Kovalev vows to ‘destroy’ Ward

Sergey Kovalev has vowed to “destroy” Andre Ward in this month’s rematch after launching a savage attack on the American fighter.

Kovalev suffered a controversial points defeat to Ward last November to lose both his unbeaten record and three light heavyweight world titles.

The pair will meet again in Las Vegas on June 17 and Kovalev is still smarting from the first bout after branding Ward as a “fake champion”.

The Russian said: "I don't like this guy [Ward] and I want to punish him because he puts his nose really up right now. He knows that he lost.

"I want to destroy him. I want to destroy this guy as a boxer, as a champion.

"For me, he is not a champion, he's a fake champion. He lives right now with this status. He believes in his victory over me and right now he's trying to get belief of people of this victory. It's wrong, for me, it's wrong."

Kovalev believes one of the reasons why he was unable to win the first bout was that he over-trained and ran out of gas before the midway point of the fight.

"I tried not to rush, but I didn't know that my energy will finish in the fifth round,” he added.

“In the fifth round, I lost the speed, I lost the energy and I was empty, 100 per cent empty.”