IBF, WBA, WBO light heavyweight champion Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) laughed off some of the recent statements coming from challenger Sergey Kovalev (30-1, 26 KOs) and members of his team.
Their anticipated rematch is scheduled to take place on June 17th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Last November at T-Mobile Arena, Ward won their first contest by unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring it 114-113. But Kovalev, who knocked down Ward in the second round with a straight right hand to the face, claimed he won the fight and complained about the scoring.
Kovalev exercised the rematch clause to force the second fight.
He called Ward a "fake champion" and promised to "destroy him" and "kick his ass" from the opening bell. Ward is not bothered by the words that are coming in his direction.
"It's funny because they're not even good at [trash talking]," Ward said. "If you're going to talk smack just come with it, enough where I can at least respect it, like 'OK, that's a good one.' If he wants to post Twitter messages and Instagram messages until his fingers fall off, go for it. At the end of the day it really doesn't matter, bro, you have to see me in a couple of weeks. It's time to show up. You have to see me."
Ward says the controversy and all of the trash talking has fueled the fire in his belly to set the record straight. He wants to be very dominant in the rematch to prevent the same type of outcome where fans are questioning the final results and Kovalev is complaining of a robbery.
"Really it's about answering any questions that are out there, removing all doubt, and putting a muzzle on him and his team because they've been doing way too much talking lately," Ward said.