Ward attorney has ideas for selling rematch with Kovalev
Andre Ward attorney Josh Dubin was still basking in the euphoria of Ward winning a close decision against Sergey Kovalev in Las Vegas on Saturday.
He didn’t want to discuss a rematch just yet, even if Kovalev promoter Kathy Duva reportedly exercised her option for a second fight on Monday. “It’s Wednesday and the fight just happened on Saturday,” Dubin told RingTV.com. “I don’t know if we’d be acting the way they’re acting because there’s a certain mutual respect that just happened inside the ring and outside the ring,” he added. “Let him enjoy the victory. Can you give us a week?”
Yet while Dubin refused to think about contracts and rematch clauses, he did have some ideas about what can be done to ensure a runaway commercial success if the fighters do it again. Respectful of the job everyone did on Saturday in marketing the fight, Dubin thinks that more can be done to appeal to fans.
“I think there were things in my humble opinion that we can do differently on the promotional side,” Dubin said. “If they do fight again, I think we’re going to have a lot more say because we’re the ‘A’ side of the promotion. And I just think that, look, from the outside looking in, everybody thinks that things could be done a little bit differently.”
Dubin said he hasn’t seen any early markers to indicate the pay-per-view results. But he’s realistic about a fight involving two boxers in their maiden pay-per-view experiences who are still evolving as big box office attractions.
“I haven’t heard a word,” Dubin said of the PPV stats. “No one should expect blockbuster numbers because it was their first time on pay-per-view. All the great pay-per-view stars take a fight or two to grow.” He added: “So I think that we always have to temper expectations when it’s the first time. Now the product should speak for itself. Andre won but it was close and super competitive.”
He admitted the PPV projections have been all over the map with some observers predicting in the neighborhood of 250,000 buys and others more. Roc Nation exec Michael Yormark said before the fight he would be “disappointed if it wasn’t the biggest pay-per-view fight of 2016.” That remains to be seen. Dubin believes that more can be done to spread the word of this compelling match-up, and he looks forward to tapping the knowledge of Yormark and Ward manager James Prince, whom he lauded for their business acumen.
“I just think there were a lot of people who didn’t know about the fight,” said Dubin, who has represented boxers such as Lennox Lewis, Paulie Malignaggi and Bryant Jennings, among others, since 2001. “And I think we have to figure out how to get the message out there that there’s a huge fight happening between two once-in-a-lifetime fighters — one of whom may be one of the best to ever lace up the gloves in Andre. We’ll just sit and put our heads together to think of the best way to get those messages out there. Look, if they do fight again, this is one that should in large part sell itself. It was an amazing fight. It’s one that people far and wide are going to want to watch.”
And It’s a fight that if it happens next, Dubin is certain of the outcome. “Listen, I think they can fight 10 times and Andre’s going to win 10 times,” he said. “He’s just not losing. He just won’t be denied.”
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