Andre Ward believes Sergey Kovalev will underestimate the threat he’ll face this weekend and called him a “big bully”.
Ward will challenge the Russian for the WBO, IBF and WBA light-heavyweight titles come Saturday night.
Both boxers are unbeaten and highly ranked among the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Kovalev says he is ready for a street fight on Saturday.
That would be fine with Ward, who thinks the Russian will be in for a shock when the pair begin to trade blows.
“I am just going to be me,” said the 32-year-old American.
“I am not putting too much stock in anything that he does well or does not do well. He is going to be the best version of himself Saturday night and I am just prepared for war.
“Whatever it is going to take to leave with those three titles and become a five-time world champion, is what I am willing to do.
“I would not say [it will be] a street fight. I don’t know how much of a street fight he is really going to want when the fight really starts.
“Just like the mistake that a lot of my opponents have made, he has this type of fighter that he thinks he is going to be fighting, and it is going to be different than what he thinks.
“He is a big bully and he talks a good game.
“He tries to intimidate with ‘he does this, I am going to do that’. Well, do it, and then see what happens.
“For every action that he has in there, [there] is going to be a reaction and he just needs to understand that.”