Ward vs Kovalev purses: Big disparityWritten by Lee Cleveland
One of the biggest fights in light heavyweight history will take place November 19 as two unbeaten, top pound-for-pound boxers will meet in a true superfight.
Sergey Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs), the WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion will face Andre Ward (30-0, 15 KOs), a two-time world super middleweight champion who is now a legitimate light heavyweight.
Kovalev vs Ward has all of the elements for an exciting affair and, regardless of the outcome, will be a light heavyweight fight for the ages.
So how much will the fighters make tonight?
Ward vs Kovalev purses are as follows:
Andre Ward: $5 Million guaranteed
Sergey Kovalev: $2 Million guaranteed
Considering the significance of this bout and both fighters' standings and accomplishments, neither combatant will receive what he truly deserves because this bout lacks mainstream buzz and the support of casual fans.
But what some find most surprising is the disparity. Why is an undefeated champion and Top 3 pound for pound fighter receiving only 40 percent of the challenger's purse?
Neither fighter has fought in a PPV previously, and Kovalev is arguably the more popular among boxing junkies.
Why is Ward getting the higher purse?
Also unbeaten, Ward is an Olympic Gold Medal Champion, a former lineal super middleweight champion, and has defeated the likes of Chad Dawson, Carl Froch, Mikel Kessler and Arthur Abraham. He's also been been popular among boxing enthusiasts longer.
And while Andre Ward has the more impressive resume and arguably a larger fanbase, Sergey Kovalev has been more exciting, and far more active the last two years.
Perhaps Ward deserves the higher purse but the disparity seems a bit wide.
Credit Team Kovalev and Main Events for accepting a much lower purse in order to make this fight happen. Keep in mind, Ward vs Kovalev was made quickly and easily, especially by today's superfight standards.
If Sergey wins, it will have been a wise investment.
The Ward vs Kovalev purses also show us how confident Team Kovalev is. They are seemingly willing to low ball themselves to secure a fight they are confident they can win, and subsequently leverage for big money fights in the future.
Will Team Kovalev's presumed gamble pay off?
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.