Ward and Kovalev tune ups announced prior to PPV match up that fans have craved for years.
The preparation for what could be one of the fights of the year heats up as Andre Ward closes in on announcing his next match up which will be a preparation fight for the PPV event against highly rated Sergey Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs)
The slick, stylish and unbeaten Ward (29-0,15 Kos) who dazzled in the super six tournament back in 2009-2011, is putting the final touches to a deal that will see him fight 39 year old Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) on August 6th at the Oakland native’s hometown Oracle arena.
Alexander Brand will be stepping up in class to face Ward, with the majority of the Bogota resident’s exhibitions have been in his homeland of Columbia with his last win taking a split decision victory from previously unbeaten Medzhid Bektimirov in December 2015, rising from the canvas early to split the judges over 10 rounds.
Brand was set to face Andre Ward but Bektimirov had to stand in when Ward pulled out with fluid on the knee at the time.
Brand will no doubt be fully aware of Ward’s capabilities as this will be the second time he has prepared to meet the talented Olympic gold medallist.
Ward cannot look past Brand with his only defeat being a closely fought split decision against future super-middleweight champion Badou Jack in 2012.
Ward must win well to tee up the hotly anticipated November 19th Las Vegas fight against Kovalev who himself has to come through a tune up bout against Issac Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KOs) on July 11th.
Although past his best Chilemba is still capable of an upset and will prove a good test for ‘Krusher’ Kovalev to sharpen his tools.
The upcoming bouts will be a good opportunity for both fighters to impress and draw in the HBO PPV numbers for the November match up.
Ward has struggled to drum up a following partly due to the inactivity that has plagued his career with only 4 fights in the previous 4 years.
This may be a chance to put both feet into the big time and a win over Kovalev will see Ward gain the popularity many experts believe is long overdue.
Kovalev will be no push over when they do finally meet, with the WBA, IBF and WBO Light Heavyweight king carrying huge knock-out power and excellent punch resistance.
The contrasting styles and career defining possibilities will make for one of the most intriguing match ups of the 2016.
(Image source and credit: Fight Saga)
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