Weights: Ward 175, Brand 173.2
By Jim Dower: A much bigger Andre Ward (29-0, 15 KOs) successfully weighed in on Friday in coming in right at the light heavyweight limit at 175 pounds for his tune-up bout against 39-year-old super middleweight contender Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs). Brand came in at 173.2lbs. The difference between the 6’0” Ward and the 5’10 ½” Brand was pretty dramatic in looking at the two fighters, because Ward appears to be at least two divisions bigger than the 40-ish Brand.
Ward will likely rehydrate up into the 190s, whereas Brand might stay in the 170s. If you look at Brand’s fights, he’s not a very big guy after he rehydrates. We’re probably going to see Ward coming into the fight with a significant weight advantage, possibly as much as 15 pounds.
Ward vs. Brand will be taking place this Saturday on August 6 on HBO Boxing from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The fight will start at 10:15 p.m. ET on HBO. It should be an interesting one while it lasts. Ward, 32, isn’t a big knockout puncher, but he might just get one of his rare knockouts in this fight. If not, then Ward will need to be able to take an occasional bomb thrown from Brand, because those are the type of punches he likes to throw. The good news for Ward is that Brand will be so out-sized in this fight that his power shots likely won’t do the same kind of damage that punches from a hard hitter from the 175lb division.
Boxing fans don’t understand why Brand was picked out for Ward to fight for his tune-up, because the fight is supposed to be getting the 32-year-old Ward ready for his title challenge against IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, who is much taller, much heavier and much more powerful than the tiny 39-year-old Brand. This isn’t a fight that is going to be able to get Ward adequately prepared for a challenge against a guy like Kovalev, and that’s the disappointing thing about it. Ward would have been better off fighting a rematch against Sullivan Barrera rather than taking on a small, old guy from the 168lb division in Brand. If Ward turns around and loses to Kovalev in November, there are going to be fingers pointed towards his preparation for that fight with the odd fight against Brand.
Brand likes to come forward and slug, and that’s the only thing he has in common with Kovalev. He doesn’t have a jab, he’s easy to hit, and he’s never beaten anyone that can be called a good fighter. Brand lost to Badou Jack four years ago in a close eight round decision defeat. It was a good fight, but Brand clearly didn’t do enough to get the victory in that fight.
“I didn’t watch his last fight,” Ward said about Kovalev via ESPN.com. “He’s not my next opponent, but I know what happened and what people are saying about it. It is obviously the end game and what we’re trying to get but I didn’t watch it. I have to compartmentalize what I have to do right now.”
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