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5 Days From Ward v Kovalev

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5 Days From Ward v Kovalev

Q&A With Roy Jones Jr.
Roy Jones Jr Prepares Isaac Chilemba to Face Oleksandr Gvozdyk on November 19
Pensacola, Florida: As Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs) prepares to attempt to reclaim the NABF Light Heavyweight Title from Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (11-0, 9 KOs) live on the Kovalev-Ward “Pound For Pound” HBO Pay-Per-View undercard from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada he will have former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. in his corner for the first time. Below Jones assesses the match-up and his observations of the young Malawi native:

Question: Does Chilemba's performance against Kovalev give him more confidence going into this fight?

Roy Jones Jr: “Oh yes, most definitely. Kovalev had been crushing everybody and he didn't get crushed so it has to give him confidence.”

Q: Chilemba has almost three times as many fights as Gvozdyk. How big of an advantage is this?

RJ: “It's not a big advantage because Gvozdyk probably has three times more fights than Chilemba does in amateurs. These Eastern European guys have so many more amateur fights than we do. They fight from when they're small and they go through schools and everything. These guys are very, very high-tech when it comes to being skilled in the ring in the sport of boxing so he probably has a little bit more experience if you add up the fights over the years.”

Q: What must Chilemba do in this fight in order to win?

RJ: “He's got to disrupt Gvozdyk. He can't let Gvozdyk fight at his own pace. He can't let Gvozdyk constantly push him backwards so he's gotta make Gvozdyk change, make Gvozdyk do things he does not like to do.”

Q: What must Chilemba prevent Gvozdyk from doing or take away from him in order to win?

RJ: “Chilemba must prevent Gvozdyk's control of the power of the jab and setting up the big right hand.”

Q: Do you think, now that you are working with Chilemba, if he defeats Gvozdyk he should be entitled to a rematch with Sergey?

RJ: “Of course, of course he should. Chilemba deserves a rematch with Sergey.”

Q: What are Chilemba's biggest strengths and weaknesses. How are you working to correct them?

RJ: “His feet are his biggest strength. His feet are very good, he can be very elusive. And his biggest tool is his straight right hand. His weakness is that he had a lack of punching power because he wasn't turning his shoulder, turning his body with his punches. We are fixing that, working on it right now.”

Q: As a former light heavyweight world champion, what are your observations on the Kovalev-Ward fight?

RJ: “Very good fight. Best fight of boxing today. I look forward to seeing it. To me it's one of the best fights we had in boxing in years as far as guys being in their prime, being the two best in the division. That is just a great fight. A great fight for boxing.”

Q: How would you break down this match-up?

RJ: “No I don't have a prediction. Andre Ward hasn't been beaten in a long time, and if there was a guy that could beat him, there is the guy, so…”

Q: Which fighter, Kovalev or Ward, would have given you the best fight when you were 175-pound world champion?

RJ: “Both of them would be really good fights, very hard fights to fight. Very different fights to fight. My hand speed maybe would be better against both of them but they'd be tough guys to fight. Kovalev because of the power and Ward because of his mentality, he's a very smart guy in the ring. Very hard fights, but speed factor is probably what I would use to get both of them beat.”

Kovalev vs. Ward “Pound For Pound”, a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and is sponsored by the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Corona Extra, Zappos, JetLux and Monster Products. The championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.

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Sergey Krusher Kovalev Blog Part 4: Monday, November 14

Your last fight was in your native Russia. What did you learn about training outside the US and fighting Isaac Chilemba, a fighter you said has similarities with Andre Ward?

“I was very excited to be fighting in my home town and very happy because for a long time I didn’t fight there. The most important thing for me was that I fought there as a world champion and I defended my titles. There was little bit more pressure when I fought there because I had more responsibility, I had my family, my friends and everybody who knows me in Russia to take care of. I did not want to let everyone down, but I think I gave good fight and all fans enjoy it. Also, Chilemba is tough fighter, very good defense, so he is not a fighter that you can think will be easy. The fight against Chilemba was like a test for my fight with Andre Ward. We never know what Andre Ward will bring against me on November 19, he is good defense and is fast so I must be ready for anything. We are preparing for best possible Andre Ward in camp, so all I can do is train hard and prepare with my coach and my team. I am going in the ring with strong belief that I will get victory.”

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.

Andre Ward Blog Part 4: Monday, November 14

With a win you could become the best P4P fighter on many lists. How important is that considering where you have been in the past with your contract disputes and unable to fight?

It's the ultimate goal, the one I've been striving to achieve throughout my career. I've gotten as high as number two, and at times, I've felt like I should be number one. But you have two options—you can complain, or leave the critics without an excuse. This fight is the definitive moment of my career. I'm ready to cement my legacy in this sport, and this is my chance. This is my time.

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.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the thought to be impregnable 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 for Facebook Fightnight Live since 2017. He now does work for PROBOX TV, the first truly global boxing network.