I don’t understand this American fixation that started with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and carried over to other boxers where the undefeated record is more important than anything.
Andre Ward is only 33 years old in his prime and he decided to retire. He got a gift decision over Sergey Kovalev and then he won the rematch by controversial referee involvement, didn’t bother to give him a rubbermatch and saw how deep the light heavyweight division was so he decided to retire, to avoid taking a beating and a loss.
If he really wanted to create a great legacy, he should have cleaned out the light heavyweight division and unified the titles there.
Ward retiring means he is avoiding these dangerous fighters at 175 pounds, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Artur Beterbiev, Igor Mikhalkin, and Dmitry Bivol all of these guys are hungry and would present a serious problem to Ward.
Before announcing his retirement, Ward thought about fighting Tony Bellew, I am sorry but why is he trying to cherry pick the weakest heavyweight to beat? Bellew is a blown up light heayvweight.
Reminds me of when Roy Jones Jr. fought John Ruiz for the Heavyweight title, Ruiz was the weakest of the heavyweights he lacked one punch power and was a timid boxer who mostly hugged in fights.
Like Roy Jones, Ward was looking for who would be the easiest fight possible. Ward’s team even threw the name of Anthony Joshua out there, I laughed when that was mentioned because Joshua would crush Ward. I told a friend that Ward was just pretending to call out Joshua and he will fight someone he can beat and get advantages on negotiations or just retire if he feels he might lose and get a beating.
Roy Jones also mentioned fighting Mike Tyson and the Klitschko brothers before he fought Ruiz, that was another suggestion to fool the public, the truth is he was one and done, he moved up to fight the non threatening Ruiz to capture a title and moved back down to light heavyweight. Ward was using a similar tactic eyeing Bellew and teasing a fight with the big dog Anthony Joshua.
I still remember when Ward drained Chad Dawson and stopped him, Dawson never fought professionally at 168 pounds he was a career 175 pound fighter. The weight cut was too much for Dawson and he suffered.
Ward who fought at 160 pounds in his early pro career, was calling out Gennady Golovkin demanding the middleweight champion to fight him at 168 pounds, yet Ward wouldn’t do a catchweight with Triple G, if he was serious he would have met him in the middle especially since he used to fight at 160 pounds.
Longtime middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins fought Oscar De La Hoya at 158 pounds and even came in at 156 to show that the weight was nothing, Hopkins was a true professional his diet and training was on point, Ward could easily make 166 at the time he just wanted the advantage by making GGG go up to his weight like usual.
Ward is the last male American boxer to win an Olympic Gold Medal, yet he fought most of the time in his hometown, with advantages. He retired with little fanfare mainly because his style was not fan friendly and he didn’t like leaving Oakland to fight.
If you want to see a real Olympic gold medalist watch Vasyl Lomachenko, he is a two time gold medal winner at the Olympic games and he is facing off against fellow two time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux in December. Lomachenko unlike Ward took chances early in his career fighting the dangerous featherweight champion Orlando Salido in a dirty fight and losing a hard fought decision. The Salido fight was his second pro bout and he already fought for a world title against a tough veteran who was fighting dirty and failed to make weight.
If Ward decides to comeback I hope he fights a real heavyweight or tries to clean out the light heavyweight division, otherwise just stay retired.