20
Jan
2020

Kovalev says Ward reputation adds psychological pressure

Phil Jay 13/07/2016

Alexandr Safonov / Championat

Light heavyweight king Sergey Kovalev believes Andre Ward will pose a similar counter-punching test to Isaac Chilemba following his decisive victory on Monday evening.

‘Krusher’ dropped Chilemba en route to a unanimous points win in Russia and now moves on to a November showdown with Ward provided the American comes through Alexander Brand next month.

Despite remaining undefeated, Kovalev is weary of the challenge Ward will possess due to the higher calibre of his achievements in the ring.

“Andre Ward’s got different timing (to Chilemba), he’s faster with his legs. He’s not only good in defense but also he can attack. He has some defensive tricks. If saying in an advanced way, his defense is more modernized. He can feel his competitor better, he’s got better reaction. He also has good experience. After all, he is an Olympic champion. The last American [male] champion at the Olympics. Moreover, he is undefeated. This adds a kind of psychological pressure. He is the best in all the categories. But talking of power he is not a crusher. We have different styles. So that is the difference between them. They are counterpunchers,” said Kovalev.

Ward, 32, can afford no slip ups in his home city of Oakland as the ‘S.O.G’ bids to conquer a second weight division on the back of reign at super-middleweight.

Five years at the top of the 168 pounds tree put Ward in the pound for pound best bracket, meaning whoever comes out on top in Las Vegas could well be considered the best fighter on the planet.