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Reports: Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev agree to rematch

Reports: Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev agree to rematch

Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev are reportedly going to fight again.

The highly-anticipated rematch will take place June 17th at the Mandalay Bay Casino & Resort in Las Vegas, according to multiple reports.

The "S.O.G." looks to retain the WBA/IBF/WBO light heavyweight titles he earned back in November,  after winning a controversial - yet unanimous - decision victory over "Krusher."

Ward (31-0, 15 KO) was recently named the No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the sport by Ring Magazine. Kovalev (31-1-1, 26 KO) is right behind him in the No. 2 spot.

Boxing fans and pundits alike have been clamoring for a rematch since their first bout ended, as many felt Kovalev was the rightful winner. The powerful Russian controlled much of the early action, scoring a 2nd round knockdown with a stunning right hand. 

But as the fight progressed, Ward turned the tide, wearing down his opponent with thudding body shots and raking overhand rights. After 12 rounds of action, all three judges ringside scored the bout 114-113 in favor of the Oakland native.

Ward is the host of a new web series called "NBC Fights," showcasing the best of boxing and MMA in Northern California.

Follow us on Twitter: @NBCSFights.
 

Mayweather vs McGregor set to use smaller gloves: 'This fight is not normal'

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USATSI/AP

Mayweather vs McGregor set to use smaller gloves: 'This fight is not normal'

LAS VEGAS -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor got their wish to fight in smaller gloves, but not before being chastised by a Nevada boxing official for using the issue to hype their fight later this month.

Nevada boxing regulators on Wednesday gave the two fighters an exemption to a rule requiring 10-ounce gloves for fights at 154 pounds, approving 8-ounce gloves for the Aug. 26 bout. Representatives of both fighters appeared before the Nevada State Athletic Commission to request the waiver.

Commissioners also approved veteran referee Robert Byrd as the third man in the ring for the fight.

Commission Chairman Anthony Marnell said he was comfortable with the fighters using smaller gloves, but unhappy that they used the issue to sell the fight on social media.

"I do not like the Nevada State Athletic Commission being used as a pawn in a social media battle," Marnell said.

Under Nevada regulations, 10-ounce gloves are required in fights above 147 pounds and the bout is set for 154 pounds. But Mayweather has worn 8-ounce gloves most of his career, and McGregor has worn 4-ounce gloves in his UFC fights.

Mayweather's promoter, Leonard Ellerbe, said his fighter is more comfortable in smaller gloves and would use them to stop McGregor.

"The fight is going to end in a knockout, I'm very confident," Ellerbe said. "And it will probably be early."

McGregor will be in a boxing ring for the first time as a pro when he takes on Mayweather, who is coming out of retirement for a fight that will make him tens of millions of dollars. They will fight under boxing rules, which will be enforced by Byrd, a veteran of many championship fights.

"The referee makes a big difference in this fight, which is the specific reason I chose Robert Byrd," said Bob Bennett, the commission's executive director.

Commissioners also approved Burt Clements and Dave Moretti of the United States and Italy's Guido Cavalleri as judges for the bout. McGregor's camp had asked for an international judge among the three.

Byrd will be paid $25,000 for the bout, while the judges will make $20,000.

The glove issue took up much of the commission meeting, though in the end all voted in favor of the smaller gloves. There was also discussion about the padding in the gloves, with both sides agreeing to be bound by Nevada boxing inspectors approving the foam padding.

Mayweather has fought 46 of his 49 fights with 8-ounce gloves, including his last six. McGregor has never boxed before, but quickly agreed to Mayweather's challenge on social media to fight in smaller gloves.

Commissioners said they struggled with making an exception to regulations in place since 2006, but decided to approve the waiver because of the unusual nature of the event.

"The fight is not normal," said Commissioner Sandra Morgan.

John Hornewer, an attorney for Mayweather, said the unbeaten boxer would likely not be at the 154-pound limit at the fight weigh-in anyway.

"He'll be 150 pounds. That's his best weight and there's no reason to put on extra weight," Hornewer said.

A McGregor representative said his fighter has been about 160 pounds in training camp and would likely enter the ring somewhere around that weight after making the 154-pound limit the day before.

Jon Jones stops Cormier in 3rd, regains UFC title belt, calls out Brock Lesnar

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USATSI

Jon Jones stops Cormier in 3rd, regains UFC title belt, calls out Brock Lesnar

ANAHEIM — Jon Jones reclaimed his UFC light heavyweight title Saturday night, stopping Daniel Cormier in the third round with a vicious head kick and a finish on the ground at UFC 214.

Jones (23-1) completed his rocky journey back to the top after a yearlong suspension with his 14th consecutive victory. He fended off a stiff challenge from Cormier (19-2), who held the belt for most of the past two years while Jones dealt with self-inflicted setbacks outside the cage.

After 2 1/2 rounds of even, high-level striking, Jones landed a head kick that caught Cormier leaning in. The champion staggered backward and then around the cage with Jones in pursuit, and Jones finished the fight on the ground with a series of merciless strikes.

After the fight, Jones took the opportunity to call out former UFC Heavyweight Champion and current WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.