Saturday, June 10, 2023  |


Kathy Duva resolves issues with Roc, confident Ward-Kovalev at T-Mobile

Fighters Network
Photo by: Stacey Verbeek

Photo by: Stacey Verbeek

The future of Sergey Kovalev’s light heavyweight championship with Andre Ward seemed in doubt after Tuesday’s bizarre press conference in Southern California.

Main Events promoter Kathy Duva suggested that Roc Nation, which handles Ward, had reneged on a verbal agreement to place the fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Duva had planned to announce tickets for the Nov. 19 fight on HBO PPV on sale at the presser (in which Ward was a no-show) but said Roc Nation declined to sign off on the action.

But a couple days later, Duva seemed a lot more optimistic — about the fight, the venue and the negotiations after she said a number of issues were resolved with Roc Nation. Duva expects to see a new draft of the venue contract on Thursday and hopes to sign off shortly.

“It will be at T-Mobile,” Duva told on Thursday. “We’re going to have the contracts (signed) soon. We’ve gotten past the impasse in the last few days.”

Duva credited officials at the MGM Resorts International, which co-own T-Mobile, for helping to bring the sides together and settling a number of sticking points, which Duva declined to get into. Multiple officials at Roc Nation declined to comment Thursday on the state of negotiations for Ward-Kovalev. A source said that Roc Nation was looking to put Ward-Kovalev at Madison Square Garden in New York City even though T-Mobile was offering a better deal that was “night and day” to what MSG was bidding. An official for MSG didn’t return a call for comment.

“The people at MGM were very helpful in stepping up and taking a role in this in trying to satisfy Roc Nation’s demands,” Duva said. “So I think we’re past that. We have to wait unfortunately to put the tickets on sale until everything is signed but I think we’re headed in that direction, so it won’t be long. It’s resolved. I don’t think there are any big, outstanding issues.”