“On July 11th I will step into the ring having a “home court” advantage as they say in other sports. As for me, the fight against Isaac Chilemba will be no different than any other fight in my career. The goal does not change no matter where I fight and who sits in the audience. However, I will appreciate the home crowd cheering instead of the booing from the stands that I got so used to over the years beating my opponents in their backyards. Thousands of my supporters, friends and family have been waiting for this fight to happen in Ural and I’m very thankful to the man who made it happen, Igor Altushkin of Russian Copper Company. Although I can’t find time to read all of the comments and letters that fans send to me daily on social media, I feel that the entire country is behind me in this fight.
“I know my opponent is not sleeping either. I am sure that Chilemba recognizes how big this opportunity is for him, and he’ll definitely try to use every opportunity to spoil my November “party” with Andre Ward. He will step into the ring charged and ready to bring a big fight. I will have to show some teeth in order to win. My motivation to defend my titles in front of the home crowd cannot be any bigger. That I can assure you all about!
“The confidence I get before every fight is also driven by my global fan base. I have supporters sending me notes from Philippines, Germany, Kazakhstan, Mexico and many other countries from around the world. It humbles me and makes me even more determined to show them a great fight. They say Mondays are tough, but I hope that July 11th will be the Monday you will get to enjoy, to witness a great night of boxing. This letter would not be complete without thanking HBO Boxing for their continued support and finding a way to broadcast this fight to my North American fans in the old tradition of Monday Night Boxing.”
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July 8, 2016