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andre-ward 9569c


I like some of them. Got a few of them in my family.

I certainly like them.

They get a bad wrap. They can be overly opportunistic, piranhic and parasitic, exploitative and counterproductive. Not as much as conventional wisdom says, though, I don't think.

But in the boxing realm, I have to say, their presence can tend to gum up the works, and their presence in a room, in a situation, oftentimes portends ill things. Ill things, like big bills for the people using their services, at the very least.

Now, I don't know any of the folks tasked with sorting out Andre Ward's promotional situation, I'm guessing they don't kick their dog, and read to their kids before bed, and are good for a healthy donation to the collection plate on Sundays…but as someone who wants the biggest and best matches to be made, I do sort of wish they'd not be involved in Ward's life.

Of course, Ward plots his own course, and has his reasons for enlisting them, and attempting to dis-engage himself from a promotional deal with Goossen-Tutor.

I'm not privy to the inner working of Ward's thinking, it goes without saying, but I was scratching my head on Saturday night, after watching Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. serve notice than Bryan Vera hadn't leaped onto a new level of competence last year. I heard Junior talk post-fight about wanting a scrap with Gennady Golovkin, and I saw the buzz uptick on Twitter, and it got me wondering what the heck is up with Ward.

We saw him in action three months ago, winning a UD12 from Edwin Rodriguez, but as someone who appreciates his exemplary skill in the ring, I have to say he hasn't been active enough the last couple years. Part of that is his body rebelling, injuries…but a large element is also his case to disentangle with Dan Goossen, so he can latch on to another promotional driver, or, perhaps, more so steer his own ship. The Ward deal will play out, and who knows how much longer it will take, but as of today, the lawyers are the ones winning. Instead of fights with Chavez Jr., or Gennady Golovkin, or Bernard Hopkins or even Carl Froch again, the now 30-year-old Ward (27-0) is more focused, it looks like, on the legal calendar, than the fight calendar. I mean, some serious buzz could be manufactured if Ward found a bullhorn and announced that he's tabling his legal beef, and wants a fight with Adonis Stevenson, or Sergey Kovalev, ASAP, to prove he, not Floyd Mayweather, is the best pugilist on the planet. Am I wrong, people?

Two fights in 2011, one in 2012, one in 2013. I'm sorry, but time's a wastin.

Floyd Mayweather can do the two and out schedule and make it work for him, at $33 to $80 million per bout. But for everyone else, frequency of fighting has to, in my opinion, be aimed for.

Now, I do see the potential value in severing a deal, and hashing out a new deal with someone who perhaps can offer a bigger platter of gold. But what about the gold that has been left on the table the last couple years, especially in the last year or so, since Ward has actively tried to dislodge himself from the Goosen stable? You'll recall that in June 2013, the California Commission rebuffed Ward's attempt to break from Goossen. Then, in December 2013, Ward filed suit against Goossen to break the contractual bind. The grapevine says the wheels of justice are grinding slowly for another court date, while the stopwatch for hours billed by attorneys keeps ticking. Hey, maybe it's all worth it for Ward whenever this thing gets settled. But I do wonder if he will look back on this period and just wished he'd played his hand differently.

We never know how a man's body ages, if his vessel will cooperate with him. It would be a tough break to have his fighting infrequency coat him with rust, leave him prone to more injuries, and have him irked, in a few years, that he wasted time on a task that didn't need to be embraced.

Hey, I'm no lawyer, but the advisory part of me can't help but offer this counsel to the pound for pound ace–that Ward finishes the legal wranglings, and gets back to doing what he does best, in the arena best suited for him, the prize fight ring.


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