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Purses: Ward $850K, Brand $30K

Andre Ward

By Allan Fox: Andre Ward (29-0, 15 KOs) will be getting the lion’s share of the loot this Saturday night in his fight against the unofficial sacrificial lamb Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) in their 12 round fight at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. Ward will be getting a purse of $850,000 compared to just $30,000 for the 39-year-old Brand. In other words, Ward will be getting $820,000 more than Brand for the fight. With the little bit of money that Brand is getting for the fight, it’s no wonder Ward’s promoters didn’t get a better opponent for him to fight.

(Photo credit: Tom Hogan- Hoganphotos/Roc Nation Sports)

Brand is a 39-year-old fighter that was picked out from the super middleweight division instead of the light heavyweight division. If all Ward’s opponent was going to get was $30K, then there’s no way that the top 175lb fighters would agree to that kind of money like Artur Beterbiev, Joe Smith Jr. and Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

If Ward’s future opponents are only going to be offered small money like that, then it’s hard to imagine him getting any decent opponents. Of course, if Ward beats IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev.

“Purses from Oakland: Andre Ward $850k, Alexander Brand $30k. Not a typo. #boxing #Ward-Brand,” said Dan Rafael on his Twitter.

If Ward beats Brand tomorrow night, as most expect him to, then Ward will be fighting Kovalev for his belts. If Ward can win those belts, then his opponents will at least get decent money as challengers. They won’t be stuck getting $30,000 while Ward pockets $850,000.

Brand doesn’t bring much to the table in this fight against Ward. Brand an punch a little, but he’s so out-sized in this fight that he doesn’t have much of a chance of winning.

“It’s very important for me to look good (against Brand), to my standard and to my team’s standard,” said Ward via espn.com. “I have a certain amount of pressure on myself to go out there, perform and, hopefully, look good doing it. So my team has looked at [Kovalev-Chilemba]. They are doing their due diligence but, no, I personally have not looked at it.”

If Ward looks good tomorrow night, it would be his first time in impressing for years since his win over Edwin Rodriguez. Ward didn’t shine in his last two fights against Sullivan Barrera and Paul Smith. Ward was hurt by a right hand from Smith in the 7th round last year. Ward made it out of the round only because Smith stopped throwing power shots after throwing that one big shot. In Ward’s fight against Barrera, he was stuck throwing pot shots one at a time and holding each time he got near.

It’s unclear how much Brand will end up with of his $30,000 after he pays his trainer and training team. Then there are taxes that will come out of the $30K as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brand ends up with just one-fourth of the $30K.

Ward reportedly originally wanted Nathan Cleverly and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy. Neither of those fights were able to get made. If they were only offered small money for the fight with Ward, then it’s not surprising that those matches were never made.

It’s a good thing that the contracts for the Kovalev vs. Ward fight are supposedly done, because it might be difficult for that fight to be negotiated if Ward wants the lion’s share of the purse in that fight as well. Somehow, I doubt that Kovalev would be willing to accept just $30K for the fight given that he’s the IBF/WBA/WBO champion and Ward just the challenger, albeit a well-known one.

This is Brand’s big chance for a fight against a well-known fighter on HBO. It’s just too bad he’s not making more than $30,000. In looking at Brand’s body language at the weigh-in, he doesn’t appear confident at all. He looks like someone who is already lost the fight. I can’t recall ever seeing a fighter that looked as defeated before the fight as Brand does. It’s unfortunate that he’s not making at least $200,000 for the fight. This is probably going to be Brand’s only fight against a big name, because I can’t see him ever getting a world title fight. At 39, I don’t think Brand has enough time left in his career to work his way to a No.1 spot to get a crack at a title, and that’s the only way I see him getting a shot at a title.


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