Boxing

The curious case Of Andre Ward

Ward (©GettyImages)
Ward (©GettyImages).

Andre Ward is at risk of wasting what should be the best years of his career, despite being an unbeaten fighter clearly head and shoulders above anyone in his division at the age of 30.

The hugely talented super-middleweight king is rated by most at the second best pound-for-pound boxer in the sport, yet he has been very inactive in recent times.

Ward's defensive prowess makes him extremely difficult to beat, a fact the likes of Britain's very own Carl Froch could testify.

He is technically very good and he often beats opponents without appearing to break sweat. Ward has comfortably dispatched boxers of the calibre of Chad Dawson, Arthur Abraham, Sakio Bika and Mikkel Kessler with relative ease.

Ward is a thoughtful boxer who under the tutelage of long-term trainer Virgil Hunter has risen to the top of the sport. The problem for Ward though is that his fights aren't the most exciting and many have been quick to label him as boring.

For the real boxing connoisseurs he is good to watch as he puts on master classes, but to the casual fan he fails to bring box-office entertainment.

He hasn't ever really been pushed in the ring and as a result he goes about his business in his own methodical pace. He beats his opponents without taking risks and as a result often out points his foe.

There is no doubting his skill as he is seemingly unbeatable in his weight class at the moment, but he doesn't have a big following and a result fails to attract the big events or the big paydays.

You could in some ways compare him to Floyd Mayweather, who receives a lot of criticism for the way that he methodically breaks down his opponents and beats them on points without ever really forcing the pace.

The main difference is that Mayweather has been able to create a brand for himself. His out of the ring actions and bravado have created a real hype that creates controversy and cash. The general public have bought into the Mayweather brand and each time he fights it is a huge event.

Ward is a nice, humble man but that appears to be doing him no favours in this sport. Boxing is an entertainment business and for many Ward fails to provide entertainment and he is suffering as a result.

Froch has gone on to make huge money since his loss to Ward, including being involved in one of the biggest boxing events in recent years with a huge 80,000 crowd at Wembley only a few weeks ago.

No such mega event has happened or even look likely for Ward anytime soon. He is a world class boxer but he is not a big attraction, much like the Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux.

Froch has an exciting style and combined with the rivalry with George Groves he was able to grip the public and both men prospered hugely.

Ward has only fought twice since beating Froch in December of 2011 due to injury and promotional issues and he really is at risk of wasting the best years of his career.
He should be at the peak of his powers as a boxer at the moment and he needs to seize this opportunity to really secure his legacy.

The major issue with his lack of a big fanbase is that there isn't the big money behind him. This means that other top boxers aren't willing to take the huge risk in boxing him. They would want to be rewarded financially for taking on such a difficult task but they won't get that against Ward.

This creates a real lack of opponents for Ward and fuel the ongoing issue that is his career at the moment.

He has spoken out about the frustration and says that the situation isn't ideal but that if he had to that he could leave the sport proud of his legacy. He maintains that boxing doesn't define him and that it wouldn't crush him as a man.

Whatever Ward says he must be jealous of the big fights that others in the division are obtaining and he must crave such opportunities.

Promotional issues are common in the sport and they can cause huge issues for boxers but hopefully he can sort them out soon and be back in the ring. He is a great technician and it is shameful to see such talent not being used.

The enigma that is Andre Ward.

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
Carl Froch
Andre Ward
Super middleweight
Boxing

Article Comments

Trending

Read more