ANDRE WARD is adamant that in his first light-heavyweight world title fight he will defeat IBF, WBO and WBO champion Sergey Kovalev at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on November 19.

“I’m not leaving Las Vegas without those belts and however I got to get it we’re going to get it that way. I don’t have a prediction. I’ve never been a prediction guy. I just know I’m ready, I’m excited and I can’t wait to fight,” Ward said. “For me it’s about trying to be the best in sport where there’s little room for error. I understand that every time I step into the ring and leads to me making sure I prepare accordingly.”

He respects the champion’s abilities. “Kovalev is not just a big puncher. He’s a boxer. He’s a thinker. He understands range, positioning and different things like that. There’s a lot more to him than just being a big puncher, but at the end of the day many people make the same mistake with me. They call me a great boxer or a great neutralizer, but there’s so much more going on with me than that. If I was just about defence and neutralizing then a lot of these big punchers would just try to walk through me and there’s a reason they’re not. But that’s what fight night is all about, it’s not about talking about it to try to prove your case, it’s about the opportunity to be great on November 19 and it’s less than two weeks away,” Andre said.

Ward hopes to be appreciated himself. “In this day and age, the public is sold that if it isn’t a knockdown drag out fight and one guy’s ear isn’t hanging off then it wasn’t worth your time or money and I don’t think that’s fair to the fighters or fair to the fans. Hardcore fans know who they like and know what kind of style they like and they’re going to tune in and buy tickets. But I feel that turns the casual fan off when they’re not being educated on what they’re looking at or they’re reading things that are always ripping one type of style and one type of fighter. It’s one thing if a guy doesn’t throw or look like he wants to be in the ring, but if a guy has a particular style where he has nuances and sometimes he fights, sometimes he boxes, whatever the case may be I feel the general public should be educated on what they’re looking at,” he said.

“I know they want blood, they want me knocked down and staggered. I’ve studied this sport for many years and if you look at old footage of Roy Jones, Bernard Hopkins and old interviews and footage of Floyd Mayweather, it’s the same kind of things that were said about them and those three guys are legends and hall of famers. You can’t be worried about that because you understand that some people get it and some people won’t, but you have to do what you have to do. Some people won’t like it, but some people will.”