light heavyweight champion Andre “S.O.G” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) and former titleholder Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) will fight for the vacant RING Magazine light heavyweight championship title when they meet for a second time on June 17, THE RING announced today.
Ward and Kovalev are rated Nos. 1 and 2 in THE RING’s 175-pound ratings, which meets the magazine’s criteria for a championship fight. The title has been vacant since former champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson was stripped in November 2015 for lack of top-level opposition.
The fight also has pound-for-pound implications, as Ward and Kovalev are ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, on THE RING’s pound-for-pound list.
“It doesn’t get much bigger than this. The winner of this fight certainly will be worthy of being a RING champion,” said Michael Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of THE RING Magazine.
Ward defeated Kovalev by a controversial unanimous decision – 114-113 on all three cards – on Nov. 19, 2016 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, prompting many to call for an immediate rematch.
The fight will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.