Andre Ward a possibility for Cotto-Canelo undercard, says Yormack
By Allan Fox: Roc Nation Sports promoter Michael Yormack says WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward (28-0, 15 KOs) is one of the possibilities for the undercard of the November 21st fight card headlined by WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) on HBO pay-per-view from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Having Ward on the card obviously puts him in the equation for getting a shot at one of these fighters. It’s no secret that Ward wants a fight against IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, and he’s hoping that fight can take place in the near future like in 2016.
Golovkin and his promoter Tom Loeffler haven’t said when they’ll face Ward other than after Golovkin cleans out the middleweight division.
Ward wants the fight with Golovkin before he moves up in weight to 175 to face IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. That’s why it’s important that Ward get the fight against Golovkin – or the likes of Canelo or Cotto – sooner rather than later, because he doesn’t have a lot of time to wait on one of them.
“Michael Yormark says they will now get to work on Cotto-Canelo undercard but he said, yes, Andre Ward is a consideration. #boxing,” Dan Rafael said on his Twitter.
It’s unclear who Ward will be fighting if he does fight on the undercard of the Cotto vs. Canelo card. There aren’t any big names in the super middleweight division for Ward to fight any longer now that Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler have stepped away from the sport.
The only notable fighters in the 168lb division now are guys like George Groves, James DeGale, Gilberto Ramirez, Sakio Bika, Andre Dirrell, Anthony Dirrell, Arthur Abraham, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Roc Nation Sports likely won’t get any of those guys to fight Ward.
For that reason, Ward will have to be content with just fighting one of the top contenders in the division, and it’s anyone’s guess who that would be. It would be nice to have Ward fight a top guy, but it’s not easy to get the top guys to want to fight Ward because they realize how good he is. No one wants to face a guy like Ward when they understand that their chances of winning are so small.
Adding Ward to the Cotto-Canelo card will help bring a little interest in the card, but it won’t have a huge impact on the card unless Ward is matched against a quality opponent. If Ward gets put in with another Paul Smith type opponent for his next fight, then it’ll mean very little having him on the card.
Ward needs someone that has a chance of beating him, and someone that the casual boxing fans have heard of. Ward might have to be satisfied with fighting someone like Rogelio Medina, Julius Jackson, Patrick Nielson, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Giovanni De Carolis, Jesse Hart, Tyron Zeuge or Schiller Hyppolite. Those are all fighters ranked in the top 15 by the World Boxing Association.
Ward stopped Paul Smith in the 9th round in his last fight in June. It was the first time that Ward had fought in almost two years, but he looked good. Smith was able to shake Ward up with a big right hand in the 7th round of the fight. Had Smith thrown more shots, he might have had a chance of getting a knockout.
Ward’s chances of getting a Golovkin, Canelo or Cotto fight may ultimately be fruitless if he insists on them coming up to 168 to fight him. These are really popular fighters, a lot more popular than Ward. They don’t have any real reasons for moving up in weight to fight Ward at 168 when the money isn’t going to be huge. Golovkin is the guy that Ward wants to fight most of all, but the two fighters are moving in different directions right now in terms of popularity.
Golovkin is headlining a pay-per-view card against IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux on October 17th on HBO from Madison Square Garden. The fight may be a sellout, and if brings in a lot of pay-per-view buys and a victory for Golovkin, then it’s going to be almost impossible for Ward to get a fight against the Kazakhstan star.
Golovkin wouldn’t have any need to fight Ward at 168 or even 164 at that point. If Ward wanted a fight against Golovkin, he would have to move down to 160 to get it, because he wouldn’t be in the position to pressure Golovkin, the A-side fighter, to move up to 164 to meet him halfway or to get him to come all the way up to 168 to fight him. There would be no reason for Golovkin to move up in any way to fight a guy like Ward.