This Friday afternoon the weigh-ins took place for the highly anticipated Light Heavyweight showdown between Andre Ward and Sullivan Barrera outdoors in the Oakland sun.
Pictured: Andre Ward on the scales. Barrera's coach (in red) looks on as he makes the weight.
Barrera came to the scales first decked in red, and he calmly made the 175 lb Light Heavyweight limit, coming in at 174.4 pounds. For his part, Ward, the hometown favorite came in weighing 174.8 lbs. Ward entered all in black, and he stepped on the scale to chants of “S.O.G., S.O.G.” from what was largely his crowd. Ward has long gone by the nickname “Son of God”-
This is the first fight of Ward's under the Roc Nation flag and it is the first fight of a three fight deal he signed with HBO last year. His debut was scheduled to come last November on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto versus Saul “Canelo” Alvarez pay-per-view, but was delayed until now because of a knee injury. Ward has been largely inactive the last four years, fighting just three times.
The third fight of Ward's HBO contract is a planned showdown with IBF, WBA and WBO Lightheavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev. That fight is said to be in the works for November 19th, and both men are talking about fighting other opponents in the July or August timeframe as final preparation. For the Ward-Kovalev fight to take place under optimal conditions, both men have to keep winning, and for Ward, that all starts tomorrow with Barrera.
The afternoon also saw undefeated prospect (19-0) Joseph “JoJo” Diaz and his opponent Jayson Velez (23-1-1) both make weight for their Featherweight co-feature bout. The bout sees Diaz making the first title defense of the NABF Featherweight belt he won in his last outing with an impressive stoppage of Hugo Partida.
Promoter Dave Itskowitch of Roc Nation Sports has teamed up with east coast promoter Kathy Duva to deliver an eight fight event at Oakland´s Oracle Arena that sees the two main bouts airing on HBO. Check your local listings for start times.
Oracle Arena – HBO Boxing – weigh-in results
Light Heavyweight: Andre Ward (174.8) vs Sullivan Barrera (174.4 lbs)
Featherweight: Joseph Diaz (125.8 lbs) vs Jayson Velez (125.6 lbs)