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Duva and Roc Nation start talks for rematch of Ward-Kovalev June 17

Photo by David Spagnolo / Main Events
Fighters Network

Roc Nation Sports and Main Events have started discussions on a rematch between light heavyweight champion Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev, has learned.

T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas has been reserved for June 17 on HBO PPV for their second fight, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s calendar, though it’s possible the venue could change. While the two sides have started talks, a deal does not appear close. Regardless, HBO is preparing as if the bout will take place on June 17, according to an industry source. Main Events CEO Kathy Duva declined comment to on Monday and a spokesperson for Roc Nation Sports also didn’t have anything to say on the current state of the negotiations.

The sides are likely jockeying for control after the negotiations for the first fight were contentious, the source told RING. “They’re going to have to work together,” the source said. “Either they’re going to fight again or Main Events is going to sue Roc Nation, so it seems like the fight should happen.”

Duva exercised a rematch clause in the first fight’s contract immediately after Ward won a close decision against Kovalev by identical scores of 114-113 to wrest control of Kovalev’s WBA/IBF/WBO titles at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Nov. 19. Ward must face Kovalev next and is not allowed to take an interim fight unless Main Events approves, and Duva seems unwilling to do so, wanting an immediate rematch.