BY MICHAEL WOODS
The powers that be have been targeting June for a rematch of the high-stakes light heavyweight chess match between IBF/WBA/WBO titlist Andre Ward, the California-based pugilist-specialist, and Russian stalker Sergey Kovalev.
They collided last November, with Kovalev scoring a knockdown but not the decision after 12 tight rounds.
He’d very much like to avenge the “L” but, to this point, Ward has been a bit coy in approaching the sequel.
June 17 is the targeted date, we are told but Kovalev trainer John David Jackson isn’t going to get ahead of himself and the news.
He will believe it when he sees evidence, namely names on contracts, and more specifics than have been made publicly available to this point. “I have no real inside track; it’s what I hear,” Jackson told me. “They tell me Sergey signed something. But if Ward is wanting to get more money, OK, God bless him. Thing is, (the first fight) didn’t do well, pay-per-view-wise, so I don’t see more money coming in but, if he can get it, get it. Me, personally, I don’t think it will happen in June, as it hasn’t been signed and announced. We will need better promotion this time. You can’t just cram and ram it home. They are both not well-known…they are well-known but not outside of this realm. They are two great fighters but not (the utmost) marketable names.”
My take: Spoken like a true vet of the rodeo circuit. Jackson knows words are cheap, that pens need to be put to paper by all pertinent parties. Until then, it’s talk. When they sign, then it’s time to rock. Then, he said he would tell me what has to be done for his guy to finish the job, so the rematch won’t look so much like the second 65% of the first tango. “When it’s signed, I will tell you the way,” Jackson said, in closing.