Ahead of his massive rematch with Sergey Kovalev, light-heavyweight king Andre Ward discusses the first bout and possible status after June 17.
Here’s what Ward had to say:
You won the first fight but you got dropped in Round 2 and some in the media think you lost that fight. Is that motivation for the rematch? Do you think you have to redeem yourself even in victory? Do you think you need a dominant victory in the rematch?
“As a competitor, I want to get him back for that knockdown. As a competitor, I want that definitive victory. But as far as media goes, I’m not interested in that. There were some media members who felt like I won, but that group doesn’t get talked about as much.
“I want to leave no doubt, but I don’t need any extra push of motivation. It is always lurking inside me, I carry it wherever I go.”
With so many good fights in boxing recently, do you feel extra pressure to perform well for the fans? Do you think that if you win the rematch you will be the best P4P fighter in the world? What else is there for you to do in the light heavyweight division if you win again?
“I always want to put on a great show for the fans. I value and appreciate boxing fans, that’s first and foremost.
“Last fight, we definitely put on a show. That said, I can’t go into a fight thinking about its entertainment value. I just need to do me, execute the game plan and get my hand raised at the end of the fight.
“As far as being the best pound-for-pound fighter, I leave it to those who have a say. I know where I stand, I know what I’ve accomplished in this sport and how I stack up against today’s elite fighters.
“At the same time, I don’t have a vote, so I’ll leave it to those who do. If they have me at the top, I’m thankful. If not, I’m going to just keep working.”
Ward vs. Kovalev 2 takes place Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center 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.