Virgil Hunter, the trainer for IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Andre “SOG” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs), says his fighter will not be retiring because of anything to do with Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs). If there’s going to be a rematch between these two fighters for HBO PPV, then it will need to involve a contract that pleases what Ward wants.
There’s a rematch clause for their previous fight stating that a second fight must be made. But the terms of the financial terms of the rematch are what needs to be settled between the two fighters.
Ward, 32, has talked recently about him possibly hanging up his gloves and moving onto other things with his life rather than resuming his boxing career to face Kovalev a second time. Ward insists that that he has nothing to prove by facing Kovalev again other than showing his trainer and team that his win over him from November 19th last year was not a fluke thing. Ward leaves open the possibility of a rematch with Kovalev, but he wants to make sure that it’s under terms that benefits him.
Hunter said this to Dontae’s Boxing Nation about Ward possibly retiring:
“I haven’t spoken to Andre about why he’s saying that,” said Hunter about Ward’s comments about potentially retiring from boxing without facing Kovalev again. “If he does retire, it won’t be because of Kovalev. He might have something in his head. I’m curious to see how it turns out. I guarantee you it won’t have anything to do with Kovalev,” said Hunter.
Some boxing fans have it wrapped around their heads that Ward is afraid of fighting Kovalev again because of how hard the fight was for him last November. Ward fought his heart out and won a close 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 114-113, 114-113, and 114-113. There was very little that separated the two previously unbeaten fighters at the end of the fight.
It could have gone either way. The judges sided with Ward and not surprisingly, Kovalev was upset about the outcome. He and his promoter Kathy Duva will need to come into the negotiations for the rematch in a calm, cool and collective manner if they’re to negotiate the rematch successfully. It won’t help them if they’re emotionally wrapped up in the previous fight, and harboring a grudge of some sorts. They need to own the loss and accept it. If Kovalev had won the fight, the judges would have given it to him. Now it’s time for Kovalev to heal and give Ward the respect that he deserves.