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Ward lists Crawford as potential Mayweather replacement

Andre Ward Floyd Mayweather Jr Terence Crawford

By Dan Ambrose: Andre Ward (29-0, 15 KOs) says he sees himself and Terence Crawford as two of the many possible fighters that will be stepping in to replace Floyd Mayweather Jr. to become the new face of boxing now that he’s stepped away from the sport. Ward doesn’t see it being an easy thing to step in and replace Mayweather, because it takes a lot of talent and then you’ve got to be able to prove it over and over again.

Ward, 32, is way behind in the game if he’s going to be the replacement for Mayweather, because he’s missed a lot of fights in the last four years of his pro career by not fighting on a frequent basis and missing two entire years.

At this point, Ward might get a pick as the No.1 pound-for-pound by one of the magazines or networks like ESPN, but he’s not likely going to become the replacement for Mayweather. Ward’s hand speed is too slow; his reflexes not quick enough, power not earth-shattering, and his defensive ability not on the same level as Mayweather. Ward also does a lot of holding, and Mayweather never did that kind of thing.

“It’s not one person; it’s a lot of people, Terence Crawford, myself,” said Ward when asked who will be the next face in boxing to replace Mayweather. “It’s open season. I hear a lot of guys say I got next. It’s not going to be that easy. You got to be great over and over and over again. It’s not easy, man. You can’t crown one person. You got to prove it,” said Ward.

Crawford doesn’t appear to have the talent or personality to step into Mayweather’s shoes as well. Crawford moves too much, doesn’t have the hand speed, or the desire to stay in the pocket and fight. Crawford does have some elements of his game, but it’s hard to watch his fight because he’s not really entertaining like Mayweather used to be.

Mayweather made exciting even when he was facing guys that were out of his level because he would give them a break by staying in one place and just fighting them. Crawford doesn’t do that. He’ll get on his bike to avoid getting hit even against guys that aren’t in his league. Crawford also holds a great deal. Watch his fight against Raymundo Beltran. Crawford was constantly holding and it was very boring to watch him fight.

I think Ward is kidding himself if he thinks he’s in the running for the replacement for Mayweather. I see Gennady Golovkin as being far above Crawford and Ward as the new face of boxing, and he’s not even from the U.S. The one thing that Golovkin has working against him is his age. Depending on how Golovkin ages, he might have another four to six more years at the top of his game before he ages out and is replaced by someone as the top fighter in the sport But until then, I see Golovkin as being the replacement for Mayweather, not Ward or Crawford. Golovkin is far more exciting to watch than Ward and Crawford in my view.

Ward will be fighting Alexander Brand on Saturday night on HBO Boxing at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The fight is seen as a mismatch, as Brand is 39, small, and moving up from the super middleweight division to take the fight.

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