By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Main Events
WBO, WBA and IBF light heavyweight world champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) is set for his November showdown with undefeated former world champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs). The plan is for Kovalev to square off against Ward on November 19 on HBO-PPV, however there are still unresolved last minutes issues to iron out with Ward’s promoter Roc Nation.
We caught up with the “Krusher” Tuesday afternoon at the Target Terrace at LA Live where the boxing match against Ward was supposed to be announced.
“This fight means a lot. It’s the fight of my career. It is a very important fight I am very excited,” Kovalev told Fightnews.com®. “I am ready, I have huge respect for Andre Ward. I am excited for this. Thanks to Egis (Klimas), Main Events, Kathy (Duva).”
Kovalev will begin training camp in the Southern California high altitude mountains of Big Bear, California, with his trainer, former world champion John David Jackson, as the duo prepares for the showdown with Ward.
“Now we will get to begin to and train hard for this fight,” Kovalev said.
Trainer John David Jackson told Fightnews.com®, “There is nothing to change in the way we train for this fight. Just try to capitalize on mistakes Andre makes and do the work in gym and camp.”
The Krusher is coming off a unanimous decision win over Isaac Chilemba last month in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Kovalev gave us his thoughts on his performance against the South African Chilemba.
“It was a huge event in Russia. I was happy I got the victory over Chilemba. His style was uncomfortable for me but the main thing is I won,” Kovalev said.
This past weekend Ward cruised through his opponent Alexander Brand going the distance in winning a unanimous decision in his hometown Oakland, California setting the stage for the light heavyweight showdown with Kovalev.
“Andre Ward looked great and spectacular, but don’t forget Alexander Brand is not a high level boxer,” said Kovalev said, who watched the fight from ringside.
“They booed me, they should, it’s Ward’s hometown,” Kovalev said laughing. “Andre didn’t have a goal to knock him out. His plan was to fight all 12 rounds to get more experience for November 19. He had the right plan and looked nice doing it. Everybody has a plan in the ring before they get punched,” Kovalev added.
The Russian star holds three of the four major world titles in the light heavyweight division. After pursuing a unification showdown with current WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, Kovalev could not land that fight and instead took aim at Ward.
“Adonis Chickenson is in the past but if he wants to fight I would. I just want that WBC title,” Kovalev said. “My focus now is Andre Ward. Andre is a good fighter, he does a lot of great things in the ring because he’s a real professional. He is an Olympic champion that is already enough said.” Kovalev said.
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is slated to host the light heavyweight showdown, there looks to be an a disagreement on the venue and location the fight will take place. Ward or his team were not present Tuesday.
“My opinion he should be here but maybe he is busy. I hope for the next press conference he will be here,” Kovalev said.
“We made a deal, I don’t know what they want. Perhaps there’s a problem with Andre Ward,” Main Events CEO Kathy Dulva told Fightnews.com®. “Today is the site, tomorrow something else.”
“Everything is signed and settled but unfortunately they cant put something together,” Kovalev’s manager Egis Klimas told Fightnews.com®.
“This fight is going to be mental, who is smarter, who will execute the best plan. I will sure try to knock him out because I am the Krusher,” Kovalev said.
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