Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) held a workout for the media in advance of his showdown on November 19 against Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Find all the quotes and photos here.
Also in attendance were Curtis “The Cerebral Assassin” Stevens (28-5, 21 KOs) who will take on James “The King” De La Rosa (23-4, 13 KOs) and Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (11-0, 9 KOs) who will face Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs).
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev
WBO, WBA, and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion
Kovalev: “I’m excited and everything is going good. I’m waiting for this day, November 19, and I am ready to fight.”
SK: “I don’t have anything personal about him (Ward). I should to win this fight, I only have to prove (to) myself who I am. I am fighting for me first of all, and after this really for boxing fans. This is my boxing career since 11 years old and right now Andre Ward (is) in my way. And he wants to get my titles but I’m still alive.”
SK: “I don’t have any plans for each fight, just get into the ring and do my job. I must be ready for everything what he (Ward) will bring.”
SK: “I got some experience from my fight against Bernard Hopkins. He showed that never give up. That you should to fight all 12 rounds and hope for your win.”
Question: Do you expect Andre Ward will hold you and use his head?
SK: “Yes I think he will use it and I am ready for this too. It will be wrestling and not fight [laughs].”
SK: “I think he (Ward) will look much better in my fight November 19 because he long time didn’t fight, couple years he had a rest and Sullivan Barrera was first fight when he returned. And with Alexander Brand he was better than against Sullivan Barrera. I accept that he’s going to look much better November 19. In best shape.”
SK: “John (David Jackson) just gives me freedom to do what I want, what I would like to do. You know, just like adjust some things and advice between rounds about technique. Working a lot with mitts. I like work with him and feel comfortable.”
SK: “I don’t think that Andre Ward (will) let me use a lot of body shots because he has great legs and a lot of movements. You know he’s very smart. And I think first part of this fight is going to be a lot mentally, but I should prove that I’m Krusher and that I’m going to do my job. He’s going to do his job, me to do my job.”
SK: “I think my last fight against Chilemba, it was like a similar fight you know, because Chilemba’s a little bit style as Andre Ward. But Andre Ward is Andre Ward, a little bit different and stronger, smarter, undefeated and more motivated than Chilemba. I’m interested what he will bring November 19 to the ring.”
SK: “We agreed two fights before our fight. I was ready last year to fight, but Andre wasn’t ready to fight without two fights at light heavyweight. We sign agreement that two more fights and then let’s fight in 2016.”
SK: “I work out morning time. After this some massage therapy, some treatments, after this some rest, little bit nap, cook the food, take a rest and go again to work out. Today two work outs, this was just the first. My plan was a little broke today because usually my first workout is morning time, but right now already almost 3pm. My interview is a workout [laughs].
Curtis “The Cerebral Assassin” Stevens
WBA Continental Americas Middleweight Champion
Question: Do you want David Lemieux and the rematches?
Stevens: “We all know I want David Lemieux. The question is, is he willing to fight me? Who else? Tureano Johnson, he was winning the fight, but the fight wasn’t over until the final bell rung, and he got knocked out. Some people say it was a premature stoppage, but me, the ref say, you know… I want to be world champion. That was one of my goals, to become a world champion and become a unified world champion.”
Q: How do you feel about being part of this big card?
CS: “It feels great. Second big card of the year. The first one was Canelo–Khan and now Kovalev–Ward. Opened up the first one and now I’ll open up the second one. It’s a great feeling, great. I’m very honored. It’s a pleasure.”
Q: What are your thoughts on De La Rosa?
CS: “A fight is a fight. You can call it a stay busy fight, you can call it a real, well it’s a real fight in general, but you can call it what you want to call it. A fight is a fight at the end of the day.”
CS: “I’m a different type of breed. I come from Brownsville. I’m just a different type of guy. What people fail to realize is that some people wasn’t raised how I was raised. You know? I’m from an era where you sign up in the US Championships, the National Golden Gloves, you couldn’t pick who you wanted to fight. This isn’t a show fight; this is a tournament. First day you got your Andre Ward, you got Gennady Golovkin, you got your David Lemieux’s. I mean the first day! No finals, no nothing. I fought Ward three times, he gave me my first loss ever. Then the second time I fought him, it was a US Championship semi-finals, then the third one was the US Championship semi-finals again. You don’t know where you’re going to meet these guys at.”
CS: “I will always be the chin checkers, that’s what I do, I check in and I check out, I will always be that. I got rid of Showtime. Showtime’s a thing of the past, that’s when I was with my old team. I’m with JDJ now, I’m the Cerebral Assassin, I got to run this tight ship wisely, instead of recklessly. Wisely, get it?”
CS: “John (David Jackson) makes me more relaxed, you know? Let my hands go a little more. Tells me l’m powerful in both hands, so don’t just look to go in there and knock them out.”
Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk
NABF Light Heavyweight Champion
Gvozdyk: When I first started boxing it was for getting stronger. Then I liked it and it became a hobby. Now boxing is everything. It is my life. It is my job. It is my hobby.
Question: A lot of people don’t know you yet. What would you like them to know about yourself?
OG: I would like to become popular in the ring. I do my best and they supposed to watch it. I hope they’re going to like me.
OG: My nickname is “The Nail” and that is just a translation of my last name. I have had this nickname since I was ten years old so I am used to that. When I came here everyone started to call me that.
Q: Talk to us about your opponent.
OG: Chilemba is a very strong fighter. Very smart. He is skilled. He has good defense. It is not going to be easy. I am happy with my preparation so far and I am expecting a good fight.
Q: Talk about the transition you made from amateur to pro.
OG: Whether it is amateur or pro boxing, it is still boxing. You just have to get used to some different timing. You have to learn to distribute your power for ten or more rounds. You have to get more power in the pros but basically it is the same.
Q: Talk about your preparation for the fight and the dedication it takes in the gym every day to prepare to one day get to the level of Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward.
OG: I think that if you want to be champion you have to train hard. You are supposed to do your best and train as hard as possible. If you want to be the best, you have to fight the best and you have to train with the best. That is what I try to do. Now Sergey and Ward have both proved that they are the best fighters and now they get to find out who is Pound For Pound #1. I watch them and I try to do the same steps to be like them.
Q: Who do you think wins Kovalev-Ward?
OG: I think Kovalev wins. I know it is like 50-50 fight and it is a very interesting fight for me. It is a fight between intelligence and power.