Andre Ward vs Sullivan Barrera Finally Set

Andre Ward vs Sullivan Barrera – TWO-TIME WORLD CHAMPION ANDRE WARD AND UNDEFEATED SULLIVAN BARRERA SET FOR LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT SHOWDOWN ON SATURDAY, MARCH 26 AT ORACLE ARENA IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA TELEVISED LIVE ON HBO(r)

NEW YORK, NY (February 9, 2016) – Roc Nation Sports is pleased to announce that two-time World Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter Andre Ward (28-0, 15 KOs) will return to the ring on Saturday, March 26, to begin his assault on the light heavyweight division when he takes on undefeated and number one rated IBF light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera (17-0, 12 KOs) in a 12-round bout at Oracle Arena in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, California. The event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing(r) beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.

Tickets priced at $300, $150, $100, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges and taxes, went on sale Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 5:00 PM PT and are available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and charge by phone at (800)745-3000.

“I don’t really have much to say other than this. On March 26, it will be very
simple. I’ll be in a new weight class against a tough opponent but I’m coming with the same approach,” said Ward. “I’ll be in great shape and ready for battle. Sullivan Barrera has had a lot to say lately and I love it. He’s going to have an opportunity to back up every word that he has spoken. These are the type of challenges I like and on March 26, it’s go time.”

“We as a team had a tough choice to make – crash the party by taking out Ward first or wait for the mandatory and take out Kovalev,” said Barrera. “We decided that the time is now. Ward will fall first and then we will go after the belts.”

“Having cleaned out the super middleweight division, Andre’s next challenge is to become the best light heavyweight in the world, and that challenge begins with the IBF’s number one rated contender in Sullivan Barrera,” said David Itskowitch, COO of Boxing Roc Nation Sports. “With both fighters having their sights set on an eventually showdown with unified light heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev,
there’s a lot on the line in this fight, but only one man will move on. March 26 is a night of boxing that no fan should miss.”

“I’m excited to be on Team Ward as we enter the light heavyweight division. No weapons formed against us shall prosper,” said James Prince, Ward’s manager.

“On March 26, before a hometown crowd, pound for pound star Andre Ward returns to HBO in his light heavyweight debut against undefeated Sullivan Barrera” said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “With a perfect record dating back to the age of 12 years old, Andre has risen to every challenge as both an amateur and a professional, including world titles and an Olympic gold medal. Now, he takes on Barrera, one of the toughest challengers as Ward moves up the scale. Boxing fans won’t want to miss it.”

Known for his strong character and integrity outside the ring and his warrior’s
instinct inside it, Ward’s skill and talent were apparent early in his outstanding amateur career. He racked up every title in the books, culminating with a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. As the only male American boxer to claim Olympic gold since 1996, Ward joined the likes of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya. He turned professional on December 18, 2004, scoring a second round technical knockout victory over Chris
Molina at Staples Center in a fight that was televised live on HBO. He has gone on to rack up 27 more victories since then, building an ever-growing legion of fans in the process. After becoming the Ring Magazine and WBA Super Middleweight World Champion, rising to the number two spot on the pound-for-pound list and winning the 2011 Fighter of the Year Award (ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Ring Magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America), it was announced that Ward signed an exclusive promotional agreement with Roc Nation Sports in January 2015, opening a new chapter in his storied boxing career. The Bay Area product returned to the ring
on June 20, 2015 at the Oracle Arena in front of his hometown fans in Oakland, California and scored a ninth-round knockout over Paul Smith, continuing his unbeaten streak which dates back to when he was a 13-year-old amateur. Ward recently stepped in front of the camera for a completely different role, a part in the New Line/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Warner Bros. feature “Creed.” Fellow Bay Area natives, director Ryan Coogler and the film’s star Michael B. Jordan, reached out to Ward so
that he could provide his expertise for the film. In addition to working in front of the camera with Ward, Jordan spent time at Ward’s home gym in preparation for his role as Apollo Creed’s son. Now it’s time for Ward to get back to his day job when he faces the undefeated Barrera on March 26.

Born in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Barrera had an impressive amateur run with a record of 285-27. As an amateur, he was able to earn World Amateur Championships in Germany, Cuba, Venezuela and Central America. During his amateur career he also defeated former Light Heavyweight World Champions Chad Dawson and Beibut Shumenov. Following his defection from Cuba, where he was a member of the country’s national team, Barrera made his professional debut in 2009 with a first round technical knockout win over Anthony Adorno in his adopted hometown of Miami, Florida. He would go on to knock out the first five opponents he faced in his professional career in either the first or second round.

Barrera made his television debut in January of 2015 with his
appearance on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, when he scored a fourth round knockout win over former Super Middleweight World Champion Jeff Lacy. Barrera quietly rose through the ratings of the light heavyweight division until he was afforded the opportunity to fight former light heavyweight world title challenger Karo Murat to become the IBF’s number one rated light heavyweight contender. Barrera seized the opportunity, knocking out Murat in the fifth round on December 12, 2015 in his HBO Latino Boxing debut at the Civic Auditorium in Glendale, California.

Sullivan is trained by legendary trainer, Abel Sanchez, who is best known for his work with middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. When he is not at The Summit in Big Bear Lake, California training with Sanchez, Barrera resides in Miami, Florida.

 

¬†Check out The Boxing Channel‘s video with results and highlights.

Comment on this article

COMMENTS

-brownsugar :

I hope Ward can keep his unbeaten streak alive, Barerra is more than a live dog, he's probably more worthy of holding Stevenson's strap than Stevenson is. Ward seems like he's too articulate, humane, good mannered and God conscious to be as hard core as he is. The current quest he has undertaken is literally biblical in scope, if he can get past Barerra and Kovalev, I will truly be inspired, and probably purchase all of his bible study and inspirational tapes.


-Kid Blast :

Please save some for me.


-amayseng :

I hope Ward can keep his unbeaten streak alive, Barerra is more than a live dog, he's probably more worthy of holding Stevenson's strap than Stevenson is. Ward seems like he's too articulate, humane, good mannered and God conscious to be as hard core as he is. The current quest he has undertaken is literally biblical in scope, if he can get past Barerra and Kovalev, I will truly be inspired, and probably purchase all of his bible study and inspirational tapes.
He is a top 3 fighter for sure, maybe 4 when you put him with R. Gonz, GGG and Kovalev....However, inactivity has staggered him in many ways. I said 3 years ago, 2 years ago and last year we are missing out on Ward's prime years and he is as well, his progression physically has taken a hit. Even though I hope to see him vs Kovalev by Nov this year, part of me wants him to get two fights in first to sharpen up for Kovalev because he will not have a decent chance to win if he is not at his peak. Kovalev is that good.


-deepwater2 :

Ward will be in tough compared to his last few opponents. If Ward looks dominant,that is a good sign. A real good sign. It might mean the rest did Ward's body good. I hope Andre Ward ,is well rested,injury free and ready to go. Some real good fights including Stevenson, Kovalev, Ward, Beterbiev,Monaghan, and a few more.


-brownsugar :

He is a top 3 fighter for sure, maybe 4 when you put him with R. Gonz, GGG and Kovalev....However, inactivity has staggered him in many ways. I said 3 years ago, 2 years ago and last year we are missing out on Ward's prime years and he is as well, his progression physically has taken a hit. Even though I hope to see him vs Kovalev by Nov this year, part of me wants him to get two fights in first to sharpen up for Kovalev because he will not have a decent chance to win if he is not at his peak. Kovalev is that good.
Absolutely that's why I'd be so impressed if he can pull this off. To be honest, what he's setting out to do should be called "The impossible Dream" but then again, these are the types of fights We live for. I'm sure I'll be drinking something stronger than green tea and juice for this one.


-SouthPawFlo :

I'm expecting another Ward Dominating Win, I think the fight is competitive for the first 3-4 Rounds but once SOG settles in the Difference in Skill will be apparent..... I can't see Ward Losing More than 1-2 Rounds....


-Kid Blast :

Ward wins rounds--almost all of the rounds he fights. Winning rounds means you win fights. He also is a roughhouse kind of guy in old school sense--kind of borderline dirty and will butt or throw an elbow when appropriate. While I seem him beating Sullivan convincingly, he needs to get the rust off with more fights before he fights the Russian whom I believe he will also beat based on their respective styles.


-amayseng :

Absolutely that's why I'd be so impressed if he can pull this off. To be honest, what he's setting out to do should be called "The impossible Dream" but then again, these are the types of fights We live for. I'm sure I'll be drinking something stronger than green tea and juice for this one.
Barrera is good but his shots are a bit wide and his feet aren't as coordinated to his body positioning and hands as they should be, he loses sharpness because of it. Ward, may be a bit rusty, but should sharpen up by round 4 or so and separate himself through skill and talent and should take this fight convincingly though Barrera stays very active and makes it at least a bit competitive. Ward vs Kovalev is hard to pick until I see Ward in this fight, but as of now I favor Kovalev as he has been dynamically progressing while Ward has been statically inactive.


-brownsugar :

Barrera is good but his shots are a bit wide and his feet aren't as coordinated to his body positioning and hands as they should be, he loses sharpness because of it. Ward, may be a bit rusty, but should sharpen up by round 4 or so and separate himself through skill and talent and should take this fight convincingly though Barrera stays very active and makes it at least a bit competitive. Ward vs Kovalev is hard to pick until I see Ward in this fight, but as of now I favor Kovalev as he has been dynamically progressing while Ward has been statically inactive.
I think your assessment is pretty well reasoned Amayseng. I can actually envision Kovalev stopping Ward. If Ward shows something special in the Barrera fight, I may have to change my view. But Ward did move up to lightheavy in the amateurs so Dirrell could have the Olympic berth at middleweight. And moved back down to super middle for the pros,..... a selfless sacrifice like that takes incredible confidence, especially in an environnment so competitive that men on the swim team for example, shave their legs, arms and heads just to shave off a fraction of a second off their best times by reducing a microscopic amount of drag. If Ward can move up in weight amongst the most zealous competitors in the amateur world of boxing and still take the gold. I can't even comprehend his motivation and desire to beat the Krusher. But it would be exciting to see another HomeGrown World Beater....that's a rare sight these days. The kind of stuff we haven't seen since 1976 and just as epic.


-amayseng :

I think your assessment is pretty well reasoned Amayseng. I can actually envision Kovalev stopping Ward. If Ward shows something special in the Barrera fight, I may have to change my view. But Ward did move up to lightheavy in the amateurs so Dirrell could have the Olympic berth at middleweight. And moved back down to super middle for the pros,..... a selfless sacrifice like that takes incredible confidence, especially in an environnment so competitive that men on the swim team for example, shave their legs, arms and heads just to shave off a fraction of a second off their best times by reducing a microscopic amount of drag. If Ward can move up in weight amongst the most zealous competitors in the amateur world of boxing and still take the gold. I can't even comprehend his motivation and desire to beat the Krusher. But it would be exciting to see another HomeGrown World Beater....that's a rare sight these days. The kind of stuff we haven't seen since 1976 and just as epic.
Whoever wins, I don't see a blowout or knockout by either. I think Ward Kovalev could go either way and the way it goes is very close and competitive. These two are too good to not make adjustments and trade rounds. I can see Kovalev winning a UD in the first fight and Ward coming back sharper making adjustments and and taking the second one. These two guys are A+ fighters. People look at Kovalev and just think power, when they don't see the little nuances that show he is elite.--- His spacing, footwork, timing and precision is phenomenal. Sure power and speed are great but if your distance/spacing, timing and accuracy aren't there you will be missing great shots all night long and they will be worthless I have been sparing about every 10-14 days for about 6 months now and when I have tough days my footing and spacing seem to be off. Talent, skill and staying sharp all contribute to those assets, Ward being so inactive is what concerns me.


-stormcentre :


Sergey Kovalev; strengths, weaknesses & strategies Sergey Kovalev - as good as he is - makes a lot of mistakes. But for the competition and/or time being he gets away with it. This is mostly because Sergey;

A) Knows how to fight around his limitations and he also knows what kind of opponents both will and will not challenge them. B) Hasn't faced too many professional opponents that - combined with their corners - are both meaningfully aware of, and know how to exploit, his limitations. C) Is a product of the Eastern Bloc amateur system and as such he has an excellent amateur pedigree - one that allows him (and Cathy Duva) to read the competition and/or understand what aspects of it that many UK and USA (non-elite) professional fighters lack in. D) Possesses decent power; it's not exceptional - but it's also, probably, just above average too. E) Knows how to fight long, and keep the fight there to soften guys up by using both the jab and right cross to the body; so that Sergey usually only comes in for (the kill and) close range fighting when/if it suits himself and/or after he knows that his opponent has already been hurt at a range where he can't easily/effectively compete at.

With respect to the above considerations . . . . . It should be noted that pertaining to;

1) Point "E"; it is both a blessing and weakness. One of the ways it is a blessing is by being utilised with point "D" such that it makes Sergey appear to have more "power" than he really has. Clever boxing, as this approach to fighting and the reputation for "power" and KO's that it brings with it, also ensures that Sergey reverberates in the consciousness of his opponents long before the fight starts; despite the fact that Kov's is not really a super hard puncher. In fact Sergey Kovalev's punching-execution and/or technique is nowhere near as sound as many other fighters at his level; see above point "A". 2) Points "B", "C", "D", and "E"; this is - in my opinion - also one reason why (previously when Krusher and Duva tried to fight Beterbiyev, but Beterbiyev and his Canadian promoter/manager wanted more time) they wanted the fight with Beterbiyev almost immediately and not "after" Artur had been suitably conditioned to the very top level of competition that the light heavyweight division offered. As (both Kovalev and Duva, in my opinion, knew) Beterbiyev was a real threat and that he had not completely adjusted when they offered the fight; so it made sense to attack one of the biggest threats whilst he was weak(er). Basically, both Kovalev and Duva rightly suspected that Beterbiyev - at the time they offered him the fight - was probably still - at least at the 12 round championship level - a little vulnerable. That tells you a lot about how much of a threat Beterbiyev is considered to be. 3) Points "B" and E" (and possibly other points); this makes Sergey susceptible to boxers that not only have a good defence, decent speed, and can fight both long and short - but also to those whom have a good strategic mind in their corner. Just as I have detailed above how point "E" is a blessing; conversely, this is where point "E" can be a weakness for Sergey Kovalev. Looking back to Sergey's amateur career, and also at some of the more successful/positive things that a few professional fighters Kovalev has faced have done; it is usually fighters that either consider and/or possess traits such as those outlined in the above points "B" and E" that fare well with, or beat, Krusher. 4) Point "D" could also be construed to mean that - in the event of a shootout with a suitably experienced fighter - Kov's himself is vulnerable to those that whom possess equal or better firepower, technique, and punch resistance.

So there is a brief strategic starting point from which to map out a game plan to beat Sergey Kovalev. Of course you need to start with a very experienced and top operator, as Sergey is a top class boxer/puncher and champion. However . . . . . .


- Point 4 alone - if not along with many others (including those not mentioned here, such as Sergey's defence and also his ability to adapt under pressure when it's applied from those with comparable skills) like points 2 and 3 - probably means that Sergey is susceptible to guys like Beterbiyev whom probably;

Not only hit harder and with far better offensive and defensive technique/considerations. But also can fight long, short, and easily mix the two up.


- Point 3 pretty much means that - provided Ward can shed all ring rust and be in the shape he was when he fought Dawson, Kessler, or Froch - Andre will most likely present as a very different problem for Kovalev to solve; one that Sergey has not yet - as a professional champion - faced before. And it's tough to learn lessons like that on the job in elite-championship level fights.
- Furthermore I am not entirely sure Sergey will;

Want to and/or can fight in close with a guy (like Ward or Beterbiyev) that can match or better Krusher's speed and also be in there close regardless of whether Kov's himself is ready for it, or not. Enjoy being made aware of how he is almost completely defenceless after each punch is thrown.



Floyd Mayweather, Benny Leonard, Sugar Ray Leonard, Naseem Hamed, and other great defensive fighters have time and time again showed us that - when fighting opponents with dangerous/greater "power" your game-plan must (not just utilise the opponent's dependable and predictable reliance on delivering power, but also) involve diffusing the delivery of that power. And - amongst other considerations - that is usually done with defence, timing, and speed; attributes I think you will all find that most Kovalev opponents lack. Please see above points; "B", "C", "E", "2" and "3" for more on that. Sergey Kovalev, whilst a very good puncher, does not possess exceptional single-punch punching strength (see above points; "D" and "E"); instead he relies on a clever and certain strategic implementation of several attributes of his style. Attributes that - provided considerations primarily related to the above point "B", and secondarily related to to the above points "D", "E" and "3", are dealt with - allow for an insight into what kind of fighter and battle plan is required to effectively compete with, and possibly beat, Sergey. Finally, (unless Andre Dirrell or someone like him and at his weight is there) I see no-one at the Summit gym (Triple included) capable of emulating even a portion of Ward's attributes that would be essential for Sullivan to familiarise with; in order to effectively compete with Ward - particularly after round 8. And if Sullivan Barrera can't find his target as easily as he previously has (with other opponents that are - if we're being real - of a much lesser calibre than Andre) . . . . . . . and if he then starts to struggle with Ward's defence, speed, and elusiveness, I think Barrera's speed/experience deficit, defensive liabilities, and possibly also that Cuban (3 rounds x 3 minutes, or 5 rounds x 2 minutes, maximin {amateur}) psychological conditioning - which I admit is not prevalent in all Cubans - may just start to kick in and he won't like it. As good as the KO of Murat was; Ward won't be there in front of Barrera with his hands down inviting free shots. Ward - even with a little ring rust - is probably a big step up from whom Sullivan Barrera has been fighting in the professional ranks. Anyway, that's my take. :) :)


-stormcentre :


Sergey Kovalev; strengths, weaknesses & strategies Sergey Kovalev - as good as he is - makes a lot of mistakes. But for the competition and/or time being he gets away with it. This is mostly because Sergey;

A) Knows how to fight around his limitations and he also knows what kind of opponents both will and will not challenge them. B) Hasn't faced too many professional opponents that - combined with their corners - are both meaningfully aware of, and know how to exploit, his limitations. C) Is a product of the Eastern Bloc amateur system and as such he has an excellent amateur pedigree - one that allows him (and Cathy Duva) to read the competition and/or understand what aspects of it that many UK and USA (non-elite) professional fighters lack in. D) Possesses decent power; it's not exceptional - but it's also, probably, just above average too. E) Knows how to fight long, and keep the fight there to soften guys up by using both the jab and right cross to the body; so that Sergey usually only comes in for (the kill and) close range fighting when/if it suits himself and/or after he knows that his opponent has already been hurt at a range where he can't easily/effectively compete at.

With respect to the above considerations . . . . . It should be noted that pertaining to;

1) Point "E"; it is both a blessing and weakness. One of the ways it is a blessing is by being utilised with point "D" such that it makes Sergey appear to have more "power" than he really has. Clever boxing, as this approach to fighting and the reputation for "power" and KO's that it brings with it, also ensures that Sergey reverberates in the consciousness of his opponents long before the fight starts; despite the fact that Kov's is not really a super hard puncher. In fact Sergey Kovalev's punching-execution and/or technique is nowhere near as sound as many other fighters at his level; see above point "A". 2) Points "B", "C", "D", and "E"; this is - in my opinion - also one reason why (previously when Krusher and Duva tried to fight Beterbiyev, but Beterbiyev and his Canadian promoter/manager wanted more time) they wanted the fight with Beterbiyev almost immediately and not "after" Artur had been suitably conditioned to the very top level of competition that the light heavyweight division offered. As (both Kovalev and Duva, in my opinion, knew) Beterbiyev was a real threat and that he had not completely adjusted when they offered the fight; so it made sense to attack one of the biggest threats whilst he was weak(er). Basically, both Kovalev and Duva rightly suspected that Beterbiyev - at the time they offered him the fight - was probably still - at least at the 12 round championship level - a little vulnerable. That tells you a lot about how much of a threat Beterbiyev is considered to be. 3) Points "B" and E" (and possibly other points); this makes Sergey susceptible to boxers that not only have a good defence, decent speed, and can fight both long and short - but also to those whom have a good strategic mind in their corner. Just as I have detailed above how point "E" is a blessing; conversely, this is where point "E" can be a weakness for Sergey Kovalev. Looking back to Sergey's amateur career, and also at some of the more successful/positive things that a few professional fighters Kovalev has faced have done; it is usually fighters that either consider and/or possess traits such as those outlined in the above points "B" and E" that fare well with, or beat, Krusher. 4) Point "D" could also be construed to mean that - in the event of a shootout with a suitably experienced fighter - Kov's himself is vulnerable to those that whom possess equal or better firepower, technique, and punch resistance.

So there is a brief strategic starting point from which to map out a game plan to beat Sergey Kovalev. Of course you need to start with a very experienced and top operator, as Sergey is a top class boxer/puncher and champion. However . . . . . .


- Point 4 alone - if not along with many others (including those not mentioned here, such as Sergey's defence and also his ability to adapt under pressure when it's applied from those with comparable skills) like points 2 and 3 - probably means that Sergey is susceptible to guys like Beterbiyev whom probably;

Not only hit harder and with far better offensive and defensive technique/considerations. But also can fight long, short, and easily mix the two up.


- Point 3 pretty much means that - provided Ward can shed all ring rust and be in the shape he was when he fought Dawson, Kessler, or Froch - Andre will most likely present as a very different problem for Kovalev to solve; one that Sergey has not yet - as a professional champion - faced before. And it's tough to learn lessons like that on the job in elite-championship level fights.
- Furthermore I am not entirely sure Sergey will;

Want to and/or can fight in close with a guy (like Ward or Beterbiyev) that can match or better Krusher's speed and also be in there close regardless of whether Kov's himself is ready for it, or not. Enjoy being made aware of how he is almost completely defenceless after each punch is thrown.



Floyd Mayweather, Benny Leonard, Sugar Ray Leonard, Naseem Hamed, and other great defensive fighters have time and time again showed us that - when fighting opponents with dangerous/greater "power" your game-plan must (not just utilise the opponent's dependable and predictable reliance on delivering power, but also) involve diffusing the delivery of that power. And - amongst other considerations - that is usually done with defence, timing, and speed; attributes I think you will all find that most Kovalev opponents lack. Please see above points; "B", "C", "E", "2" and "3" for more on that. Sergey Kovalev, whilst a very good puncher, does not possess exceptional single-punch punching strength (see above points; "D" and "E"); instead he relies on a clever and certain strategic implementation of several attributes of his style. Attributes that - provided considerations primarily related to the above point "B", and secondarily related to to the above points "D", "E" and "3", are dealt with - allow for an insight into what kind of fighter and battle plan is required to effectively compete with, and possibly beat, Sergey. Finally, (unless Andre Dirrell or someone like him and at his weight is there) I see no-one at the Summit gym (Triple included) capable of emulating even a portion of Ward's attributes that would be essential for Sullivan to familiarise with; in order to effectively compete with Ward - particularly after round 8. And if Sullivan Barrera can't find his target as easily as he previously has (with other opponents that are - if we're being real - of a much lesser calibre than Andre) . . . . . . . and if he then starts to struggle with Ward's defence, speed, and elusiveness, I think Barrera's speed/experience deficit, defensive liabilities, and possibly also that Cuban (3 rounds x 3 minutes, or 5 rounds x 2 minutes, maximin {amateur}) psychological conditioning - which I admit is not prevalent in all Cubans - may just start to kick in and he won't like it. As good as the KO of Murat was; Ward won't be there in front of Barrera with his hands down inviting free shots. Ward - even with a little ring rust - is probably a big step up from whom Sullivan Barrera has been fighting in the professional ranks. Anyway, that's my take. :) :)


-deepwater2 :

Beterbiev has a way to go in the pros. So far so good but he needs to step up now. Put him in with ranked 5 contender ,and neighbor, Seanie Monaghan. I like the way Usyk handled Beter in the amateurs.....Usyk is one of my favorites and if Beter goes to cruiser I don't see him getting past Usyk.
->https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD1YnjasxJU I also believe Barrera is a live dog vs Ward. If Ward is rusty,he loses.


-Bernie Campbell :

They say Andre Ward cant sell tickets! Hes boring and not a gate attraction! I say he should sing a Rendition of Danny Boy instead of the usual garb that intros his fights! In honor of his Father and a tribute to the new Heavyweight Champ Tyson Fury!


-brownsugar :

They say Andre Ward cant sell tickets! Hes boring and not a gate attraction! I say he should sing a Rendition of Danny Boy instead of the usual garb that intros his fights! In honor of his Father and a tribute to the new Heavyweight Champ Tyson Fury!
We can always count on Bernie to keep things interesting. Personally it wouldn't matter to me if Andre Ward couldn't draw flies to a drafty Alabama outhouse in the summertime. The kid can fight, well he's not much of a kid any more. I recently re- watched Ward against Abrahms, Froch, and Dawson on you tube. Those fights look like classics today. Ward is very special in that he counters in very creative ways when he's in the pocket. He is also one of the most intelligent traders in the business. When the punches start flying its usually Ward who comes out ahead during the heated exchanges. When this fight is made. Those tickets will be like platinum in the lucky hands of those who posses them.


-SuperLight :

Boring? I think him a complete and versatile fighter. Or are we talking about out of ring persona? I for one can't wait to see the guy in action again.


-stormcentre :

We can always count on Bernie to keep things interesting. Personally it wouldn't matter to me if Andre Ward couldn't draw flies to a drafty Alabama outhouse in the summertime. The kid can fight, well he's not much of a kid any more. I recently re- watched Ward against Abrahms, Froch, and Dawson on you tube. Those fights look like classics today. Ward is very special in that he counters in very creative ways when he's in the pocket. He is also one of the most intelligent traders in the business. When the punches start flying its usually Ward who comes out ahead during the heated exchanges. When this fight is made. Those tickets will be like platinum in the lucky hands of those who posses them.
Yep, spot on BS. Just as a lot of people didn't always see/understand the brilliance of Floyd Mayweather's moves and then that contributed to how much they were perhaps unwilling to accept his wins and success - particularly if it went against that which was forecast; the same - but possibly to a slightly lesser extent than Mayweather - happens with Andre Ward. Ward can - as you say - really fight. Not only that, he is probably one of the most well rounded (in terms of not just skills but also stamina and other attributes) professional boxers out there today. But focusing on skills for a second. In my opinion, a lot of a professional championship boxer's ability to stay at the top, adapt, and deal with adversity . . . comes down to not only what skills and experience he may have accumulated within his amateur career - but also how well he maintains and even builds on that as a professional; so that all (or as many as possible) of those skills come into play throughout the entire 10 r 12 rounds of each competition event. And, that should be one of the goals for new professional fighters when training for championship fights; to ensure they can master and/or exhibit all required, useful, and technical skills over the duration of the competition. Not just the early rounds. The fact that a lot of professional fighters can't do this is one reason why many people don’t (always) see the special features of a fighter that actually can. It’s, perhaps, like listening to well recorded music through a crappy system, and then trying to work out why the elements of it that stimulated you don’t elicit the same response when you listen to the same track through a set of well designed monitors; that may just reveal how shitty the track itself really is. And it's not just the casual fan that's occasionally susceptible to such oversights either. As these things sometimes even trip up great analysts like Lee Wyllie and others sometimes too.
->http://www.thesweetscience.com/forums/showthread.php?15730-The-Wylie-Dissection-Cotto-Was-Master-of-Ring-Domain&p=55313&viewfull=1#post55313 A lot of people ask me how/why some really good amateurs manage to come up through the professional ranks really quickly and relatively easy, sometimes even against really good professional fighters; if professional boxing really is more "professional" than the amateurs. It’s not an unreasonable question. Well, the above discussion points (or the inverse of it) are one reason why many top amateurs can do so. As - in the rush to become 12 round paid/professional fighters with exceptional stamina - most professional fighters and their trainers (for a variety of reasons; including ignorance) simply do not bother with all the (seemingly peripheral) training routines that (say, a top boxer/product of the Eastern Bloc and/or Cuban amateur system, might in order to) maintain and sharpen balance, proprioception, reflexes, and both strong/flexible muscles. Often the coaches in question don't really understand the underlying fundamentals of these exercises and routines, so that's one reason why they're not reinforced. Why reinforce a routine that exposes your own limitations as a coach? Other times, it's down to the fact that many professional fighters didn't get the top level and/or international amateur exposure that both, opens a boxer up to these routines and also reinforces their necessity. Sometimes it’s the opposite; where professional fighters that actually did get a level of amateur boxing exposure that opened them up to these routines, still allowed them to drop from their routine - because they either didn’t understand or believe in the necessity. Like Floyd; Ward is a guy that has - as an amateur boxer - not only both picked up and also maintained a lot of skills, but also understands the importance of them. Sometimes - even if you are the stronger guy - you can't just “force”, “punch” or simply “stamina” your way into the victory books of a boxing match. In those cases; the sort of skills I’m talking about are like a Wildcard in a card game. Or like a get out of jail card in Monopoly. Or, a gun in a knife fight. Ward - even before he was an Olympian - knew the importance of such skills and knowledge; but as an Olympic athlete such axioms would have been surely reinforced over and over to the point where he would have known that it really pays to know what to do (and have technical options) when you're tired just as much as when you're not. He would have also noticed that - when he sparred professional fighters - despite the fact that he was an amateur, in many instances it was only stamina, punch resistance, and strength where many pros had the advantage; further reinforcing the importance of specialized boxing skills, including defence. Now, as a professional fighter - where the top level competition is arguably (P4P) less technically skilled over all relevant rounds than, say, that of the amateur scene - Ward would surely know that skills pay the bills and allow you to, in the very least, not only differentiate yourself and survive the tough times - but also appear to display a type of ring generalship when things are tight that wins rounds. If you take away Sergey Kovalev’s jab and/or have a response to his long right hand, and then get on the inside of him; then whether or not you rough him up and out-speed/gun him in close (as Ward will be able to do); Krusher will most likely become a very unhappy camper - to, I would guess, perhaps the same extent that Cathy Duva will herself also start show signs at ringside that she is transforming into uncomfortable possum. Stamina, ring rust and all those other tangibles/fundamentals aside; Ward’s skills and his determined belief in them and himself are what sets him apart. They are also what allowed him to deliver the outstanding and classic performances in the fights that you mention. In fact, Ward is almost so well rounded and skilled that you could - without too much concern of him being wrong - accept the proposition that . . . if he states he is going to fight someone and be successful, you know his assessment is pretty reliable. Good post BS. :) :)


-Kid Blast :

Storm has the beat


-brownsugar :

Yep, great post Storm. March seems like such a long time away.


-amayseng :

Boring? I think him a complete and versatile fighter. Or are we talking about out of ring persona? I for one can't wait to see the guy in action again.
Agreed,I hope his prime has not passed him up while he has been inactive.


-brownsugar :

He'd better not be out of his prime, .....he's taken less punishment than Bhop and actually said his plan was to move all the way to heavyweight. Heavyweight aspirations maybe too much for a guy Ward's size but cruiserweight may be a possibility if he can avoid chronic knee and shoulder injuries. ...or I should say if he can manage those injuries.


-stormcentre :

Ward doesn't have a great deal of "hard fight and/or punishment" mileage on him. He also has all the fundamentals and tools to successfully progress through the next one or two fights before he gets to Kovalev. He just needs to stay in the gym twice a day for at least 6 days a week and thoroughly train and prepare, and he should be OK. Of course you never know. But getting old in boxing doesn't always have a fixed relationship with age and/or layoff time; and the style with which Ward fights, the knowledge/experience he has, and the little punishment he has taken over the last 3 or 4 fights . . . should all hold him in good stead. It's usually the guys (like Ward or Floyd) that fight in a strategic/cerebral manner and understand the importance of not just sustaining stamina, speed and reflexes in-between fights - but also the value of economy of motion and a good defence; that can handle layoffs and achieve the goals Ward has set. I wonder what Ward would have done with B-Hop of he had fought him when Sergey did. I also wonder if the reason Kovalev could't finish him off are due to defensive attributes Hopkin's possesses that Ward may possibly have; but may also possibly be ale to combine with a far more efficient and effective offence. The Sullivan Barrera fight will tell us more. Not long to go now. :) :) :)


-brownsugar :

Ward doesn't have a great deal of "hard fight and/or punishment" mileage on him. He also has all the fundamentals and tools to successfully progress through the next one or two fights before he gets to Kovalev. He just needs to stay in the gym twice a day for at least 6 days a week and thoroughly train and prepare, and he should be OK. Of course you never know. But getting old in boxing doesn't always have a fixed relationship with age and/or layoff time; and the style with which Ward fights, the knowledge/experience he has, and the little punishment he has taken over the last 3 or 4 fights . . . should all hold him in good stead. It's usually the guys (like Ward or Floyd) that fight in a strategic/cerebral manner and understand the importance of not just sustaining stamina, speed and reflexes in-between fights - but also the value of economy of motion and a good defence; that can handle layoffs and achieve the goals Ward has set. I wonder what Ward would have done with B-Hop of he had fought him when Sergey did. I also wonder if the reason Kovalev could't finish him off are due to defensive attributes Hopkin's possesses that Ward may possibly have; but may also possibly be ale to combine with a far more efficient and effective offence. The Sullivan Barrera fight will tell us more. Not long to go now. :) :) :)
Bhop is the only opponent that the Krusher has shown any respect for besides Ward, plus Bhop is notoriously stubborn, he will refuse to get knocked out just to spite the other guy...lol Plus I got the sense that they made friends in the ring in that odd way when fighters earn each others respect. Finally Kovalev had a look on his face like he fulfilled a life long dream by beating Bhop...and appreciated the opportunity so he carried the ancient icon out of a sense of gratitude. ...and out of a sense of caution. Not saying SK is soft, but occasionally, much like a superbowl, the winning team will stop piling on the points out of mutual respect. Bhop did thr same thing with Winky Wright, ...he had the younger guy smiling at him during certain points of the fight. Sergy will go for the jugular against Ward because he cannot allow the tricky fighter an opportunity to get into a rhythym.