Sergey Kovalev puts his WBO belt on the line on November 8 when the light-heavyweight puncher collides with WBA and IBF champion Bernard Hopkins at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
The 31 year-old, who is renowned for his devastating power, is a slight underdog to overcome wiley veteran Hopkins, although many feel that if he connects flush that the American could be there for the taking.
Hopkins, 49, has never been stopped through 26 years and 63 fights in the sport, but Kovalev would not be drawn on whether he will go for the jugular from the first bell when the two trade blows next month.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I go into the ring and I get my victory at any cost. If I need to fight, I will fight. If I need to box, I’m going to box. This is a fight. You can keep in your mind one strategy but these fighters can change. I don’t have any strategy for the fight, just to go into the ring and fight like a street fight.
“I’m going to kick his ass because he’s my opponent. Any of my opponents want to beat me. If I’m not going to beat him he will beat me.”
Whilst the Russian is undefeated in 26 bouts, Hopkins has an increased reputation for using spoiling tactics to get one over on the younger fighters – even more so now he is approaching 50, but Kovalev has no problem getting involved with ‘The Alien’ if necessary.
“I don’t know what will be happening in the ring. I understand that there will be three judges ringside and one referee inside the ring. Any way I need to get a victory, dirty fight or clean fight, for me it doesn’t matter.
“I will fight dirty, if Hopkins will fight dirty. I’m going to fight a clean fight, but who knows what will happen November 8th. It will be interesting, very interesting. I can’t imagine what will happen. I don’t know who the referee is or who the judges are – American or international. If I win, I will get the referee to hold up my hands. If I lose I lose. But I’m not going to lose.
“This is for me a huge fight and this is the fight of my life. It’s a very important fight. I’m focused on this. Yes, my baby was born (this week) and I remember this, and my son pushed me more and is a big motivation for me, you know it.
“Now I understand who I’m doing everything in my career for. I’m doing it now not for me. I’m doing this for my family,” he added.
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