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Ward vs. Brand: Alexander has 3 chances for victory

Andre Ward

By Patrick McHugh: Andre Ward vs. Alexander Brand will be televised this Saturday night on HBO Boxing at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. Ward, 32, wants to show off what he can do to the boxing fans that will be tuning in to see the contest. Brand is a real long shot to get the victory in this fight because he’s slower, less skilled a lot older than Ward at 39.

This is a whole different ball game from the type of fighters that Brand has been facing during his pro career. However, he does have prior experience in the past with a long amateur career in fighting against top fighters from around the world, so he’s not entirely without a chance in this contest. The size difference will be a problem for Brand. He’s an inch and a half shorter than the 6’0″ Ward, and he looks much smaller than him. When the two fighters stood for a face off today, it made the size different more noticeable. Ward looks like a giant next to Brand, who is the same height as Gennady Golovkin at 5′ 10½″. As big as Ward is, you have to wonder why he took so long in moving up to the 175lb division. He’s a true light heavyweight. He may not have the kind of punching power of the topo fighters in the division, but he’s definitely a light heavyweight.

Obviously, Ward’s promoters at Roc Nation Sports have likely checked him out thoroughly to see if he was any kind of threat to beat him, and it’s doubtful that he would have gotten the chance to take the fight if he was seen as someone that can beat Ward. There are several fighters that have the talent to give Ward his first loss of his 12-year pro career, but Brand is not seen as one of them.

Brand’s only chances of beating Ward could come down to these three possibilities:

1. Putting a lot of pressure on Ward and looking for a knockout.

2. Ward suffers a debilitating injury of some sort that incapacitates him enough to where Brand can take over the fight and get the victory. Ward is no stranger to injuries, as he’s had knee problems off and on during his career.

3. If Brand can outwork Ward. Believe it or not, Brand has a real chance of outworking Ward to get a decision win in this fight. Ward has never been able to throw a lot of punches in his fights for some reason, and he’s not changed in that area in his last two fights since making his return to the ring after two years off. In Ward’s last fight against Sullivan Barrera in March of this year, Ward was throwing a lot of pot shots and then relaying on Barrera giving up after he threw one or two of his own punches that missed their mark. Barrera didn’t have the inside game to fall back on when he would miss a shot and fall in to the inside.

“I’m not built like that. I wasn’t raised like that,” said Ward at his final press conference on Thursday for his fight on HBO Championship Boxing this Saturday on August 6. “I wasn’t groomed like that. As a young fighter, I don’t operate like that. This man is coming, this is his super bowl. Because this is his super bowl, it has to be my super bowl. My ribs are showing, I’m hungry. I’ll see you all Saturday night.”

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