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John David Jackson: Ward-Kovalev 2 will need better promotion

If a rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev is to happen, the trainer says they’ll need a better promotional push.

Bernard Hopkins & Sergey Kovalev Media Workout Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Per a report from RingTV, a potential rematch between light heavyweight champion Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev is being targeted for June 17. Ward won a highly debatable decision in their first meeting last November and has since been rather non-committal about whether he’ll return for a contracted rematch or just hang up the gloves.

John David Jackson, the trainer of Kovalev, isn’t getting his hopes up just yet though. He says he’ll believe the rematch is on track once he sees signed contracts.

“They tell me Sergey signed something. But if Ward is wanting to get more money, OK, God bless him. Thing is, (the first fight) didn’t do well, pay-per-view-wise, so I don’t see more money coming in but, if he can get it, get it. Me, personally, I don’t think it will happen in June, as it hasn’t been signed and announced. We will need better promotion this time. You can’t just cram and ram it home. They are both not well-known…they are well-known but not outside of this realm. They are two great fighters but not (the utmost) marketable names.”

Last November’s title fight between two of the top pound-for-pound fighters was a highly anticipated match amongst hardcore boxing fans. But as Jackson suggests, it wasn’t highly anticipated for casual fans and not even a blip on the radar for those who don’t follow the sport. Kovalev-Ward would sell about 160,000 PPVs for a nip-and-tuck chess match which probably isn’t likely to outperform their first event - and that could prove to be a issue if either fighter has significantly increased purse demands for a sequel (which Ward is rumored to have).

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