Top boxing trainer John David Jackson talks about WBA/IBF/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev’s fight against Andre Ward. The 53-year-old Jackson, a former two-division world champion, has been training Kovalev since 2012.
Photo: Craig Bennett/Main Events
On Ward’s contention that he’s a combination of Floyd Mayweather Jr. Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins:
No, he is far from Roy, and Floyd and he has a little bit of Bernard in him. Listen, Ward is good at what Ward does. His style is different from everybody else’s and he has mastered that. It is not the most exciting style in the world and it’s not a fan favorite, but it works for him and it got him to be as good as he is today and you can’t take him lightly. So it works for him and whatever shortcomings he has we have to expose that in this fight. So for him to say he like Roy, no. Floyd? No. A little like Bernard? Yes. But he is not them. He is Ward and that works for him. He should be happy with what he’s done and not compare himself to those fighters. He should be happy with what he’s done but he can’t do what they did.
On changing Kovalev’s training regimen for Ward:
There is not much to change but we can add certain things. And we will try to capitalize on the mistakes that Andre makes. Camp is going to go according to plan and we are going to get the work in that needs to be done.
On Kovalev’s fight with Issac Chilemba:
I was happy with the victory. Could he have done some things differently? Yes and he realizes he will be more prepared for the Ward fight. You cannot take any fighter lightly. There is always room for learning and with each passing fight you learn more. And now it’s time to move on and be better prepared for that fight.
On Ward’s fight with Alexander Brand:
I couldn’t watch the fight. There was a bad thunderstorm and knocked the cable out. But I’ll watch it. Brand is a different fighter than Sergey, way different, and he represents a different challenge for Ward. Ward couldn’t even look good in that fight and he didn’t. Come November 19, it will be a different mindset for Sergey and for Ward.
On the challenge that Andre Ward brings to Kovalev:
He is an intelligent, very smart fighter. Anyone that has gone undefeated as an amateur and then undefeated as a pro, that is something you’ve got to respect. Having said that, he does like a challenge. He is difficult and he is good at what he does. We have to break him down systematically and beat him at Sergey’s game. He may do some things that he gets away with, but we will break him down and the fight will go our way. It is a dangerous fight because he is a boxer – he is not a puncher – he has a tendency to be more crafty. So it is a great challenge for me and I welcome the challenge – to prove that I am one of the better trainers in boxing, one of the better teachers in boxing. That’s why I love the challenge of an Andre Ward fight.
On how John David Jackson would personally fight Ward:
Since I am not the puncher Sergey is, it would be a boring fight. It would be a masterful type of fight and not the type of fight you would want to see.
Would he win?