WHILE Andre Ward might have been the man to visit the canvas in his first fight with Russia’s Sergey Kovalev, the American, the unified WBO, WBA and IBF light-heavyweight, insists he is coming into their June 17 rematch with bad intentions.
He maintained that he did get to Kovalev and will do so once again. “He was definitely hurt several times, to the head and the body. Hurting doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wobbling where everyone can see it,” Ward said. “He’s not going to concede anything. Athletes, especially fighters they’re not going to tell you they’re hurt. Especially when you’re getting ready to fight again. You hit them in the body, you hear them grunt, they give up wind, he was hurt. When you hit him with a shot, you stop him in his tracks and he doesn’t throw punches for 20, 30 seconds. He’s buzzed. He can say whatever he wants to say, it doesn’t matter, he knows it.”
Ward had a warning, saying, “A stoppage, a knockout, him quitting, it comes a lot of ways to stop a guy but it’s a process. He can definitely run into something.”
“It’s just mindset. The type of punch power I have, it’s draining power,” he continued. “The type of punches I have, the accuracy and I know watching the first fight I let him off the hook in several situations offensively where I had him and I didn’t get off. And I can’t tell you why I didn’t get off but watching, I’m like, ‘You had him.’ This fight I can’t let him off the hook.”
Kovalev has been adamant the he misjudged his conditioning, overtrained and so tired in their first fight. Ward was dismissive. “You look at all his fights, he has those moments when he’s fatigued. I can see it,” the champion said.
“The only problem is, he can have the best camp that he’s ever had in his life, that’s fine. He had a great camp. But I’ve got years of conditioning and living right, doing the right things with my body. One camp is no match for 10 years, 12 years, 15 years.”