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Kovalev to Lampley: “I Don’t Like Ward’s Face”

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Jim Lampley, the Hall of Fame HBO fixture, sat down for a one-on-one with Sergey Kovalev, who seeks to make it 1-1 with Andre Ward on Saturday. The tango runs on HBO pay per view.

Jim Lampley: “Sergey, why do you so intensely dislike Andre Ward?”

Sergey Kovalev: “I don’t like this guy, I told, because he is Andre ‘Son of Judges’ Ward. I don’t like his face, I don’t like his act, I don’t like what he’s doing, what he’s saying. He doesn’t have my respect at all. I want to punish him, you know, like, I want to kick his ass.”

Jim Lampley: “Everyone knows you didn’t agree with the judges’ unanimous decision for Ward, but you’ve been quoted this time around, saying ‘I trust the judges.’ What does that mean?”

Sergey Kovalev: “I cannot not trust, you know it. What’s happened has happened. It’s all in history, you know, and I walk to forward. I look to forward, and kick his ass, you know, and punish him. I have new motivation: to finish him before last bell of twelfth round.”

Jim Lampley: “Roy Jones once said to me, if you’re going to win half of a prize fight, win the second half because the judges need the first half of the fight to look at it and figure out how they are going to score it. If Ward won the second half of the fight, and the judges very emphatically say that he did, was that because he made the right adjustments or because you got tired?”

Sergey Kovalev: “Uh, I got tired. At the first minute of round number five, power gone, energy gone, and I was empty. My speed lost, everything lost.”

Jim Lampley: “If, as you say, you over-trained for the fight, how big an adjustment did you make in this training camp?”

Sergey Kovalev: “My coach, uh, Alexander Mikhailovich, he knows everything about conditioning. Everything was under his control: diet, vocals, heartrate. He does it like a bell. He stop me if he see that I do much more than I should to do. I feel that I can to do more but he said ‘don’t worry, you will do in June 17.’ I brought a conditioning coach to help me build right plan for this fight. John helped me with the means to get focused, how to punch on time, it was the timing.”

Jim Lampley: “It was reported that John David Jackson had a conversation with Ward’s attorney and manager about the possibility of leaving you and going to work as Virgil Hunter’s assistant in this training camp. How did you feel about that?”

Sergey Kovalev: “Uh, yes, I hear about this and how I think that, it’s uh, mind games, you know of Andre Ward. They call him and try to get his to Andre Ward’s camp.”

Jim Lampley: “So you were not angry at him?”

Sergey Kovalev: “No. I’ve never been.”

Jim Lampley: “In the closing stages of the fight, there was a Russian gentleman in your corner who seemed to be doing all the talking to you. John David didn’t talk much in the last few rounds of the fight, and you seemed to be listening to the Russian guy. Who was that guy? And is he still around?”

Sergey Kovalev: “Uh, this guy, yeah he’s still around. He is my friend. He very good see from the side, what you should to do. He said me some tactics before the fight and I did it and I knock him down. But John don’t say me something like the right things between the rounds. Therefore, I don’t listen to John. John is just working on the mitts. I do everything in my training camp myself. Everything.”

Jim Lampley: “So whatever decisions are made in this fight are made by Sergey Kovalev.”

Sergey Kovalev: “In my personal fight against Andre Ward, and I want to kick his ass myself, it is big test for me. Can I do this myself? He didn’t deserve to be champion in light heavyweight division. I will do everything in the match to get my belts back. In the first fight, Andre Ward fight Sergey Kovalev, but now he is going fight Krusher

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Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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