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Ward: Golovkin fight will NEVER happen!

Andre Ward Gennady Golovkin Sergey Kovalev

By Allan Fox: Unbeaten light heavyweight contender Andre Ward says he’s NEVER going to fight unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, because he had his chance he failed to take it. Ward is fighting in the 175lb division now, and he says he’s NOT going to move back down in weight at this point. In other words, if there’s ever to be a fight between them, it would need to be at light heavyweight if GGG decided to move up two weigh classes to make it happen.

Considering that Golovkin is no bigger than some of the fighters in the 147lb division like Errol Spence Jr., it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Golovkin up two weight classes to fight someone who would have a tremendous weight advantage over him like Andre.

(Photo Credit: Khristopher Sandifer/Roc Nation Sports)

Ward doesn’t say how much he rehydrates to nowadays since he moved up to the light heavyweight division, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s close to the 190s. Golovkin rehydrates to 170. If Golovkin were to move to light heavyweight, he would need to bulk up considerably in order to keep from being outweighed by 20 pounds against the top fighters. Golovkin has a small frame, and he’s not really built to bulk up. If he did put weight on, it would likely slow him down, and not increase his punching power in any real way.

“I think that fight has sailed, that fight is never going to happen,” said Ward to “Once you go up in weight, I will never go down, you just don’t do it. He had his opportunity to fight me. An offer was made…He had his opportunity and did not want to fight, so I have moved on.”

There might be a point in the future that Ward and Golovkin could face each other IF Ward’s career doesn’t implode. Ward has not looked good in his last three fights since coming back from a two-year layoff. Trainers like Abel Sanchez and Freddie Roach both have said that Ward doesn’t look as good now compared to the fighter that he was give years ago. Ward’s confidence in himself seems to be coming from the fighter he was years ago rather than the fighter that he is right now. I don’t think Ward realizes how much he’s lost from his game due to aging and inactivity, but he’s going to soon find out.

Ward, 32, has a fight against IBF/WBA/WBC light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) on November 19 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Kovalev-Ward fight will be televised on HBO pay-per-view in the United States. Ward is confident that he’s going to win the fight, but there’s a very good chance he’s going to lose to Kovalev, who has a higher work-rate, superior punching power in both hands, and a better jab than Ward. For Ward to beat Kovalev, he’s going to need to retool his came completely, and he’ll need him to fight a poor fight.

It doesn’t make sense for Ward to be talking about how he’s never going to fight Golovkin, because his future at 175 is completely uncertain at this point. If Ward gets beaten badly by Kovalev, and against some of the other top 175lb fighters, then he’s going to need to think hard about moving back down in weight to 168 whether he wants to or not. It’s hard to imagine Ward choosing to stubbornly stick it out at light heavyweight if he doesn’t have the size, power or work rate to beat the best fighters like Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson and Artur Beterbiev. What sets these guys apart from Ward is their punching power. They all punch with amazing power for the 175lb weight class, and they’re not slowed up by guys with good hand speed. It takes power to compete with these guys, and Ward doesn’t have it. There’s a very good chance that Ward is going to need to revisit the 168lb division if his experiment at 175 turns out to be a disappointment for him. Right now, Ward’s fights are being televised by HBO, and he’s making good money. You can imagine that might change if Ward starts taking loss after loss to the top light heavyweights.

Will HBO renew Ward’s contract with their company if he fails to succeed at light heavyweight? I doubt it. Why would they? It’s not good for HBO if they have a fighter who loses over and over again, and can’ compete in the 175lb division. If Ward can’t beat the best fighters at light heavyweight, then he’ll need to move back down to super middleweight in order to find success once again. Once Ward moves down to 168, then there will be a chance for him and Golovkin to face each other in the future. The fight might still interest Golovkin and his management as long as Ward doesn’t get beaten too many times while he’s in the 175lb division. Ward hasn’t fought a good fighter in the past five years since his loss to Carl Froch in 2011. That was a long time ago. Since that fight, Ward has beaten these fighters: Alexander Brand, Sullivan Barrera, Paul Smith, Edwin Rodriguez, and Chad Dawson. Those are not major talents. There is a BIG question mark hanging over Ward’s head about whether he can hang with the best fighters at 175 right now. You don’t take five years off from fighting the super talented opposition in boxing without it catching up to you. Ward doesn’t fight like he guy he was back in the Super Six tournament in 2011. He’s clearly a slower fighter now, and less mobile than he was before. If Ward fails to prove that he can cut it in the light heavyweight division, then he’ll need to move back down. It’ll be a financial thing. It has to be. Ward can obviously do whatever he wants with his boxing career, but if he doesn’t have the size to compete in the 175 division, he’ll need to consider going back down to 168. Golovkin might be waiting for him there when he does come back down.

“How is he going to deal with me? It is a two-way street here,” said Ward about Kovalev. “I am not enamored with him.”

Ward is a pot shot fighter in the Floyd Mayweather Jr. mold. He’ll be able to land single shots against Kovalev, but without him having the punching power to hurt the Russian fighter; it could be another Golovkin vs. Kell Brook fight. If Kovalev can walk through the lighter shots from Ward, then he’s going to wind up punishing him badly in this fight. Ward might be in for a bad night on November 19 if Kovalev can walk through his single shots to unload bombs on him.

That’s why it’s very likely that Ward’s trainer Virgil Hunter will have him reverting back to his old style of fighting in which he does a lot of clinching and wrestling to keep Kovalev from throwing punches. Ward might choose to focus on the ‘punch and grab’ strategy to clinch Kovalev immediately after he throws a single shot. That game plan is very hard to beat without a referee stepping in to dock points for the constant holding. If Ward is going to clinch 10+ times per round after throwing single pot shots, it’s going to be hard for Kovalev to deal with that unless he can fight through the clinches.

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