Agnew looking for his biggest win

While one can rightfully forgive anyone who is unfamiliar with light heavyweight Cedric Agnew, the unbeaten fighter is hoping this will be the last time that happens.

Agnew (26-0, 13 KOs) gets his chance Saturday to make his name known when he challenges unbeaten titlist Sergey Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) at Boardwalk Hall's Adrian Phillips Ballroom in Atlantic City, N.J. (HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT).

While most are waiting anxiously for a chance to see Kovalev square off with the best fighters in the division, it's Agnew, 27, a native of Chicago, who will get the first crack in 2014 against the Russian knockout artist.

One fight removed from his biggest victory to date last April against former title challenger Yusaf Mack, Agnew will step in against one of boxing's biggest rising stars who also doubles as one of its most dangerous punchers.

How big of an opportunity is it for you at this point in your career to land the title fight against Kovalev?
This is real big. It's big landing a fight with any world champion at this stage in my career.

What is the best way to describe your fighting style to any fans who haven't had the chance to see you fight?
Fun to watch. Entertaining. I'm a boxer and puncher.

Which one of your victories gave you the most confidence to know that you are ready for a world title shot?
All of them. Each opponent was put in front of me for a reason, just like each opponent that [Kovalev] fought. We take fights for a reason. Each fight I've taken was for this point right now.

How much have you enjoyed the underdog role heading into this fight considering everyone is talking about Adonis Stevenson's name whenever Kovalev is brought up?
I don't pay attention to social media and websites or none of that. I never look at myself as an underdog. I look at myself as having as much to lose as he does. I'm not a fighter who is coming in here with four or five losses. I'm an undefeated fighter just like he is.

Considering the run Kovalev has been on knocking people out, how leery are you of his punching power?
I don't trade with no opponent. You beat a fighter with your brain and I'm looking forward to beating this guy with my brain. I don't trade with nobody.

Do you believe Kovalev has been able to live up to the lofty hype that has followed him over the past year?
Pretty much. But he's fighting people who are scared of him. It's easy to fight people who are scared of you. When you get in with a fighter who doesn't fear you, it's a different ball game.

What do you have to do in order to be successful against Kovalev?
You have to use your brain. The smarter fighter will win.

What do you hope for fans to find out about you on Saturday?
Honestly, just to get my name out there. You don't have to find out that I'm a hell of a fighter or that I'm world class. You don't have to find out I'm none of that. Just recognize me when I'm out there.

What are your thoughts on some of the top names in the light heavyweight division?
There are some real good top names out there. This division has really picked up. You've got your Bernard Hopkins. You've got your Beibut Shumenov. You've got other guys who are looking to come up to this weight class. It's looking good for the light heavyweight division.

When you received the call that you were getting the fight with Kovalev, was it a surprise to you or more of a culmination of all the hard work you have put in up until this point?
It wasn't much of a surprise because this is the fight we've been looking for. But it kind of feels like a breakthrough because guys have been ducking us for quite some time. To get this call is good.

If you can pull the upset off on Saturday, what will it mean for you considering all you have been through as a professional up until this point?
Well, when I pull this victory off it's just going to feel like a long time coming. I've been waiting for this for a long time. It's going to feel like a big relief.