Andre Ward no-shows press conference for Kovalev fight

Andre Ward no-shows press conference for Kovalev fight

By Daniel Zaldivar

August 10, 2016


Official promotional poster for the November 19th bout, which was sent out by RocNation hours after Andre Ward's previous fight. Photo: Roc Nation/Main Events

Official promotional poster for the November 19th bout, which was sent out by RocNation hours after Andre Ward's previous fight. Photo: Roc Nation/Main Events

LOS ANGELES - Just three days ago, Andre Ward gained his 30th professional victory by easily  defeating Alexander Brand of Columbia. On Tuesday August 9, he was supposed to attend a kick-off press conference officially announcing his anticipated match with Sergey Kovalev. Well, he didn't show up. 

Kovalev's promoter, Kathy Duva, who heads Main Events Promotions, stated that she was informed last week of Ward's absence today in Los Angeles. Ticket sale information and the announcement of the presumptive venue (Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena) were supposed to be released today at the press conference, according to Duva. However, Roc Nation was not comfortable with announcing those plans either. 

I guess ‘living hell’ is pretty good description of the negotiations [with Roc Nation]. No, but seriously, there’s a lot of nice people at Roc Nation, but unfortunately the leadership of their company just is not capable of dealing in good faith.
— Kathy Duva at the August 9th press conference in LA

Duva, who has Main Events Promotions based in New Jersey, stated that a deal is in place to fight in Las Vegas in November, but Roc Nation has expressed their concerns about the site. Ward could possibly want the fight in his native Oakland, Calif., which could explain the recent debacle. It's also interesting to note that Roc Nation sent out a press release to the media (with the above poster attached) announcing the battle between both highly ranked pound-for-pound fighters on late Saturday, early Sunday morning. 

Bob Arum, Chairman of Top Rank, also has a pay-per-view event in November with his star fighter in Manny Pacquiao. Reports have stated that Arum would rather have the November 19 date that Kovalev-Ward have in place, in order to have Pacquiao fight in the new T-Mobile Arena. Pacquiao is rumored to fight at the Thomas and Mack Center because the T-Mobile Arena could not be secured. Duva also revealed her concern to not lose this date to Arum, but did say Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) would be fighting in November. 

We have an agreement with the T-Mobile, as far as I’m concerned.
— Kathy Duva

An agreement for a planned bout in November was announced back in June, pending both athletes could get passed their next opponents. Kovalev had some noticeable trouble, but was able to get the unanimous decision against Isaac Chiliemba, and Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) also took the decision victory in a glorified sparring session with Brand this past Saturday. Both have indicated their readiness for this competitive matchup (as seen above), however, Kovalev says it doesn't matter if he [Ward] didn't show up to the conference. Just as long as he's in the ring with him in November. 

 

It would be much better if he would be here (LA press conference), you know? But, if he’s not here, no problem. We can speak without him. Most important thing is that he should be in the ring November 19.
— Sergey Kovalev

Daniel Zaldivar is a boxing contributor for Frontproof Media & Page2sports.com. He is the founder of Z-BoxingNews (a partner with Frontproof Media), a YouTube channel that delivers the latest news, interviews, fighter workouts, & analysis within the sport. Check out the Z-BoxingNews YouTube channel HERE. Also follow on Twitter @Z_BoxingNews

(Feature photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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