Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) and former titleholder Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) opened Fight Week Powered by Monster with their Grand Arrivals at Mizuya Lounge at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Tuesday, June 13, ahead of their ultimate rematch on Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The championship event, presented by Corona Extra, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
(Photo Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos)
Below is what the fighters had to say:
Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion
“I am looking forward to making a statement in this fight and answering any questions that may be out there and removing any doubt that may be out there, so I’m excited. You got to look at the other side of the coin, there’s a lot of people that thought I won the fight and he got what he asked for. Now after this, we don’t want to hear any excuses. We don’t want to hear about anything. We’re going to shut the door on this and, like I said, take all doubt and all questions off the table.
“In this sport, I have very little room for error. I always have the pressure on my side – no matter if I’m the challenger or the champion. But that’s OK because me and my team, we’ve learned how to deal with the pressure. We know how to deal with it. I come here looking forward to bringing back everything that I brought, including those belts. I’m excited. I can’t wait, we’re a couple days away. All of this talking is getting ready to be over. We’re getting ready for my favorite part, which is the fight. June 17. It’s about business, so I did what I had to do the first time. I’m looking to turn it up this time.
“The pressure is always on, man. It comes with my territory and it’s been like this since I’ve been a baby – 16 years old, 17 years old. You get to a point where you don’t run from the pressure, you embrace it. That’s what all the greats do. All I got to do is be myself and that will be enough. Everything else will take care of itself. At the highest level, you’re going to face adversity. It’s not if, it’s when. But the question is how do you respond? We responded like we were supposed to. I’m just looking forward to giving the fans another great fight in a few days here at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on June 17.
“A lot of people talk about the jab and the right hand. But if you look at the second part of the fight, he [Kovalev] wasn’t landing right hands and jabs. He had a good moment and he’s a really great fighter – I’m not taking anything away from him. That’s why I want to face the best, to be the best. Some people thought I won, some people thought I lost. So let’s do it again and that’s the beauty of rematches in this sport. It’s nothing to get defensive about. You just lace it up, do it again and we’ll see what happens.
“I got out of that business a long time ago – trying to prove people wrong – because it’s not an even playing field. I’ve shut guys out – 120-108; 120-107 on the scorecard – and I’ve literally heard grumblings about something. If it’s not this, it’s that. You get to a place where you mature as a man, you mature as an athlete, and you make the decision that ‘I’m going to live my life in the middle.’ I appreciate the praises, but I can’t get too high with those. And the criticisms – I can’t get too low with those. People are entitled to their opinions. Let me just keep doing me and that’s really the best place to be as an athlete.
“Tactically, I obviously want to have a better start and I’m going to have a better start. That’s really what got me in my hole – the start. I’m sure he’s made some adjustments and he’s going to come harder, but I’m ready. I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do. When you prepare the way you’re supposed to – and all the boxes are checked – it’s time to go to work. And I’m going to go to work, having fun and enjoying what I do, and put on a show in the process on June 17.”
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – Former Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion
“You know it’s good that he’s believing himself right now, that he’s got the key for me, but he didn’t get the key. He won two rounds against me as empty Kovalev, I remember I was like a heavy bag. Just like a fighter who came in the boxing gym like one month ago. And he’s like right now, ‘oh yeah I beat the Kovalev, but he won with empty Kovalev’.
“For this fight, I definitely had to get in shape, have different emotions and different motivations. I don’t just want to get my belts back and thank boxing fans for the support. I want to thank my haters – they motivate me to keep going. I want to get my belts and I’m here for this.
“Yeah, my fists will say it. I’ve already said enough. I want to say to Team Ward – they’ve said a lot of trash to my side, my team. He will pay for everything; I promise you.
“I appreciate him giving me the opportunity to get my belts back and on June 17 it’s going to be a different fight.
“I was empty one month before the November fight. Ward fought an empty Kovalev. This time I will not be empty – Ward will be fighting Krusher. I had pushed myself so hard in the beginning of training camp that one month out I was empty. I felt so much presser for the fight – my first fight on HBO Pay-Per-View – that I just trained too hard.”
Ward vs. Kovalev 2: “The Rematch,” a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight World Championships, is presented by Roc Nation Sports, Main Events, Andre Ward Promotions, Krusher Promotions and Corona Extra, sponsored by Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Jetlux, Life10 Electrolyte, Zappos, D’USSÉ Cognac, ProSupps and Powered by Monster. The championship event takes place Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets for Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” are available on axs.com and at the Mandalay Bay Events Center Box Office.
Andre Ward Announces Monster, LiFE10 Electrolyte, Zappos, Lyft & JetLux as Official Brand Partners For June 17 Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch”
Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) is proud to announce Monster Products, Life10 Electrolyte, Zappos, Lyft and JetLux as official brand partners ahead of his highly-anticipated rematch against Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) on Saturday, June 17 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
As Ward’s official fight brand partners, Monster Products, Life10 Electrolyte, Zappos, Lyft and JetLux will see activations of marketing and digital campaigns throughout training camp, Ward-Kovalev 2 “Fight Week” and coveted brand visibility on fight night. In addition to this innovative collection of American-based companies, Ward is also sponsored by long-time brand partners Shoe Palace and Jordan Brand.
“It’s a great feeling to have the support of my brand partners going into this fight,” said Ward. “I was fortunate to have a great group of sponsors, last November, and this time it’s no different with companies like Monster Products, Lyft and Jetlux returning, and Life10 Electrolyte and Zappos coming onboard because they believe in me. I want to represent them all well. I also want to thank Shoe Palace and Jordan Brand who have always been in my corner.”
“Monster has delivered the ‘Sound of Champions’ since its inception 37 years ago and we are proud to be supporting Andre. Monster headphones and the Blaster speaker have helped motivate and inspire athletes to maximize their trainings and to help them get ready for competition. We look forward to have Andre representing us in this momentous fight,” commented Noel Lee, Head Monster.
“Life10 is excited to be supporting Andre Ward on his journey to win his second Light Heavyweight title against Kovalev,” said Lester Zeigler, Life10 Electrolyte Founder. “Being able to hydrate Andre with naturally alkaline water, with no additives or enhancements, to ensure his training remains at maximum level efficiency has been an honor. His poise, work ethic and determination are qualities Life10 Electrolyte will always stand behind.”
“Lyft is excited to be Andre’s official transportation partner-getting him safely and easily to the key events, as he prepares for his big fight,” said Las Vegas General Manager Yacob Girma. “At Lyft, we are committed to connecting with our communities, and are happy to be a part of this milestone moment for Andre. The Lyft Las Vegas community is cheering him on!”
“Andre Ward’s success and desire to only be the best closely aligns with our company’s mission. And after last year’s tittle win, we are excited to once again be Andre’s official jet partner, in what will definitely be one of the best fights of the year. We wish Andre the best of luck!” said Tom Osovitzki, JetLux CEO.
“Zappos is sponsoring our third Andre Ward fight and this time as both a fight and Ward brand partner! By supporting events similar to this, it helps Zappos gain awareness amongst new and existing consumers. While there are many reasons we are fans of Andre Ward, there’s one big reason that really hits home. Andre Ward is from the Bay area and San Francisco is the birthplace of Zappos,” said Kristin Richmer, Senior Brand Marketing Manager. “As a company, we believe in building connections and this is just another example of how our relationship with Roc Nation has really brought things full circle. We greatly appreciate the opportunities and continued support from Roc Nation and look forward to the future.”
Andre Ward Continues to Train with Monster Audio Products as He Prepares for the Big Rematch in Las Vegas on June 17
Monster®, the world leader in personal audio and fitness headphones, will kick off its “Sound of Champions” campaign with a powerful promotional punch – partnering with Roc Nation Sports and the summer’s most anticipated boxing showdown, Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” Powered by Monster at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on June 17.
Monster’s “Sound of Champions” campaign, aptly named, is making a statement by choosing what will be a legacy championship event in boxing’s mecca, Las Vegas, alongside the fight card’s biggest stars. The campaign also features Super Bantamweight World Champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux and USBA Middleweight Champion Luis “Cuba” Arias, who are respectively set to defend their belts on June 17. In addition, Monster has come onboard as the presenting partner of Ward-Kovalev 2’s Fight Week, Powering its schedule of events.
The campaign is part of a new, continuing Monster “Sound of…” series, which will focus on how athletes use music as an inspirational tool during workouts, and how they look to Monster to provide the powerful sound they need to excel. Ward, Rigondeaux and Arias, who are all passionate and vocal proponents of Monster audio products, regularly train with Monster gear to get the powerful sound they need to achieve their best.
Monster’s rugged, sweat-proof iSport® Headphones, for instance, are a constant workout partner for Ward during his most strenuous workouts. Their powerful audio technologies provide all the musical punch he needs to stay focused and motivated while training. In addition to the iSport headphones, Ward spars to his favorite tunes while enjoying the sound of the critically acclaimed Monster Blaster Bluetooth speaker.
“Some people think that athletes always want to be in the gym working out but it’s not true,” said Ward. “There are days you just don’t feel like it and you’ve got to get your mind in a place where you can focus and keep pushing. It’s days like those when I really appreciate the great sound of Monster products. With Monster headphones, you’re in the zone. The music pumps you up to work harder and it really changes your mood. All my music comes through loud and clear, with the power and volume I need.”
Head Monster Noel Lee noted, “Ward’s love and support for our Monster music products proves that The Sound of Champions is truly the Sound of Monster, and we’re thrilled to be in his corner 100%. Like how boxing champions like Andre Ward work tirelessly to continue refining and improving their skill, everyone at Monster works day in and day out to continuously improve and further our sound so that music fans of all genres can enjoy the very best experience.”
“We always refer to Las Vegas as the home of boxing champions. All of the greats have come through there. On June 17, Monster will be behind three champions in Andre Ward, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Luis Arias, as they defend their titles on boxing’s biggest stage in Las Vegas. This is the perfect convergence of elements for the ‘Sounds of Champions” campaign—an extraordinary relevant fight and family of fighters to really leverage a state-of-the-art brand,” said Michael Yormark, Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy.
Ward vs. Kovalev 2: “The Rematch,” a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight World Championships is presented by Roc Nation Sports, Main Events, Andre Ward Promotions, Krusher Promotions and Corona Extra, sponsored by Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, and Powered by Monster. The championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Follow the conversation using #WardKovalev.