Kovalev: Ward is “Not a Real Champion”

Whatever respect Sergey Kovalev had for Andre Ward left with his championship belts last November, when Ward took them from him in a controversial decision victory. Ahead of the rematch, just announced for June 17, Kovalev is making it clear that he doesn’t plan on giving Ward a champion’s respect this time.

In an interview with Fight Hub TV, Kovalev explained that his motivation for this rematch is to prove wrong those who believed Ward did earn his victory back in November.

"It’s a great opportunity to prove for myself that I deserve these belts and right now I want to prove to people who believed in his victory that they are wrong. I like disappointing people who don’t believe in me…I turn them to my side after each fight."

In the first fight, Kovalev had early success, knocking Ward down with a right hand in the second round. Despite his clear power advantage and Ward’s resume, the Russian felt surprised at how comfortable he was at boxing range with the Olympic Gold medalist.

"My goal was not to knock him out," Kovalev said. "I felt, I can do boxing, first round I won clearly, second round I won clearly. No rush. If a knockdown happens, I relaxed, still boxed him.

"I overrated this guy before the fight. When I got in the ring I was surprised: Why did I do a lot of workouts before this fight? I could have had one cigarette a day after dinner, had more fun with my training camp. But it’s experience. Experience is the best teacher."

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