The fighting world was turned on its head with the announcement of the Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather bout this coming August; a sign of the limitations either boxing or UFC can offer – you have to switch codes to continue to satisfy; continue to please/impress the fans.
It would now seem Andre Ward is struggling with a need to constantly keep up with demand, and expectations of the fans. Following the American’s eight-round stoppage of, Sergey Kovalev, the Son of God has now hinted at going furhter up the weight category by a potential fight with Anthony Joshua:
“I always seem to be knocking down giants one by one. Heavyweight, that’s always been a dream of mine. It’s got to be against the right guy, but I dream big and anything is possible.”
“That man [Ward’s trainer] will have me believing things that I never even thought of. Like, ‘Anthony Joshua, really?’ and it will make perfect sense to him. So we’ll see.”
— Andre Ward
Why does Ward feel the need to deliver such a fight? The 33-year-old has already gone a weight division up by moving from middleweight to light heavyweight; such a risk to jump up a category to heavyweight could undo all the work he’s managed in the divisions suited to his body.
At 6ft 0in, and weighing just 76kg, the fight would be a total mismatch with Joshua coming in at 6ft6in, and 113kg. The fight makes zero sense, and would be seen as another bout which would damage the reputation of boxing.
The divisions are there for a reason; we are not all of the same build; we can not all compete against each other on fair grounds. Joshua would also be carrying a reach of 28 centimetres greater than Ward’s.
Away from the physically mismatch, Ward mentioned how he has ‘always seems to be knocking down giants one by one’, which is true in the case of his 32 victories and zero defeats; but, only only 16 of them have been by knock out – 15 of them being a TKO.
Whispers of such a fight again just highlight that boxing needs something to talk about; it needs the personalities to create conversation so that it keeps fans engaged with the sport. A fight such as this should not even be spoken about, let alone the man potentially taking part leading the debate.
Let’s appreciate what Ward has done in the sport, rather than trying to push him to a fight where his outstanding record will be broken.