Andre Ward not interested in Canelo fight if he beats Kovalev
By Dan Ambrose: Former two division world champion Andre ‘SOG’ Ward doesn’t appear to be interested in going after a fight against Saul Canelo Alvarez if he beats WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev on November 2. Despite the 35-year-old Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) having been retired since 2017, fans would still like to see him face Canelo.
Ward doubts Canelo will call him out if he beats Kovalev
“He wouldn’t do that,” said Ward when asked if he’ll fight Canelo if he calls him out. “There’s a difference. I’m not Kovalev. I beat Kovalev twice,” said Ward.
Ward is probably right. It’s unlikely that Canelo will call out Ward if he beats Kovalev, because he has a tough fighting style. Canelo obviously sees weakness in Kovalev that he believes he can exploit. You can argue that Ward saw the same weakness in Kovalev back in 2016 when he elected to move up to 175 to face him for his IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight titles. Back then, Adonis Stevenson held the WBC 175-lb title.
Ward didn’t fight the lions at 175 after his wins over Kovalev
There were a lot of boxing fans that felt that Stevenson was too dangerous for Ward. Likewise, after Ward beat Kovalev for the second time, he retired rather than take on the dangerous light heavyweights Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Some boxing fans feel that Ward didn’t want any of that smoke from those guys. If Ward came back now to fight Canelo, he would be under pressure to fight Beterbiev, Bivol and Gvozdyk. It would be a bad look on Ward’s part if he fought Canelo, but not those guys.
Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) is going up two weight classes to challenge Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) for his WBO title in two months from now in Las Vegas, Nevada. There’s a lot of speculation about what Canelo will do if beats the 36-year-old Kovalev to become a four division world champion. Will Canelo hold onto the WBO 175-lb title and defend it or will he vacate the strap, and move back down to middleweight?
Ward not interested in facing Canelo
“Should I give you a PC answer or should I give you a headline answer,” said Andre Ward when asked what he’ll do if Canelo beats Kovalev. “I think people forget that I left a lot of money on the table,” said Ward in talking about how retired despite having big money fights available to him. “Not a little bit. A lot. Tens of millions of dollars. So if Canelo beats Kovalev, God bless him,” said Ward.
Listos para escribir el próximo capítulo de la historia. 🏆🏆🏆🏆 4x World Champion. #CaneloKovalev
Ready to write the next chapter in history. 🏆🏆🏆🏆 4x World Champion. #CaneloKovalev @DAZN_USA pic.twitter.com/Z6XOyR30fp
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) September 13, 2019
“How heavy is Canelo going to come in? Is he going to try and come in too heavy, because he’s concerned about the extra weight of Kovalev or is he going to stay somewhat light to stay faster,” said Ward. “How’s his knee? He has a bad knee. I know all about that. How much does Kovalev have left. How is Canelo going to get through the range in the first six rounds. If it goes past six, I like Canelo. So it’s a lot of variables. It’s going to be a good fight. I know that. I’ll know come fight time,” said Ward in choosing not to give a prediction on the Canelo-Kovalev fight.