Andre Ward Focused On Brand, Not Kovalev

Many fans are excited for the big heavyweight fight between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward for the WBA (Super), IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles, but Andre Ward says he's focused on himself.

For Ward (29-0, 15 KOs), he has to first fight Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) on August 6 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. Some fans think that Ward is already thinking ahead and overlooking Brand, but Ward reassures everyone that that is not the case.

“[Kovalev is] obviously the end game and where we’re trying to get,” Ward said. “I have to compartmentalize what I’ve got to do right now. That’s just how I operate and how I stay focused. I don’t want to juggle two opponents right now. I literally have to focus on one guy and that’s Alexander Brand August 6. I will not take him lightly. If I’m not successful August 6, there is no fight down the road with me and Kovalev and I’m very clear about that.”

Ward also said that he understands that he not only needs to win his upcoming fight, but to also win in convincing fashion. He said that once he beats Brand, and many fans believe that is to be the case, he will then immediately set his sights on Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs).

“Furthermore it’s not just a fight for me,” Ward said. “It’s very important for me to look good in that fight, to my standard and to my team’s standard. I have a certain amount of pressure on myself just to go out there and perform and hopefully look good doing it.”

The former Olympic gold medalist had his own opinion of how Brand fights and how he is going to counter Brand’s heavy hitting offensive style.

“[Brand] swings for the fences,” Ward said. “He loads up on a lot of shots. He doesn’t have a lot of nuance about him, he’s not trying to set things up. He’s swinging hard. That’s what he does. He’ll try to move and give some space when he wants to rest and different things like that. I think that’s why even if he gets hit with a good shot, something like that, he’s able to survive, he’ll use his legs. He does various things and he’s awkward. That’s something I’m going to have to overcome. I’m going to have to be disciplined. I’m going to have to be really determined just to let him do everything he’s going do, however he does it and just stay locked in on hitting him and hitting him until the fight is over and hopefully be the first to stop him.“

In the end, Ward said that he is preparing his “body, mind, spirit for war. In this case it will be August 6.”

By Carlos Toro -

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