Saturday night will be the biggest stage on which Cedric Agnew has fought.
The Houston-based fighter will be making his HBO debut (10 p.m. ET) and across the ring from him be Sergey Kovalev, a rising star who has knocked out 21 of his 24 opponents and has been steam-rolling the competition of late.
With that type of opportunity in front of him, one may expect the 27-year-old Agnew to have changed up his training or be intimated by the situation, but he himself is undefeated in 26 fights (26-0, 13 KOs) and wants people to know he sees nothing differentiating Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) from any of those 26 he defeated.
"It hasn’t been much motivation at all," he said. "I look at it as any other fight and he’s any other fighter. It’s very important because you can’t go into the ring afraid of anyone. He’s just a human like I am."
Kovalev is by far the best fighter Agnew has faced. However, he can move and he can box, two important skills to have when facing the type of puncher he will on Saturday. He says he can also adapt and that those writing him off are in for a surprise.
"They can expect a very smart fighter coming in there and taking control of the fight and doing whatever it takes to get the job done and win the fight."
There is talk of Kovalev continuing to move towards pound-for-pound status and dates with the Light Heavyweight division’s best namely Bernard Hopkins and Adonis Stevenson. Agnew can throw a wrench into all those plans and at the same time, get his name into those types of discussions should he get his hand raised on Saturday night.
"It would definitely open up a lot of other doors a win would just show all the naysayers and everybody that I am what I says I am."