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Kovalev suggests he will be smarter fighter in bout with Ward.


Sergey Kovalev likes to call himself “The Krusher” because of his concussive power. But on Nov. 19 when he defends his light heavyweight titles against Andre Ward, Kovalev may not be the “Krusher” so much as a clever and canny boxer, he suggested in a conference call on Tuesday.

Kovalev, along with trainer John David Jackson hinted of plans to match wits with Ward, a former super middleweight kingpin who is known for his high ring IQ and craftiness. “For me, it’s a mental fight,” Kovalev said of a bout taking place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on HBO PPV. “(The key to the fight is) who is not the stronger (but) who is smarter (and who) will bring the best skill into the ring and who is mentally stronger.”

Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 knockouts) is known for his power but he’s also displayed an ability to box. His trainer, John David Jackson believes a lot of observers will be surprised by the intelligence he shows on Nov. 19 in handling Ward’s maneuvers.

“A lot of so-called experts say that Ward is the smarter fighter,” Jackson said. “Ward is smart at what he does. But a lot of what he’s doing isn’t fighting. It’s making his opponent frustrated with the tactics that he uses. Sergey, on the other hand, is a pure all-around fighter. He doesn’t come into the ring and try to be a one-punch knockout artist. He does want the knockout. But he’s learning how to build up to the knockout, how to break an opponent down. Ward has a handgun against a tank. Now, the tank is smart. So for those who don’t know how smart and intelligent Sergey is in the ring — on Nov. 19 they’re going to find out.”


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