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June 15, 2017

By G. Leon

GL: Can you give us some final thoughts on the Ward-Kovalev rematch? What can fans look forward to seeing from Sergey? You have the two best fighters in the world, in any weight class fighting each other in their prime, in a rematch and I think this is the kind of thing boxing fans say that they want all the time, should want all the time and I think it's going to be a tremendous fight. When round thirteen starts with these guys, they've had twelve rounds to learn each other, feel each other out and learn what the other person can do. Then they've had months to think what they want to do about that. You've got two chess players, two great athletes and I think it's going to be a great fight. I think Sergey is going to be ten times more dynamic than he was the first time. I think he's going to go in there and get his belts back and settle this once and for all.

GL: What can you tell us about some of the undercard action?

Kathy Duva: "We've got a great young fighter from Russia, Dmitiry Bivol, he's only 26. All of the other contenders in the division are all in their 30's. Even the young contenders in the division like Beterbiev and Gvozdyk. He's fighting Cedric Agnew and the last time we saw him was when he fought Sergey in a fight that I don't think he was quite ready for, but he has learned and he's gotten better. This is a step up for Bivol and do or die for Agnew, so I think we have another great fight there. I know Guillermo Rigondeaux will be on the card and he's fighting Moises Flores and we've also got a terrific middleweight fight with Arif Magomedov and he's going to be fighting Luis Arias. It's going to be on the best PPV cards anybody has seen in a long time."

GL: The first time around it didn't do so hot, what is your expectation for the fight on PPV this time around?

KD: "We were starting to feel some energy around here for the last day or two and then Floyd Mayweather came along and changed all of our plans. After that announcement yesterday I'm not going to make any predictions. Sergey is here to get his belts back and that's our primary concern at this moment. Aside from going through all of the various work with press conference all of our work has been done. The advertisements are in place, everything is arranged, so here we go."

GL: Do you think Andre Ward has done a good job of promoting the fight?

KD: "I'm not going to comment on that."

GL: Is this a do or die fight for Sergey as far as competing at the high, seven figure level?

KD: "I don't think that. They're the two best fighters in the world and if you're #2 and you lose to #1, I don't think that at all. That's silly."

GL: In the first fight Sergey was in control the first half, then Ward took over. Do you think Sergey has made the necessary adjustments to make it a one sided fight from start to finish?

KD: "He changed his training situation and that was the problem. He was gassed after four rounds. That shouldn't happen to an elite level athlete. He trained too much and I saw this with my own eyes. It was scary, but now he's got the right people around him to make sure that doesn't happen again. He's in a condition right now that he's never been in before."

GL: Closing thoughts?

KD: "Sergey is going to kick his ass, so come out and support it or watch it with your dad on father's day weekend."

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