Freddie Roach Says Two-Year Layoff From Boxing Hurt Andre Ward

While Freddie Roach is busy training Manny Pacquiao for his upcoming fight against Jessie Vargas, he also lent his thoughts on the Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward fight in a few weeks.

Roach spoke to and said that Ward's two-year layoff from the sport has turned him into a different boxer.

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“It’s a tough fight. Ward, it seems that the layoff hurt him a little bit,” Roach said. “I love that fight. I don’t think he’s quite the fighter he used to be. Kovalev’s really strong. He’s a good puncher, but he looked like [expletive] in his last fight too. I think it’s a very good fight. I like both guys so much. I’m not going to pick one or the other.”

After Ward defeated Edwin Rodriguez in 2013 to retain his WBA super middleweight championship, Ward did not fight for the following two years and was stripped of his title.

Ward then tried to move up in weight until he was competing at the light heavyweight division and eventually won the vacant WBO International light heavyweight title against Alexander Brand in his last fight back in August.

Ward will challenge Kovalev for his undisputed WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles on November 19 on HBO pay-per-view. will have complete coverage of that fight. Credit to for the transcription.

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