Two-time World champion Andre S.O.G. Ward (30-0) gave Alexander Brand a boxing clinic and his first loss since 2012 over the weekend,
Using a steady left hook, Ward outpointed Brand (25-2) to take the WBO Intercontinental light heavyweight championship at the Oracle Arena in his native Oakland, California.
Early on, Ward stunned the 39-year old Colombian, opening a small cut over his right eye and continuing to win every round in a dominant performance.
Immediately after, HBO officially announced the long-awaited showdown with Sergey Krusher Kovalev, who holds the WBA, WBO and IBF World light heavyweight titles. Kovalev vs. Ward will take place Saturday, Nov. 19 and will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Kovalev and Ward are currently ranked the number two and number four pound-for-pound boxers in the world, respectively, by The Ring Magazine, making their hotly anticipated fight only the third bout in the history of The Ring Magazine pound-for-pound list to pit two undefeated, top-five ranked pound-for-pound fighters against each other.
Odds makers and pundits have this fight evenly matched at 50-50 and it is poised to be a sure-fire 2016 Fight of the Year candidate. The event will signal Ward and Kovalevs first pay-per-view during a time when HBOs boxing broadcasts have been questionable.
This year marked uneven match-ups between Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan and lowly marketed pay-per-view debuts with Terence Bud Crawford vs. Viktor Postol. With Manny Pacquiao also coming out of retirement on November 5th against Jesse Vargas, HBO is seeking broadcast redemption in the fourth quarter.
UFC Fight Night 92: Yair Rodriguez tops 5-round war with Alex Caceres
In an epic five-round face off, Yair Rodriguez moved up the featherweight ladder with a split-decision victory over Alex Caceres.
Caceres (12-9) looked impressive early with fast cage movement, dazzling kicks and a hard superman punch. Rodriguez (9-1) returned with a menagerie of quick strikes in return.
However, a head kick thrown by Rodriguez followed by a right hand in Round 1 seemed to sputter the attack of Caceres.
Rodriguez continued his onslaught of wild spinning strikes in Round 2.
As the fight progressed into the later rounds, Rodriguezs attacking pace slowed but he was still able to land heavy power punches in bunches, continually forcing Caceres back to the cage.
Caceres opened Round 4 attempting to close the distance however; the tired Rodriguez continued to mix up his striking surprising Caceres and connecting.