Andre Ward thinks he’d beat Canelo Alvarez
By Sean Jones: Retired former two-division world champion Andre ‘SOG’ Ward believes he’d STILL defeat the ‘Face of Boxing’ Saul Canelo Alvarez if he came out if he returned to the ring.
Max Kellerman of ESPN put the question to the still young 36-year-old Ward this week after being asked by one of his viewers.
While Kellerman said he believed Ward would have beaten Canelo in the past, but right now, he feels he would be a “really tough fight” for him if he came back today.
The unbeaten Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) hasn’t fought in four years since stopping former IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev in the eighth round on June 17th, 2017.
Last week, I was asked by a viewer, ‘if Andre Ward came out of retirement, could he beat Canelo?’ and I said, ‘That would be a really tough fight,'” said Kellerman on Max On Boxing on ESPN.
“Once upon a time, I would have said ‘Andre Ward, are you kidding?’ But you’ve been off for a while, brother, and Canelo has been active and looks better and better.
“Now, you’re a broadcaster now, and you claim you’re retired. What are your thoughts about an Andre Ward vs. Canelo Alvarez fight?”
Andre Ward believes he’d beat Canelo
“Well, let me just put it like this; I saw the video you put out and I had a little thinking emoji,” said Andre Ward to Kellerman. “I’m just trying to process what you were saying and trying to understand where you’re coming from.
Obviously, as you mention, I’m retired, so I can’t really talk my talk and have the base in my voice like when I was active. You know what people are going to say, ‘Oh, you’re retired, why are you talking like that about Canelo?’
“But Max, I’m a first-ballot Hall of Famer, right? I didn’t get to the Hall of Fame believing any fighter can beat me,” said Ward in making it clear he would beat Canelo.
“I go into a fight with respect. ‘Okay, this fighter has punching power, this fighter is a good boxer.’
“You go in there with a healthy respect, but retired or not, I DON’T believe any fighter can beat me, Max. I’m going to leave it there,” said Ward.
“I know you were thinking about Anthony Joshua before you actually retired, so you really believe that, and you’re a former pound-for-pound champ,” Kellerman said. “Canelo, according to many, is the current pound-for-pound champ. Interesting.”
Would Canelo Alvarez even agree to fight Ward if he came out of retirement and asked him for a fight?
It’s very questionable whether the former four-division world champion Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) would accept a fight with Ward because he doesn’t fit the mold of the guys he’s been facing since he stopped taking risks with his career in 2018.
Canelo has stopped taking risks
The second fight with Gennady Golovkin in 2018 took something away from Canelo in terms of courage, as he’s taken the sure-thing wins against B-level guys ever since that fight.
We haven’t seen Canelo step up and face the talented guys since his grueling second fight with Golovkin, which is highly disappointing.
Judge for yourself. These are Canelos’s opponents since his controversial win over GGG in 2018:
- Rocky Fielding
- Daniel Jacobs
- Sergey Kovalev
- Callum Smith
Fielding, Jacobs, and Kovalev had already been beaten before Canelo fought them, and Callum Smith was arguably beaten as well by John Ryder.
The chances are that if Ward returned to the ring today, he would be ignored by Canelo if he asked him for a fight.
It doesn’t matter that Canelo would make more money fighting Ward than he would against Caleb Plant, Avni Yildirim, and Billy Joe Saunders. Ward would be too risky for Canelo, and it’s doubtful he would want to mess up his ‘Face of Boxing’ position.
I doubt Gennady Golovkin would want to fight Andre Ward either, and I can’t see Jermall Charlo agreeing to fight him. Unfortunately, this era of elite fighters hasn’t proven themselves to be the most significant risk-takers than the past generations of elite warriors.
- Eddie Hearn on Canelo vs. Saunders: It’s one of the biggest fights in Boxing
- Official: Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders On May 8
- Results: Canelo beats Yildirim by 3rd round stoppage
- Boxing Results: Canelo Alvarez stops Avni Yildirim in Terrible mismatch