#KovalevWard fight week has finally arrived...
In one of the most anticipated bouts of 2016, Andre Ward (30-0, 15 KO) challenges unified light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (31-0-1, 26 KO) this Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
"This is for all the marbles," Ward told CSN Bay Area’s Mindi Bach in an exclusive interview. "I’ve been fortunate to accomplish a lot in my career, but I need this one really bad. He can fight, and he can box really, really well. But I think what makes him great is also going to be his downfall."
The bout marks two career milestones for the “S.O.G.” (an acronym for “Son of God”): It's his first ever fight in Las Vegas and his first time as the headliner of a pay-per-view event.
Daniel Cormier was awarded the UFC light heavyweight championship Saturday night at UFC 220 after his loss to Jon Jones was overturned when Jones failed a prefight drug test. Cormier said leading up to the fight that he didn’t feel like a champion. He probably feels like one now.
The San Jose-based 205-pounder defeated No. 2-ranked Volkan Oezdemir by secon-round TKO to retain the title.
“I felt as if I was fighting for a vacant title because (Jones) beat me last time,” Cormier (20-1) said in a postfight interview referring to his loss last July.
“I fought for a vacant title and I got the job done so I’m the UFC champion again.”
Cormier, who turns 40 in March, nearly won the fight a round earlier. In the final minute of the first frame, Cormier landed a right hand flush on the challenger’s face. After securing a takedown and taking Oezdemir’s back, Cormier locked in a rear naked choke but was forced to relinquish the hold when the bell rang.
Oezdemir, 28, was given a second chance, but he couldn’t capitalize. Cormier dominated the second round from the beginning. The AKA-product once again took down Oezdemir, transitioned to a crucifix, and landed a barrage of shots until the referee called the fight at the 2:00 mark.
“He was so game. I knew he was a dangerous guy. He hit hard,” Cormier said of Oezdemir (15-2). “But once I was able to get him to the ground, I knew it was my world.”
And for now, the rest of the light heavyweight division is just living in it.
Oakland's own Andre "Son of God" Ward is calling it a career at 32-0. And plenty of noteable teams and icons showed the champ respect on Thursday...