SERGEY KOVALEV is full of respect for his November 19 opponent, Andre Ward. Speaking inside a small conference room at the Gaylord Resort in Texas, the Russian light-heavyweight – one of the most fearsome fighters in boxing today – admitted to both nerves and excitement going into the biggest fight of his life, and the most appealing showdown the sport has produced this year.
“I don’t think this fight will be easy,” said the affable Kovalev. “It’s hardest test of my career. I have never fought a boxer at the level of Andre Ward. He’s never lost. If I win I will break his zero, and that is my motivation.”
Like Kovalev, former super-middleweight king Ward is regarded among the best active fighters today. As Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva pointed out, such a collision has been all too rare in the current era. Refreshingly, this bout was made almost as soon as the fans started to call for it. Slick and intelligent, Ward has only been on the Russian’s radar since announcing his intention to move up to light-heavyweight one year ago.