On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward, who fight Saturday, November 19, in Las Vegas. Also, this past weekend's major boxing events are reviewed.
The fight between Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) and Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will be shown live on HBO pay-per-view in the U.S. and Sky Sports in the U.K.
We spoke with both Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward on a media conference call Tuesday.
"I must destroy him," vowed Kovalev.
Although he said he never makes predictions, Ward did say, "It's about a victory. It's about getting my hand raised. I'm not leaving Las Vegas without those belts."
This past Saturday, November 12, saw two major televised boxing cards.
In Monte Carlo, Monaco, and televised live in the U.K. on Sky Sports, Jamie McDonnell won a highly controversial unanimous decision over Liborio Solis to retain his WBA bantamweight belt. The crowd loudly booed the decision which was seen as a robbery. Nonetheless, this was an exciting fight as Solis pressured McDonnell throughout. In an awful heavyweight fight, which was also shown in the U.S. on HBO, the unbeaten Luis Ortiz faced Malik Scott, who chose to run for 12 rounds. Ortiz won a unanimous decision, but did himself no favors with an underwhelming performance himself. That was followed by another exciting matchup, as WBA super featherweight champ Jason Sosa dominated a game Stephen Smith to win by unanimous decision and retain his belt.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and shown live in the U.S. on Spike TV, the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) returned with three televised fights. In the first televised fight, lightweight Javier Fortuna survived a first-round knockdown to take a unanimous decision against previously unbeaten Omar Douglas in an entertaining and competitive fight. Next up was unbeaten junior middleweight prospect Jarrett Hurd stepping up to face veteran Jo Jo Dan. Hurd passed this test well, scoring a sixth-round TKO as the fight was stopped by Dan's corner.
The main event was clearly a showcase fight for unbeaten WBC welterweight champ Danny Garcia, who faced Samuel Vargas. As expected, Garcia dominated this bout, and the referee stopped the fight in round seven as Vargas's corner waved a white towel.
Garcia is next slated for a title unification fight on March 4, 2017, with unbeaten WBA champ Keith Thurman, who was a commentator for this card. Predictably, the two jawed at each other in the ring after Garcia's victory, ending this entertaining telecast on a high note.
(Photo of Kovalev and Ward by Khristopher Sandifer/Roc Nation Sports. Photos of Garcia and Vargas, and Garcia and Thurman, by Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions.)
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Thanks, Eddie Goldman