Ward: Kovalev fight must-win, the most difficult of my career

Kovalev v Ward 03/11/2016

Stacey Verbeek

Ahead of his upcoming clash with WBO, IBF and WBA light-heavyweight title holder Sergey Kovalev, former super middleweight champion Andre Ward discusses the ‘Pound for Pound’ fight taking place November 19 in Las Vegas.

Sergey Kovalev could be the most difficult opponent of your career since probably the Super Six tournament. Is he just a power puncher or do you think he’s a legitimate P4P fighter?

“Regardless of who I’m fighting—Barrera, Brand, Kovalev, whoever—there’s always different game plans and nuances when it comes to preparation and training. The reality of it is, every fight is a must-win for me.

“I prepare for each fight as if I’m facing the most difficult opponent of my career. That’s always been my approach, and I think you’re playing with fire if you don’t adopt that mentality in this sport.

“I know this is a big fight, the biggest of my career. But my mindset and my focus have been consistent no matter the opponent, and that’s an invaluable asset. We have to look at Kovalev for who he is—a talented fighter that I respect. He’s my next challenge, and nothing reinforces my determination like a challenge.”

Road to Kovalev/Ward, HBO Sports special leading up to their pay-per-view light heavyweight title showdown, debuts Saturday, November 12 at 12:15 a.m. ET/PT on HBO.

Kovalev vs. Ward takes place Saturday, November 19 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.