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Andre Ward complains that none of the big names at 168 wants to fight him

ward544545By Scott Gilfoid: WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward is the king of the hill in the 168lb division, but the problem is he’s so incredibly good that he’s got the other fighters running scared of him and making excuses left and right about why they shouldn’t risk their hide getting in the ring with him.

Ward could move up to light heavyweight to find some brave souls that aren’t afraid to get in the ring with him, but Ward doesn’t see it being worth it because there would be only one fight for him against WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, and that wouldn’t even be a big money fight. It would likely bring Ward little more than what he typically gets for his fights.

What Ward doesn’t want is to get stuck in another division where there’s no one for him to fight. Ward can’t fight Adonis Stevenson, Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins, because those guys fight on Showtime while Ward fights on HBO. Other than Kovalev, there really isn’t anyone for Ward to fight at 175 unless he wants to spend the remainder of his career fighting guys like Andrzej Fonfara. There’s no real choices for Ward at 175.

“I don’t see where there are many fights at 175,” Ward said to the FightNetwork. “I think there’s a misconception that there’s money fights at 175. They’re not there. Adonis [Stevenson] is on another network. So you have one guy Kovalev. That’s not a pay-per-view fight, and if I then fight him and beat him, then what? The big fights are at 168, and the reality is those guys don’t want to fight me. And there’s a slew of excuses as to why, but that’s the reality.”

About the best that Ward could hope for if he moves up to 175 is maybe luck out and get a series of fights against Kovalev if their initial fight was a close one. Ward could maybe pull a Pacquiao-Marquez move by facing Kovalev 5 or 6 times in a short period of time. If Ward did that, he wouldn’t need to worry about the division being barren of popular fighters. He could just turn around and fight Kovalev every 5 months for the next 3 years and hopefully make a bundle out of it.

If Ward stays at 168, he’ll have to be satisfied with facing guys like James DeGale and George Groves, because there’s pretty much zero chance of Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler and Arthur Abraham ever fighting him again after they were dominated by him in the Super Six tournament. Those guys will likely never fight Ward again, and that’s kind of a given.

I’m not even sure that DeGale would fight Ward, because his promoter Eddie Hearn might decide that it’s not a good career move for DeGale to mix it up with Ward and risk getting schooled badly. Groves’ promoters at Sauerland Events also likely wouldn’t risk putting him in Ward because they can make good money with him by keeping Groves in Germany fighting select fighters in the division that can keep him winning.

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