Kovalev: I Need to Knock Ward Out in Rematch

Sergey Kovalev remains frustrated following the first loss of his professional career, as he believes he was robbed against Andre Ward in their light-heavyweight title fight. Now, with a potential rematch on the horizons, Kovalev says he cannot risk going to the judges’ scorecards again.

Luckily for the Russian former champion, the first bout’s contract included a rematch clause that Kovalev intends to immediately exercise. While the boxing world crosses their collective fingers that the rematch can be made without any negotiation hiccups, Kovalev says Ward has no choice but to accept the second fight immediately.

"Of course [a rematch will happen]," Kovalev said. "We sign a contract a long time ago. In the contract it has a paragraph that he must give me a rematch if he will [win] fairly or not fairly. But when the rematch will happen, I’m not sure. Maybe in the first part of 2017.

"I already said that if he’s a real champion, if he really thinks he won this fight — then prove this."

The former light-heavyweight champion knows what mistakes he made in the first fight, and what he will do when the two meet again. After hurting Ward in the first two rounds, Kovalev eased off the gas pedal late in the fight and allowed Ward to climb back on the judges’ scorecards. Believing that judges will never score a fight between the two fairly, Kovalev says he needs to finish the rematch before the final bell.

"Of course [I’m going for a knockout in the rematch]," he said. "I now understand that if I do not knock him out, the victory can be robbed."

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