International Sport > Boxing > WARD UNCONCERNED BY KOVALEV POWER

WARD UNCONCERNED BY KOVALEV POWER

Andre Ward is unfazed about coming up against the power of unified light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in Las Vegas on Saturday.

After dominating the super-middleweight ranks, Ward stepped up a division and will fight for Kovalev's WBA Super, IBF and WBO titles in just his third bout at the weight.

The Olympic gold medallist is lauded for his technical ability and defensive qualities, but arguably faces one of his biggest challenges in the reigning champion.

Kovalev remains undefeated – 26 of his 30 triumphs coming via knockout – and claimed he will try to turn the match into a "street fight".

But Ward has no concerns about the Russian's strength and insisted the Russian will have to work hard to back his words up.

He told Omnisport: "We know what we're getting into. We respect Kovalev, he's a champion, he's been a champion for a while, but that's where the buck stops. He's going to have to earn everything he gets Saturday night.

"He's talking tough about it's going to be a street fight and he's going to do this and he's going to do that – he's not going to do anything. He's doing a lot of talking and he's going to have to back that up.

"I'm looking forward to doing what I always do, which is to come in low. I don't do a lot of talking – talking is not an issue for me, I make comments when I feel like it's necessary – but I'm really about going in there and getting it done and getting my hand raised and moving onto the next. That's what I specialise in and what I've always been about."

Ward, who holds a 100 per cent record after 30 fights, believes he has the necessary attributes to take the belts from Kovalev and suggested his own strength may come as a surprise.

"The way my body is built, I'm not outwardly a guy that people are like 'wow, he looks strong' but my strength is more dense," he added.

"It's something that you might not be able to see but people feel it when they get in the ring, and it's a lot more than what they realise.

"[To win] I just continue to be myself, you don't start breaking things down and restructuring everything.

"The 12-year mark in your career you make adjustments, you make tweaks, you obviously have a different gameplan when it's a different opponent, but being who I am and who I've been is going to be enough in this fight."

On whether the winner will be able to proclaim themselves the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, Ward added: "I think it's hard to argue that, I really do."

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