Sergey Kovalev has vowed not to run on empty when he goes for revenge against Eleider Alvarez in Frisco, Texas on Saturday night (live on BoxNation).
When they met in August, Kovalev was leading on points and on course to regain the WBO Light-Heavyweight Title but fell apart and was clubbed to defeat in the seventh round.
And the Russian powerhouse insists that with new trainer Buddy McGirt in his corner the warning lights will not flash on his engine.
Kovalev, 35, said: “I didn’t have enough gas, enough power. You saw my condition. I was lazy. It was like something was wrong with my body.
“Proving again that I always push myself more than needed and that was my biggest mistake in my boxing career.
“Always push further than needed. Right now Buddy has taught me a lot — saving energy for the fight and I listen to him 100% on his recommendations and I follow his instructions.
“Right now at this time before the fight I am used to dieting. This time I wanted to be better for everything – in life and in the boxing gym and my team change,” he explained.
“The last fight he got lucky. He got lucky of course. I lost concentration for just a couple of seconds – a lack of attention just for one second. Then I couldn’t get focused after the knock down.
“Maybe I wasn’t ready enough. I don’t want to use it as excuses but on Saturday I will prove that I am better than Alvarez. And that is my goal to get my belts back. That’s my goal right now and it is a big motivation.”
Kovalev claims that the Montreal based Colombian got lucky. McGirt doesn’t believe that and appears to blame diet and crashing weight for the shock defeat.
He said: “A lot of people told me that he was difficult to work with, but he wasn’t. Everyone was telling me this and telling me that and I was like, ‘OK,’ and when I got with him everything was gravy.
“I know that he had a strength and conditioning guy, to not only help with strength and conditioning but to help him with his diet – to eat the right foods.
“He told me how he ate for the last fight and I told him he was crazy. Lots of these fighters they wait till the last week to lose ten pounds — that’s not healthy.
“He told me what he did wrong then we got in the gym and I said, ‘OK Buddy, you can’t really make any big adjustments. He’s been doing this too long.’ So I just kept it simple.
“You can’t beat the basics. So you just keep it basic and simple, not complicated, and let the rest take care of itself. He’s in shape. He’s eating the right foods. His weight is good. So now it’s all up to him.”
It is close to the last chance saloon for Kovalev who has delighted BoxNation viewers over the last few years, and he cannot afford a fourth career defeat in his 37th fight.