Sergey Kovalev was busy this past weekend as an attendee at the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight in Las Vegas, which also meant he was around and talking to press during the weekend. And when speaking to the Los Angeles Timesabout his likely end of year fight with Andre Ward, Kovalev was less boisterous star fighter than usual:
"I don't know if I can beat him. But I want to fight him. It's a huge test for me."
This is, in a way, incredibly refreshing, and details why most of us really want to see this fight happen. (The word has been that it's set for November, but with boxing, you never until they're actually there.) It's a great fight between two elite fighters, and there's nobody thinking it's going to be "easy work" for anyone.
Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KO) last fought on January 30, beating Jean Pascal in a rematch, stopping the Haitian-Canadian after seven rounds of lopsided punishment. The current plan is for him to fight in June, heading over to Russia to do so. It would be his first fight in his home country since 2011, and just the third of his career. His pro career has always been based in the United States, where he lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Ward (29-0, 15 KO) returned from another fairly long absence on March 26, pretty much shutting out Sullivan Barrera over 12 rounds. There didn't seem to be much rust on the former super middleweight king that night, but there has also been talk of Ward taking one more "tune-up" fight this summer before jumping in with Kovalev in November.