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 on November 19 in Las Vegas.
This is your third fight of 2016 after fighting only three times since 2011. How easy/difficult has it been for you to get back to rhythm? Is the time off good or bad for a fighter?
“It varies for every fighter. For me, the rhythm rushes back the moment I step into the ring. My time off didn’t take a toll on me mentally or physically. I don’t poison my body, I don’t drink, smoke or party, so I never worked against myself. Even in my time off, I remained truly dedicated to the sport. I still spent hours upon hours in the gym, even when I didn’t know when I would fight again. That benefited me because when it was time to get back in the ring, there was no rust. I picked up right where I left off.
“Look, I’ve been boxing for 20-plus years. That’s a grind. Breaks like that can really benefit a veteran fighter like me because it afforded me the chance to recharge both mentally and physically.
“This is my third fight following my return, and I’m at my peak. On November 19, you’ll see an Andre Ward you’ve never seen before.”
Road to Kovalev/Ward, HBO Sports special leading up to their pay-per-view light heavyweight title showdown, debuts Saturday, November 12 at 12:30 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.