January 15th, 2014 By Pedro FernandezBEST OF ANDRE WARD YET TO ARRIVE
San Francisco, CA- Unlike New Jersey Governor Chris Christie whose “Bridge Scandal” has imploded political career overnight, undisputed World champion Andre Ward still has a lot left even though he snagged the Olympic Gold medal almost ten years ago at the 2004 games in Athens. Having known the kid, yes Andre Ward was a skinny kid born in San Francisco and Oakland resident some 17-18 or so years ago, I am truly of the mindset that he has yet to reach his zenith.
UNBEATEN SLATE SINCE LIKE 1996
Looking at his resume courtesy of BoxRec.com, the record is unblemished at 27-0 with 14 KOs, Ward fought i the Olympics at 178 lbs. in order to allow his friend Andre Dirrell to fight at and get the Bronze at 165. Having picked him to win the Gold, I would explain his physical size disadvantage to people and they would ask, “So why are you picking him?” Because athletes like Andre Ward don’t come along too often in boxing.
BEST OLYMPIAN SINCE RAY LEONARD IN 1976
What I mean by that is Ward, one month shy of 30, Andre could have played football, basketball, just about any sport because of this unique gift that can best be described as “pure raw athletic talent.” Historian Ronald Marshall thinks that Ward has the talent to out box cruiserweights, albeit coming in lighter than 200. “He isn’t as fluid as “Sugar Ray” Leonard, but he’s every bit as good.”
UNFINISHED BUSINESS AT SUPER MIDDLE
Although ex-HBO Godfather Larry Merchant nearly flew out of chair when I brought up a possibility of Ward and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Larry scoffed, “You think Chavez’s people would let him anywhere near Ward? I don’t think so. Ward needs to go to 175 lbs.” Whether Larry agrees or not, if Chavez smokes Brian Vera in much deserved rematch seeing Jr. got licked like a stamp and still won, the Ward-Chavez fight is on!
WHAT DOES WARD DO IN THE MEAN TIME!
Seeing he has did a locust-like number at 168, beating Mikkel Kessler, Sakio Bika, Carl Froch, his last foe Edwin “La Bambi” Rodriguez, Arthur Abraham, the only fresh meat left would be Chavez, and because his lack of discipline is so questionable, his Carnitas may have already gotten cold. George Groves, Robert Stieglitz, stablemate Brandon Gonzales, these guys are all “easy” marks for Ward.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN DISCUSSION WITH ANDRE
Ward all but dismissed WBA 160 lb. champion Gennady Golovkin (28-0, 25 KOs) by bringing the oft used adage for reigning World champions when discussing potential challengers, paraphrasing Andre on an appearance on Ring Talk Worldwide a couple months back, “He (GGG) really hasn’t fought anybody yet.” But that is also a super fight much like a Chavez encounter would be except Golovkin has worldwide appeal and does great ratings on HBO, while Chavez is only “hot” with Mexicans who are hypnotized by his name.
WATER NOT ALL THAT DEEP AT 168
Outside of those two names, the only thing left on the table would be a move to light heavyweight (175) and I don’t think that’s happening soon. The lone exception could be a trip to the United Kingdom to fight Carl Froch whom he has already soundly beaten. As for 175, Ward will be there in 2015 and retire a year, maybe two years later.
NOBODY REALIZES “RISKS” MORE THAN ANDRE
Although all of us that boxed saw guys “punchy” in the gym, some active, some retired, not everybody can see the light in that staying around too long can be like a cigarette, “Hazardous to your health.” Ward knows this and acknowledges such. Like Floyd Mayweather Jr., Andre Ward wants to retire undefeated with little residual effects from professional boxing. All that being said, I’d bet on it!
BETTER TODAY THAN MAYWEATHER!
With Floyd Mayweather being 36, his clock is ticking down to the end of his Showtime contract and 50 wins. Straight up, if they were the same weight, Andre Ward be able to impose his will on the 1996 Bronze medalist. It’s about timing, Floyd has been selective while Ward has fought the best guys he can. Come 15 years from now, it’ll be interesting to see how historians rate the runs of Andre “Son of God” Ward and Floyd “Money” Mayweather.