Andre Ward weighing 199, says he has something special coming
By Allan Fox: Andre ‘SOG’ Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) is hinting that he may be making a comeback soon at cruiserweight or heavyweight. The 33-year-old Ward revealed on Wednesday that he’s weighing 199 pounds now, and that’s working on something.
It might not be a good idea for Ward to face the winner of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament. There likely wouldn’t be a lot of money for Ward compared to the kind of revenue that can be made fighting the likes of heavyweight Anthony Joshua.
If Ward goes the cruiserweight route, he would likely face the winner of the WBSS tournament, which is expected to be Aleksandr Usyk. Even if it’s someone else like Murat Gassiev or Yunier Dorticos, those would be very tough opponents for Ward to face. They hit incredibly hard, and they’re more dangerous than Sergey Kovalev, who Ward has recently beaten twice in his last 2 fights. Gassiev and Dorticos would have a good chance of knocking Ward out. Usyk would likely out-box Ward and possibly make him quit at some point.
It’s been 7 months since Ward defeated Sergey Kovalev by a controversial 8th round knockout on June 17th in their rematch in Las Vegas, Nevada. That was the infamous low blow stoppage in which Ward appeared to hit Kovalev with 3 consecutive low blows that led to the referee Tony Weeks stopping the fight and giving Ward a win. Weeks chose not to review the replay of the knockout for some reason despite many of the boxing fans appearing restless and confused about why he hadn’t penalized Ward or at least given Kovalev a timeout to recover from the apparent low blows.
”Weighed in last night at 199 lbs. All 💪🏽 I promise !! I been working,” said Ward on his social media site.
It’s unclear how much interest there would be from the boxing public in seeing Ward fight heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua or the winner of the WBSS cruiserweight tournament. Ward is well-known in the UK, and he has some boxing fans over there. They might want to pay to see Ward and Joshua fight on Sky Box Office. In the U.S. though, it’s doubtful that Ward vs. the WBSS tournament would sell.
If Ward has decided to move up to heavyweight, he could be interested in getting a big payday title shot against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. There’s big money to be made in fighting the highly popular Joshua. Ward wouldn’t even need to become the mandatory challenger for Joshua for him to make a tremendous about of money fighting him. Joshua’s March 31st opponent WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker will be getting a minimum of $12 million for the fight. Ward can make some big bucks if he can get a fight against Joshua, and he probably wouldn’t even have to earn the title shot by beating a good contender to show that he’s a credible opponent. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn might like the idea of having him fight the former 2-division world champion and put the fight together straightaway.
We're working on something special 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/y7OmloOoRM
— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) January 24, 2018
If Ward does come back, it would be good to see him at least try and prove himself in whatever weight division that he fights at. If Ward is given a title shot right away against Usyk or Joshua, it’ll look like an event fight rather than a real one, because he wouldn’t have much of any chance whatsoever against either of those fighters. The last thing boxing needs is more event fights like we saw with the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor fight last August. If Ward is going to fight for a world title at cruiserweight or heavyweight, he should at least have to earn the fight somewhat by beating a top contender for the title shot. If Ward is going to fight at cruiserweight, he should have to beat the loser of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight finals. That could be one of these guys: Gassiev, Dorticos, Usyk or Briedis. I wouldn’t like Ward’s chances of beating any of those guys. But at least if Ward fought one of them to earn the title shot, he wouldn’t look like he’s being shown favoritism by getting a crack at a world title right away at cruiserweight.
A lot of boxing fans would be satisfied with seeing Ward stay at 175 and facing one of the champions like Artur Beterbiev, Adonis Stevenson or Dmitry Bivol. Ward against any of those guys would make for interesting fights. Kovalev obviously would be a poor choice for Ward, because he clearly has the Russian fighter’s number, even though both of their fights were controversial. Ward appeared to lose the first fight against Kovalev in November 2016, but he was given a questionable 12 round unanimous decision in Las Vegas. As I mentioned, the Ward-Kovalev 2 rematch was equally controversial with Ward appearing to hit Kovalev with 3 consecutive low blows in the 8th round, which led to the referee stopping the fight.
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