Ward on Kovalev: “I Don’t Like Bullies”
While some of the most anticipated boxing matchups of 2016’s fourth quarter have failed to materialize, the Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev super-fight represents one last bright spot for the sport this year. Now only a few weeks from the Nov. 19 title fight, Ward is taking on a cold and focused demeanor in regards to his upcoming opponent.
Speaking with Sky Sports, the undefeated Ward says that Kovalev’s bullying fighting style will not work against him.
"I want to take him places he’s never been before," he said. "I don’t like bullies, I don’t advocate bullying and I’ve never been bullied, and that’s not going to change in this fight."
Kovalev has succeeded in bullying most of his opponents on the way to stoppage victories, as he has won 26 of his 30 fights by knockouts. Ward believes he has the ability to push "Krusher" into deep waters for the first time in his career.
"They are going to realise it’s not what they thought it was going to be. He’s going to be taken to places he’s never been before."
While Kovalev has looked dominant as the IBF, WBO and WBA super light-heavyweight champion, Ward sees flaws in the Russian’s game when he is unable to stop his opponents early.
"He tires in fights, he gets frustrated when he can’t get guys out of there, or when he can’t knock them out and endurance and conditioning are my strengths. I am just keeping my foot on the gas on my preparation, keep banging away so when it comes to fight night, I am in the absolute best shape of my life."
Ward is new to the 175 lb. weight class, having moved up from 168 lbs. and taken three tune-up fights before challenging Kovalev. Despite the jump in weight, Ward does not expect to be the smaller man in the ring and believes he has the punching power to fend off the heavy-handed Kovalev.
"Even though I am moving up a weight class, I am still really scaling down to make 175lbs," he said. "I am not not adding on extra weight and I am still losing weight to get to 175."
Ward and Kovalev will fight for the Russian’s light-heavyweight titles on Nov. 19 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.