Andre Ward out to reclaim boxing spotlight with new fight deal
Lee Gormley | October 30, 2015
Ward seeks boxing supremacy in division move
In the striking career of Andre Ward, drama is never far from proceedings, whether it’s in or outside of the ring, but the WBA (super) and WBC super-middleweight champion is soon set to reclaim the boxing spotlight solely for boxing reasons once again.
Ward recently penned an exclusive three-fight agreement with American broadcaster HBO, and his final contracted bout is possibly a sensational showdown with WBO, WBA (super) and IBF champion Sergey Kovalev next year.
The undefeated American will return to the ring on November 21st to make his light-heavyweight debut against an unnamed opponent on November 21st in Las Vegas, on a night when Miguel Cotto is 2/1 with Coral to overcome Canelo Alvarez in their middleweight meeting.
New test at light-heavyweight
Having already cleared up the super-middleweight division, recently making his return to the ring to dispatch Britain’s Paul Smith in nine rounds, the dominant 31-year-old will look to make an impression in the first of his scheduled contests at 175 pounds.
“HBO is the premier network in boxing and has been a great home to me both as a fighter and a commentator,” stated Ward.
“I made my professional debut on HBO nearly 11 years ago and I’m excited to move on to this next stage of my career at the light heavyweight division on HBO. My team and I have been hard at work preparing for November 21st and the fans can expect another strong performance in Las Vegas.”
Known for his strong character and brutal honesty outside of the ring, as well as a warrior’s instinct inside it, Ward is ready to revive his career in a new division, having only recently returned to the ring after an 18-month absence from the sport.
“All of us at Roc Nation Sports are thrilled to partner with HBO as we embark on the next chapter in the storied career of Andre Ward,” declared David Itskowitch from Boxing Roc Nation Sports.
Kovalev showdown looms large
“Starting this multi-fight agreement and Andre’s quest to conquer the light heavyweight division with a fight on the highly anticipated November 21st pay-per-view event is a fitting way to kick things off. We are hopeful that November 21st is the first step toward a 2016 showdown with Sergey Kovalev.”
“From Olympic gold medallist, to two-time world champion, to winning all 28 of his professional bouts and dominating the super middleweight division, Andre Ward has demonstrated that he is among the finest performers in the sport,” said Ken Hershman, President of HBO Sports. “We are delighted to have Andre as part of our family, fighting exclusively on the HBO platforms.”
Having continued his unbeaten streak against Liverpudlian Smith earlier this year, a flawless run which dates back to being a 13-year-old amateur, Ward will look to extend his rampant record of 28-0 in the coming months at light-heavyweight, something his management team are confident of.
“Andre is a man of high integrity and honour so we are thrilled to be able to help deliver a multi-fight deal for him on the premier network in boxing,” stated James Prince, one of Ward’s management representatives.
“In moving to light heavyweight, we have no doubt that Andre will pick up where he left off in the super middleweight division – as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. We are extremely thankful to HBO and Roc Nation Sports for the opportunity.”
Can Ward become new pound-for-pound king?
Ward’s incredible ring talents were evident from early in his so far illustrious career, joining legendary fighters Muhammad Ali, ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya in securing an Olympic Gold medal for America in Athens, during 2004.
The untoppled American possesses a constantly-growing legion of fight fans, with his recent comeback only propelling him back into the boxing limelight, having previously been ranked as high as number two pound-for-pound fighter in the world before his temporary break.
Ward could potentially go on to top those standings though, boasting the necessary ring skills and required fanbase in order to reach the sport’s pinnacle point, putting himself in the fray to replace the recently-retired Floyd Mayweather as pound-for-pound kingpin.
In the Nevada ring on November 21st, all boxing attention will switch towards the anticipated showdown between Mexico’s Canelo and Puerto Rican legend Cotto, where the former is odds-on 2/5 favourite.
Although, the co-featured event will see Ward take another huge step towards recapturing boxing supremacy, as he aims to dominate the light-heavyweight division in the same manner as he took control of super-middleweight.
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