VIRGIL HUNTER, long-time trainer of pound-for-pound star Andre Ward, insists their training camp for the November 19 superfight with Sergey Kovalev is no different to any other camp they’ve undertaken.
Former super-middleweight king Ward moved up to light-heavyweight this year and will face WBA, WBO and IBF champion Kovalev at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Having beaten the likes of Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler and Chad Dawson, Ward is vastly experienced when it comes to big fight preparations and Hunter has not altered their training specifically for the heavy-hitting Russian.
“Camp’s going well, it’s no different to any other camp,” he told Boxing News.
“Consistency is the priority and we’ve been able to maintain that. It’s no different, you have to stick with what got you there. There’s no changes from the camp at all, the approach we’re taking.
“We’re not really working on particular things specifically because he’s got the ability to adjust and fight so many different ways. We just go over all those different styles that I know he’s very effective with and just hone those styles and be ready to use what we have to use.”
One of the most gifted, and hard-working, fighters in the world today, Ward is a master of nullifying his opponent’s strengths and breaking them down.
Despite the plethora of world-class opponents he’s faced, the 32-year-old has dominated his wins with marginal fuss – except, perhaps, a flash knockdown suffered against Darnell Boone in what was his seventh fight.
His meeting with Kovalev is the biggest of his career to date. The unbeaten champion has also proven himself one of the top fighters in the world, winning 26 of his 30 victories inside the distance.
“Kovalev is a great fighter, he’s proven that,” Hunter continued. “He’s got the amateur pedigree, he’s definitely the king of the light-heavyweight division – until someone says different.
“You definitely can’t take that away from him. He has a good, fluid style that’s very effective for him. He’s maxed that style out so it works very well for him.”
While he wouldn’t be drawn on how he thinks Kovalev could be beaten, Hunter did address the speculation that the winner of the fight will have a strong claim to being, pound-for-pound, the best fighter in the world.
“I don’t pay heed to the pound-for-pound thing because people tend to fanboy whoever they want to fanboy, so that’s no big thing to us, who the pound-for-pound best is,” he said.
“You have some people who say this [fight] will determine it, and you have others who say different. I don’t even dwell on that. It’s what you believe. You judge a tree by the fruit it bears. It’s very subjective, these pound-for-pound lists.”