Andre Ward returned to the boxing ring in style this past Saturday and made a statement in doing so, dominating Liverpudlian Paul Smith in winning every round with the Englishman's trainer Joe Gallagher throwing the towel in to end the fight in the 9th round.
The Californian was boxing in his home town of Oakland at the Oracle Arena and showed no signs of fatigue or ring rust after not competing in 19 months.
The 31-year-old looked extremely relaxed and confident in the ring at times taunting his opponent and even smiling when receiving some shots on the rare occasions when Smith landed.
The performance was flawless from the 2004 Olympic Gold Medallist, displaying his fast footwork, quick hands, variety of punches, high work rate and intelligence. The undefeated fighter put on an exhibition and showed us why he is one of the best boxers in the world.
His work at range and on the inside is impeccable andmatch that with his under-rated power and the ability to land punch perfect rarely wasting any shots and you have a professional who is most likely to reign supreme yet again.
Andre Ward is a class act and, despite their being some heated verbal's at the weigh in with Paul Smith coming in 4Ibs over the scheduled 172Ib catch-weight limit, the American offered support revealing this week that he and his promoters Roc Nation have allowed his challenger to keep the fine that Smith was supposed to pay due to coming in overweight.
The fighter who has claimed not to have lost a boxing match since he was 12 years old now looks ahead to mouth-watering contests.
Line Them Up, The King is Ready
The two time Super Middleweight champion who currently holds the WBA Super world title (with the WBC vacating his belt in 2013 for inactivity) claims he is comfortable at 168Ibs. After setting the catch-weight fight this past Saturday at 172Ibs, though, it is possible Ward may move up to Light Heavyweight for a bout with the undefeated 'Krusher' Sergey Kovalev who holds three world titles and is an absolute beast of a puncher with 24 of his 27 fights coming by knockout.
The likes of Gennady Golovkin and Carl Froch have also been mentioned but whoever may be next for Andre 'S.O.G' Ward will be facing an almost impossible task against a boxing master.
The 31 year old is a humble performer, his skills and talent do the talking in the ring.
Previously criticised at times by the media for not engaging in fights and easing to victories over the likes of Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Sakio Bika and Carl Froch, the next challenger for Ward will face the battle of attempting to dethrone a king who has never come close to losing his crown and after his performance on Saturday it looks like the king will reign again, but at which weight class?
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