LAS VEGAS: Before fans at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and those watching live on pay-per-view are treated to the much-anticipated rematch between Andre "S.O.G." Ward and Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev for the WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Titles on June 17, they will be excited by another stellar light heavyweight match-up between Dmitry Bivol (10-0, 8 KOs) and Cedric "L.O.W." Agnew (29-2, 15 KOs). This 10-round bout is presented by Main Events and World of Boxing in association with DiBella Entertainment. The championship event, presented by Corona Extra, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
"Cedric Agnew is the opponent with the biggest name in my career so far," said Bivol. "He is an experienced fighter and is well-skilled defensively. The Kovalev and Ward rematch is the most important fight in the light heavyweight division right now and I am honored to be part of such an event. I am very motivated and excited about this fight and I am anxious to showcase my skills in the mecca of boxing of Las Vegas, USA live on one of the top boxing networks of HBO Pay-Per-View."
Bivol's promoter Andrei Ryabinsky of World of Boxing added, "Only two months after his last victory in the USA on June 17, Dmitry Bivol will come back into the ring against Cedric Agnew. This fight will be aired live on HBO Pay-Per-View as part of the telecast of the Ward vs. Kovalev rematch. It makes me happy that two boxers from Russia will headline such an important boxing event and I will be rooting for them!"
Finally, Bivol's manager, Vadim Kornilov, said, "Initially Kathy Duva reached out to us about fighting Barrera on the Ward-Kovalev II card and we had to make a decision quickly. Even though Barrera chose to take another fight, Kathy came forward with another opponent to stick to her offer and keep Bivol on the card. It has been a pleasing experience in putting this fight together with Kathy and the rest of the Main Events team. In his last fight against Samuel Clarkson in April, Dmitry Bivol has proven that he is one of the major forces in his division and started building a US fan base for his aggressive and exciting style. On June 17, he will face Cedric Agnew on HBO Pay-Per-View in a fight where not only will he have to perform up to his reputation, but also be at his best on the biggest stage of his professional career. Bivol is in the third week of camp in Los Angeles with his trainer Genndaii Mashyanov and will be ready to shine come June 17."
Bivol will face a great challenge with Agnew who replied, "This is my destiny and I won't let anything or anyone stop me from conquering it. I will show everyone on fight night how serious I am. Team L.O.W."
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said, "Working with World of Boxing, Andrei, Vadim and Dmitry has been a delight. We were originally talking to them about facing Sullivan Barrera on the Ward-Kovalev 2 undercard, which would have been a huge step up for Dmitry Bivol, and he and his team did not hesitate in taking that fight. When Sullivan was offered a bigger opportunity against Joe Smith Jr. on HBO on July 15, it just made sense to stick with Bivol, who is a rising talent in the light heavyweight division, and find him an opponent. That part was not easy! All credit to Cedric Agnew who was willing to take on this undefeated prospect."
"We're aware that Bivol is considered the next big thing," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Cedric Agnew is a true professional and a quality boxer. He was not an easy out for Kovalev. I don't expect that he will be an easy out for Bivol. Agnew will show up to win."
Dmitry Bivol (10-0, 8 KOs) is quickly making a name for himself as the next big knockout artist in the light heavyweight division. The 26-year-old from Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan, now residing in Saint Petersburg, Russia, made his professional debut in 2014 with a sixth-round knockout over Jorge Rodriguez Olivera. He has won his first 10 professional bouts with eight of those wins coming by way of the knockout for an 80% knockout-to-win ratio. In 2016, he handed Felix Valera his only career loss with a lopsided unanimous decision victory to secure the WBA Interim Light Heavyweight World Title. In February of this year, he had his first defense of his WBA Title with a fourth round TKO over Robert Berridge. Less than two months after his win over Berridge, he travelled to the US and stopped Samuel Clarkson in the fourth round in his second title defense of the WBA Interim Light Heavyweight World Title.
Cedric "L.O.W." Agnew (29-2, 15 KOs), is a seasoned veteran southpaw despite still being in the prime of his career at age 30. He made his professional debut in 2007 with a second-round knockout and went on to win his next 25 fights in a row, stopping 12 of those opponents. Next, he challenged then WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev who stopped him in the seventh-round back in 2014. Since, he loss to Kovalev he is 3-1, 2 KOs. His only other loss is a controversial split-decision against Samuel Clarkson, the young southpaw prospect from Texas. Two judges scored the bout 76-75 in favor of Clarkson and one judge scored the bout 76-75 in favor of Agnew. He holds notable wins over Yusaf Mack, Otis Griffin and Daniel Judah. In his most recent bout he stopped Martin Verdin in the second-round in February of this year.
Ward vs. Kovalev 2: "The Rematch," a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight World Championships, is presented by Roc Nation Sports, Main Events, Andre Ward Promotions, Krusher Promotions and Corona Extra, sponsored by Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Jetlux, Life10 Water, Zappos and Powered by Monster. The championship event takes place Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets for Ward-Kovalev 2: "The Rematch" are available on axs.com and at the Mandalay Bay Events Center box office.