The battleground will be the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In the end, only one man will walk away with three 175-pound titles in his possession. "And you get prepared", Kovalev said, turning and pointing his finger directly at Ward before leaving by the back door. "Some of you think I lost the fight, but you've got to look at the other side of that coin".
"The backlash was swift from those who said that making it sound as if Ward-a devout Christian-dropped nonstop N-bombs was racist", TMZ wrote.
While the judges verdict divides opinion, Ward was confident he'd get the nod but fully aware that the fight was close especially facing a deficit from the knockdown.
Kathy Duva of Main Events, who promotes Kovalev, referred to "that circus that's going to take place in August", when responding to questions about why Ward-Kovalev 2 doesn't feel like a big fight. "It's more motivation, definitely more motivation", Ward says. adding, "He needs to be silenced". "Don't you point your finger at me". "He's not used to someone pushing the action".
"Championship fights don't start until l the sixth round", Ward said.
Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs), 34, who is from Russian Federation and fights out of Los Angeles, has said throughout the promotion that he wants to beat Ward up and hurt him.
That was the 34-year-old's first defeat in the pro ranks, and the shocked Russian made his feelings clear after the fight. For him it was like fighting a heavy bag..
There was genuine dislike between the two fighters, born largely out of their first fight.
Those story lines alone should be enough to ensure a sold-out arena and a worldwide audience watching the fight on pay-per-view. Yes he went 12 rounds with a past-prime Arthur Abraham in two of the most boring world title fights in living memory, but he has consistently failed when he has stepped up on any level. "It is what it is". Just like a fighter who came in the boxing gym like one month ago.
Ward, 33, took the first matchup, as all three judges scored the fight 114-113 in his favor.
Kovalev claimed he overtrained for the first bout and had nothing when he went into the ring.
"I can not explain", Kovalev said. I've shut guys out - 120-108; 120-107 on the scorecard - and I've literally heard grumblings about something.
Neither Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) nor Kovalev has been on any late-night talk shows. Kovalev walked out of a press conference because of his annoyance with Ward, and though he contains frightening power and huge confidence, one has to wonder if his feelings will affect his performance tonight. I've already said enough.
"I agree they support their boxer but honestly, this is sport, don't make it like politics".
Showtime will televise on its pay-per-view arm. Ward said that will play in his favor in the rematch. "When I hit him with the last one he didn't react". I'm feeling good because people have to realize I've had some stopping and going in my career, legal battles to push through. "I hope these two gentlemen get the attention they deserve".