Sergey Kovalev has faced a running theme during fight week for what will be a massive test against Canelo Alvarez this Saturday night.
Due to obvious size difference, talk has focused on whether the big Russian puncher can land that knockout blow on Canelo’s chin.
A ten-pound weight advantage should be apparent on fight night, whilst Kovalev assured the media he’s not obsessed with taking the Mexican out.
“It’s not the goal to knock someone out, I just need to follow my instructions from the corner. Listen to my coach and everything will be fine,” said Kovalev.
Asked whether he believes Canelo going from 160 to 175 is a mistake, Kovalev replied: “You know, I respect his steps and his risks. This is boxing, but in boxing, only real men try to prove themselves.
“Prove that they’re a real fighter, and Canelo is that. But this is my division, I have been in this division since my first fight.
“I want to make my history, my story. He’s just trying. Right now, 175 has a lot of good fights right now, a lot of good fighters right now. So even Canelo has come to 175.”
Booed by the Canelo fights at every opportunity during his MGM Grand appearances, Kovalev is unfazed by the Partizan crowd.
On all the boos from Canelo fans: “I want to disappoint a lot of people on Saturday. In England (against Nathan Cleverly), everybody was going against me. After the fight, everyone was asking for my autograph. Your boo is good!”
Revealing his tactics, Kovalev continued: “My goal is to break his strategy and use my strategy in the fight. My goal is to defend this title and follow my dreams.
“I’m happy. It’s nice that this is the biggest call in my boxing career, and to face Canelo, I’m happy. This is a big test for me – to prove one more time, I’m the best light heavyweight in the division.”
“Let’s fight, and in the fight you’ll get to see. It’s not my goal (to simply knock him out) because when you follow that goal, you can’t do it.
“I just want to get into the ring and box very well and make a great fight for boxing fans and the boxing world.
“We’re two great champions, and right now, we respect each other inside and outside the ring. But we will do our job very well for the boxing fans.
“We will be fighting, never step back, never give up, we will make a great fight 100%.”