An angry Sergey Kovalev is slated to meet the man who has become his arch nemesis – U.S. boxer Andre Ward – at a much-anticipated light heavyweight rematch in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Kovalev, who lost by a whippet-thin points margin to Ward in November 2016, wants revenge, particularly because he believes the previous matchup was his the whole way.

Ahead of the June 2017 fight, which will take place at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Kovalev, the 34-year-old Russian, has been quoted as saying he wants to “destroy” Ward, and he has insistently labeled his opponent a fraud. Kovalev went into the November fight with an unbeaten record and has repeatedly contested the outcome of that match-up despite the unanimous decision. “For me, he is not a champion,” announced Kovalev. “He’s a fake champion.” For his part, the reigning champion, seems confident of another victory despite the extensive and extravagant trash talk from his opponent.

The last meeting between Ward and Kovalev took place at the T-Mobile Center in Vegas and it was an intense if contentious match-up between two talented fighters. Kovalev succeeded in knocking Ward down in the second round – a move the Russian believed would secure his victory. Nonetheless, to the surprise of many experts and pundits, the three judges gave Ward the title on points by the tiniest of margins: 114-113. And Kovalev has been rabid ever since.

Fans are Looking for a Definitive Decision

Due to the drama in November and the ensuing claims and rants by Kovalev, not to mention the sheer talent of both fighters, the upcoming match at the Mandalay Bay is being met with high expectations.

Boxing fans are looking for closure in the form of knockout or, in the very least, a definitive decision by the judges. Everyone agrees that these two talents deserve better than divisiveness and doubts, and everyone is looking for a clear-cut victory for either the American or the Russian – as long as it is conclusive.

Ward doesn’t deny that his last bout against Kovalev was close but the former U.S. Olympic gold medalist believes that he won fair and square despite the knockdown in the second. “I think if you look at the scorecards it’s pretty dominant after that,” Ward said. He also denies the Russian’s claims of bias among the judges (all three of whom were American), stating instead that the best man won in the end and that the upcoming match will prove his superiority.

The betting on what will surely be an exciting and dramatic repeat performance by these two great fighters is sure to be lively. Betting on boxing online is easier than ever in 2017 with convenient and helpful websites like William Hill. It is remarkably simple to check out the odds, read articles and guides, and place pre-fight bets on sports betting sites that take all the angst out of placing a bet. Come June 17, catch Kovalev and Ward face off once again for what many are calling the Fight of the Decade.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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