On Wednesday afternoon, exactly one month before he fights Chad Dawson in one of the most anticipated fights of the year, we checked in with Andre Ward at his training headquarters in Hayward, CA,
The super middleweight champ was in full fight mode, sparring ten rounds against two southpaw opponents. Ward’s opponents for the day worked five rounds each, attempting to disrupt Ward’s controlled pace in the ring, and emulate the tall lengthy Dawson. At one point during sparring, Ward knocked one of his opponents through the ropes and out of the ring, nearly sending him off the mat and to the cement floor before somebody caught him from falling.
The light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, will travel to Ward's home turf in Oakland, Ca on September 8th and move down seven pounds from the 175 pound light heavyweight limit to 168 pound super middleweight limit, where Ward resides as the reigning king. After sparring, Andre pulled the soggy blue t-shirt that bares his boxing nickname "S.O.G," off of his back, and wiped his face with a clean white towel, put on a fresh white V-neck, and hit the mitts for another five rounds with his trainer Virgil Hunter. It is this blue-collar approach to fighting that propelled Ward to become the second best fighter in the world behind Floyd Mayweather.
Andre Ward and Chad Dawson will fight on HBO on September 8th. The HBO 24/7 preview show debuts on August 25th. The 24/7 production team worked with Chad Dawson last week, and has followed Ward since Sunday. After training on Wednesday, they interviewed both Ward and Hunter then wrapped their last day of shooting.
"Just another day in the office," Ward’s trainer Virgil Hunter told me with confidence. "Andre is doing everything we ask him to do and more. Don't be surprised if we stop him (Dawson),” Hunter also mentioned. Andre Ward is in the heat of training camp.
Follow Ray on Twitter @raymarkarian
Who's the best Mexican boxer today?