LAS VEGAS — There was no staredown Thursday after Sergey Kovalev jettisoned the news conference early, but the fighters finally came face to face Friday.
Moments after stepping off the scale — both fighters looked ripped and weighed 175 pounds on the dot — they met face-to-face, and Ward began jawing at Kovalev while chewing gum.
The unified light heavyweight champ refused to divulge what he said — “as long as he understood me, that’s all that matters” but the pair never got physical.
“I didn’t want to spend my energy listening to the s__t they say,” Kovalev, who was noticeably in better physical shape than last fight, expressed afterward to explain why he left Thursday’s news conference early. “I said enough, just wait … tomorrow you will see “Krusher” in the ring again Ward.
“Thank you very much for your support, we’ll kick his ass together!”
There was only sparse cheering for Kovalev, though, with a chorus of boos drowning them out. Kovalev has been agitated throughout fight week, but he appeared much more relaxed Friday.
When the Russian was told Virgil Hunter claimed he trained Ward to knock him out, Kovalev let out a belly laugh and responded “Wowwww, really? OK, we’ll see. But who is Virgil Hunter?
Kovalev, who lost the first meeting in November via controversial unanimous decision says this time, he’s here to hurt Ward.
“My only problem with that is,” said Ward, “when he says something like that, he’s bringing my family into it, insinuating I’m not going to make it home. He has a problem now.
“It’s not going to happen. He put it out there and now he has to back it up.”
The next time they’re face-to-face, it’ll be moments before the bell rings.
Televised undercard weights:
Guillermo Rigondeaux 121 1/2; Moises “Chucky” Flores 122 for their WBA junior featherweight bout
Dmitry Bivol 174 1/2; Cedric Agnew 175 for their 10-round light heavyweight bout
Luis Aris 160; Arif Magomedov 159 3/4 for their 10-round middleweight bout
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing