By Edward Chaykovsky
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is tipping IBF/WBO/WBA light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (30-0, 26KOs) to walk away with a big win on November 19th, when he defends his titles against Olympic gold medal winner Andre Ward (30-0, 15KOs).
Kovalev vs. Ward will happen at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with HBO Pay-Per-View carrying the fight.
Not only does Roach regard Kovalev as the favorite in the fight - he believes the Russian fighter is currently unbeatable at 175-pounds.
"I like Kovalev. I think he's the best light heavyweight in the world. I don't think there is anyone out there that can beat him right now [at 175-pounds] - including Andre Ward," Roach told press members.
But, Roach sort of contradicts that statement when he leaves the door open for Ward to get the win. The veteran trainer says Kovalev MUST knock Ward out to win. He acknowledges that Ward is the superior boxer and likely to win a decision if it goes the full distance.
"I think that Kovalev has to stop him to win the fight or else he will get outboxed, because Ward is a great boxer. He will need to catch him. Can he do that? Maybe, maybe not. But we know that he's a great puncher and it will be an interesting fight. Its a very interesting fight that can go a lot of different ways. A puncher and a boxer, but the puncher has proven that he can box a little bit when he fought Hopkins," Roach said.
Roach regards middleweight king Gennady Golovkin as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. If Ward pulls off the win in November, Roach feels he did more than enough to replace Golovkin as the pound-for-pound best.
"If he wins that fight I will give him the top notch," Roach said.