One of the biggest and best fights of 2016 wasAndre Ward and Sergey Kovalev’s light heavyweight title bout that saw Ward survive an early onslaught from Kovalev which resulted in a knockdown to earn a unanimous decision by the narrowest of margins, with three 114-113 scores. Ward took the WBA, WBO and IBF light heavyweight titles off of Kovalev, but with the fight being so close, it was all but assured that a rematch would be coming in 2017 and now we have the date for that.
According to Ring TV’s Mitchell Abramson and Yahoo!’s Chris Mannix, the rematch for the light heavyweight titles will be June 17 in Las Vegas, with the exact venue still unknown.
The bout will be on HBO pay-per-view again, after the first bout did a reported 160,000 buys, which was a disappointing number, but it was also the first PPV bout for either fighter and because the fight was so exciting and HBO will undoubtedly replay the first fight in the build up they will expect a rise in buys.
This fight immediately becomes the top fight on the boxing schedule for 2017, as the world continues to wait and hope for a GGG-Canelo announcement for the fall. Ward and Kovalev put on a tremendous boxing exhibition in their first bout, with Kovalev showing he has technical skill along with his power and Ward showing he has the power and toughness to handle the likes of Kovalev. If the rematch can simply live up to the drama and excitement of the first fight, it will be well worth the price.