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Sergey Kovalev: Canelo and I will make a great fight for fans

Sergey Kovalev expects a hard battle against Canelo Alvarez on Saturday.

Tom Hogan-HoganPhotos/Golden Boy

Sergey Kovalev has the biggest fight of his career coming on Saturday, as the 36-year-old WBO light heavyweight titleholder defends against superstar Canelo Alvarez in a main event on DAZN from Las Vegas.

At Wednesday’s final press conference, Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KO) expressed respect for Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KO), and anticipates a tough fight.

“I’m sure this fight is going to be very interesting and very difficult for both of us because we never step back, never give up,” he said. “My goal is to break his strategy and use my strategy in the fight. My goal is to defend this title and follow my dreams.”

Asked if he was offended that the 29-year-old Alvarez chose him for a risky move up to 175 pounds, if that made him feel as though Canelo and Golden Boy felt he was an easy mark, Kovalev shook his head.

“No, I’m happy,” he replied. “It’s nice that this is the biggest call in my boxing career, and to face Canelo, I’m happy. This is a big test for me, to prove one more time I’m the best light heavyweight in the division.”

Kovalev, who built his name on pretty devastating performances, reiterated that a knockout was not something he’d go hunting for against Canelo.

“You know, let’s fight, and in the fight you’ll get to see,” he said. “It’s not my goal, because when you follow that goal, you can’t do it. I just want to get into the ring and box very well and make a great fight for boxing fans and the boxing world.”

“It’s going to be a great show Saturday. Most importantly, I have to thank Mr. Alvarez for making this fight happen. So much respect. I think you’re one of the best out there, and it’s going to be a great night of boxing on Saturday,” said Kovalev’s head trainer, James “Buddy” McGirt.

“I’m happy that 20 years from now, I can say I was a part of that,” McGirt continued. “Everybody be ready, Sergey has some tricks up his sleeves, I know Alvarez does. Mr. Reynoso has done a great job with him since the Mayweather fight, he’s improved a whole lot, but you’ll see what we’ve been doing Saturday night.”

Kovalev also promised a great fight for fans.

“We’re two great champions, and right now, we respect each other inside and outside the ring,” he said. “But we will do our job very well for the boxing fans. And we will be fighting, never step back, never give up, we will make a great fight, 100 percent.”