Andre “SOG” Ward has taken the first step towards a 2016 mega fight with the “Krusher” Sergey Kovalev after it was announced he would make his light-heavyweight debut in Las Vegas on November 21.
The WBA (Super) and WBC super-middleweight champion moves up to 175lbs to face Alexander Brand on the undercard of Miguel Cotto’s WBC middleweight title bout with Saul Alvarez at The Mandalay Bay.
Ward has signed an exclusive three-fight agreement with American broadcaster HBO, which is set to end with a 2016 bout against WBO, WBA (Super) and IBF Russian champion Sergey Kovalev.
The 31-year-old is widely considered as one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world and has just recently brushed aside Liverpool’s Paul Smith in June on his return to the ring after 18 months of inactivity.
With wins over the “Cobra” Carl Froch and the capture of the Super 6 Tournament, the man from San Francisco boasts a perfect undefeated record of 28 wins from 28 fights in the super-middleweight ranks, and now Ward and his team are understood to be in talks with Kovalev’s camp over the summer about setting up a fight at 175lbs.
HBO Sports president Ken Hershman has been quoted as saying “From Olympic gold medalist, to [unified] world champion, to winning all 28 of his professional bouts and dominating the super-middleweight division, Andre Ward has demonstrated that he is among the finest performers in the sport,
“We are delighted to have Andre as part of our family, fighting exclusively on the HBO platforms.”
“All of us at Roc Nation Sports are thrilled to partner with HBO as we embark on the next chapter in the storied career of Andre Ward,” added David Itskowitch from the boxing division of Roc Nation, who promote Ward.
“Starting this multi-fight agreement and Andre’s quest to conquer the light-heavyweight division with a fight on the highly-anticipated November 21 pay-per-view event is a fitting way to kick things off.
“We are hopeful that November 21 is the first step toward a 2016 showdown with Sergey Kovalev.”