Promoter Bob Arum thinks it’s ridiculous that former light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) is asking for neutral judges for his June 17 rematch with IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Andre “SOG” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Kovalev feels that he rightfully won his last fight with Ward on November 19 last year, but that the judges took the win away from him by giving it to Ward in a robbery. All 3 judges for the rematch on June 17 will be picked by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and will be coming from the U.S instead of being a mix of judges from other parts of the world. Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva says she was turned down when she asked Ward to let some of the judges come from outside of the U.S.
“That’s ridiculous. Kovalev has fought his entire career in the U.S,” said Arum to TMZ.com about Kovalev asking for neutral judges for his June 17 rematch with Andre Ward in Las Vegas, Nevada. “He’s made a lot of money in the U.S. Andre Ward is an American and won a gold medal for the U.S. The Nevada Commission should pick the judges, and they’ll pick fair judges, and this neutrality thing is nonsense. They’re both good fighters. That’s really an even fight. It’s really a 50-50 fight, and the odds will reflect that,” said Arum.
It’s easy for Arum to say that it’s no big deal that all three of the judges for the Ward-Kovalev rematch should come from the U.S, but he doesn’t have anything to do with either of these fighters. Arum doesn’t promote them, so it’s no big deal if either of them lose due to questionable judging.