After nearly 13 years since he began his journey as a professional boxer, Andre Ward announced his retirement from the sport on Thursday, confirming the news that he no longer has the same desire and urge to take the ring for a fight.
As the curtain falls on his illustrious career, Ward ends his pro career at the age of 33 with an undefeated record from 32 bouts.
The unified light heavyweight champion, with a 50% knockout ratio to his name, made the sensational declaration on his website called: ‘Mission Accomplished’, where he revealed the reasons for taking such a drastic measure.
The statement read: “I want to be clear - I am leaving because my body can no longer put up with the rigours of the sport and therefore my desire to fight is no longer there.
“If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting.”
Former super-middleweight champion Carl Froch, who lost to Ward in 2011, admitted he was shocked to hear the news because he thought the American still had two or three paydays left in him.
The 40-year-old told Sky Sports: “It's quite shocking. He's young enough at 33 to have a couple more big fights. I'm not sure he's No 1 pound-for-pound, but he's right up there with all the panelists when they are asked who is the best fighter in the world. Andre Ward comes right at the top of the list.
"You would think that he's got two, maybe three more big paydays out there for him, but is it too hard on his body, or has he just fallen out of love with the sport? I don't know what his actual reason is, but it's a bit of a shock I suppose.
“Andre Ward was a very good fighter, tough to hit. When I boxed him I could barely land a glove on him and it was a very awkward, tricky, horrible night. With that style, it doesn't really get the juices flowing. It doesn't really get people excited.
“I don't think the TV broadcasters really gave him much love in America. It's a shame because he was a great addition to the light-heavyweight division, beating Kovalev in his last fight, albeit with three low blows! He still beat him."
The boxing analyst and commentator appeared even further unsympathetic by claiming Ward's boxing style was never attractive enough for the neutrals.
“I won’t be sad to see the back of him. It’s not sour grapes. I know he beat me, but I never really got that excited when he boxed. He’s retired at the top and not everyone gets to do that. I retired at the top and sometimes it’s the best way to go out."