By Allan Fox: Promoter Kathy Duva says Canelo Alvarez would beat Andre Ward if the two of them were to fight. Duva believes that Canelo is a “superhuman” talent and she thinks he would find a way to beat former two-division world champion Ward.
The 38-year-old Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) has been out of the ring for five since hanging up his gloves in 2017, so the odds of him beating Canelo now are slim.
But if you were to put the 33-year-old Ward that fought Sergey Kovalev in their rematch in 2017 with Canelo, he would still struggle badly.
Ward arguably lost his first fight with Kovalev in 2016, and then was given credit for an eighth round knockout in their rematch in 2017.
The shots that Ward hit Kovalev with to get the stoppage appeared to be repeated low blows. The referee Tony Weeks let it stand without penalizing Ward and giving Kovalev time to recover.
“They’re so different but if they got in the ring together, I’d have to pick Canelo,” said promoter Kathy Duva to Fight Hub TV about her belief that Canelo would beat Andre Ward.
“Andre Ward is terrific, but Canelo is superhuman. I’ve been astonished about what he’s accomplished. As good as Andre Ward is, he’s not challenged himself the way Canelo has. He [Ward] picked and he spent years sitting out, right? Voluntarily, he didn’t have to,” said Duva.
Canelo would have a big advantage over Ward if he were to return to the ring now because his hand speed would likely have deteriorated badly. The only shot Ward would have of beating Canelo is if he attached himself to him like a giant Sea Lamprey and didn’t let go of him.
If Ward were to hold Canelo and hit him with his free hand all night, he might be able to win an ugly decision if he weren’t repeatedly penalized and disqualified.
In the last two years of Ward’s career, his mobility wasn’t the same, and he was mostly throwing single shots. Ward’s game had deteriorated from when he had won the Super Six tournament in 2011.
By the time Ward fought Kovalev in consecutive fights in 2016 and 2017, he’s become a John Ruiz type of fighter, who would throw a single shot and then dive in and start wrestling.
If you’d remembered how talented Ward had been during the prime of his career, it was disappointing to see him turn into a Ruiz clone with his punch, grab & wrestle approach. The style that Ward used in the final years of his career was hard to watch.
“That to me, and again, nothing against him. He managed his career however he needed to whatever his deal is,” said Duva about Ward. But when you compare what he’s accomplished to what Canelo has accomplished, it’s night and day,” said Duva.
Ward was young at 33 when he retired, and he obviously could have done more with his career had he continued. Again, he’d lost speed and he wasn’t the same fighter by that point. Had Ward continued fighting, he would have had to mix it with Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev if he stayed at 175.
Those two fighters were arguably better fighters back in 2017 than they are today, and Ward would have had major problems trying to beat either of them.
“I know he’s a terrific boxer and I know he’s great with the head games,” Duva said about Ward. “He did a very effective job on Sergey [Kovalev] with that for sure. We knew what was coming, and we did everything we could to stop it, but he’s good at it.
“I don’t know if that works on Canelo. He’s been there and done more. If you asked me who would win, I don’t know who is the better fighter because you can put two great fighters together and get two great results.
“But I think head-to-head, Canelo beats anyone he wants to fight, basically. I’m a huge fan of his. Having said that, we work with Dmitry Bivol, and Canelo better not sleep on Dmitry Bivol.
“Having said all those things about Canelo and he is great, but he’s going to be fighting a young motivated fighter, who is a tremendous boxer and incredibly disciplined. We all risk getting in the ring and it’s the other guy’s night, not yours.
“So, I would not sleep on Dmitry Bivol. If he were to win, it would not shock me. Because he is young and disciplined, and he will not, I believe, he’s going to get distracted by the lights and the crowd.
“He’s not that kind of person. He’s going to go in with one goal to win the fight. Again, Sergey, who is a terrific boxer, he was ahead [of Canelo in their fight in 2019], and he gassed. That’s what happens to a guy that is drained and getting older.
“Here [Bivol] you’ve got a much younger version of Sergey in some respects, and someone will beat him someday no matter how much he challenges himself because that’s just what’s going to happen,” said Kathy about Canelo eventually losing.
Bivol will need to show more courage against Canelo than what we’ve seen from him in his last two fights to have a chance of winning.
In Bivol’s matches against Craig Richards and Umar Salamov, he looked scared and wasn’t fighting aggressively. Bivol can’t beat Canelo fighting like that. He’ll lose every round against the Mexican star if he fights timidly.
“Whatever Canelo is today, he could beat someone now and in two years from now fight the same guy and lose. I don’t know at what point that happens to him, but a guy that continues to challenge himself the way Canelo does, it will happen. That’s no shame in that.
“Dmitry is going to be as motivated as can be and as prepared as can be. I know Canelo won’t sleep on him. No, if Dmitry were to come out and outbox him, it wouldn’t shock me. He has a tremendous trainer, and he worked really hard and he will be prepared, I’m sure,” said Duva.