Andre Ward

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Andre Ward
Andre Ward.jpg
Ward in 2011
Statistics
Nickname(s) S.O.G. (Son of God)[1]
Rated at
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Reach 71 in (180 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1984-02-23) February 23, 1984 (age 32)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 30
Wins 30
Wins by KO 15
Losses 0

Andre Ward (born February 23, 1984) is an American professional boxer.[2] He is a former unified WBA (Super), WBC, Ring magazine, and lineal super middleweight champion. Ward is currently ranked as the third best boxer in the world, pound for pound, by BoxRec; fourth by The Ring; and fifth by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB). He is also ranked as the world's third best light heavyweight by BoxRec, fourth by the TBRB, and fifth by The Ring. In 2011 he was named Fighter of the Year by both The Ring and the Boxing Writers' Association of America (BWAA).

As an amateur, Ward represented the United States at the 2004 Olympics, winning a gold medal in the light heavyweight division and turning professional later that year. After winning his first world championship—the WBA (Super) super middleweight title—in 2009, Ward immediately entered the Super Six World Boxing Classic, winning the tournament and unifying his title with the WBC title in December 2011. Since 2014, Ward has also worked as a commentator and expert analysist on the boxing television channel HBO.

Early life[edit]

Andre was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Frank Ward, an Irish American, and Madeline Arvie Taylor, an African American.[3] Andre's career started when his father took him to a boxing gym when he was nine years old. Ward's godfather, Virgil Hunter, became his trainer and still trains him today. Andre attended Hayward High School in the east bay, where he played Running Back and Safety for the football team.

Amateur career[edit]

Ward started boxing in 1994. From 1998 to 2004 he did not lose a single match. In 2002, he won the Under 19 National Championship and was also a two time U.S. National Champion in 2001 and 2003 at Middleweight.

Amateur highlights[edit]

  • 2001 United States Amateur Middleweight Champion
  • 2002 Under 19 National Championship
  • 2003 United States Amateur Light Heavyweight Champion
  • Won the Light Heavyweight gold medal for the United States at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece becoming the first American boxer to capture gold in 8 years.

His results were:

Professional career[edit]

Super middleweight[edit]

Early years[edit]

Ward made his pro debut on December 18, 2004 by scoring a second round TKO over Chris Molina. On February 5, 2005 Ward fought in his second pro fight against Kenny Kost. Ward overcame a rocky second round, in which he was hurt by a left hook, to win by unanimous decision. Ward defeated Roy Ashworth on April 7, 2005 by disqualification.

Ward won his next three fights, all by knockout, before going up against Darnell Boone on November 19, 2005. Ward was knocked down for the first time in his career in round four. Despite the knockdown, Ward went on to win by unanimous decision.

After the fight with Boone, Ward went on to win his next six fights, including TKO victories over undefeated Andy Kolle (this fight was the last of five that Ward fought within the middleweight limit of 160 lbs) and Francisco Diaz. On November 16, 2007 Ward beat undefeated Roger Cantrell by fifth-round TKO in Saint Lucia.

On March 20, 2008, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, Ward defeated Rubin Williams by seventh-round TKO. Ward hit Williams with jabs and straight left hands almost at will, opening a bad cut over Williams' left eye in the process. The cut would force the referee to stop the fight.

Ward faced Jerson Ravelo on June 20, 2008, in Georgetown, Cayman Islands, for the vacant regional NABO super-middleweight title. Ward dominated Ravelo for most of the fight en route to a TKO victory in the eighth round.

On May 16, 2009, at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, Ward defeated Edison Miranda by unanimous decision. The scores were 116–112, 119–109, 119–109 for Ward. Ward showed he had an inside game as well as an outside game. Miranda couldn't stay up with Ward's versatility around the ring.

On September 12, 2009, at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California, Ward defeated Shelby Pudwill by TKO in the 3rd round.

Super Six World Boxing Classic[edit]

Ward vs. Kessler[edit]

Andre Ward defeated Mikkel Kessler on November 21, 2009 for the WBA super-middleweight championship in the Super Six World Boxing Classic. Kessler was the strong favorite going into Showtime's Super Six tournament. In a career-defining performance, undefeated hometown favorite Ward put the U.S. on the board in the Super Six and captured the WBA super-middleweight title with a dominant 11 round technical decision over Denmark's Kessler in their Group Stage 1 bout.[4] The fight was stopped in round 11 due to cuts on Kessler's face caused by what was deemed unintentional headbutts by Ward. The fight went to the scorecards and Ward was far ahead by scores of 98–92, 98–92 and 97–93 at the time of the stoppage.

In January 2010 Jermain Taylor announced his exit from Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament. The Ring Top 10 ranked super-middleweight Allan Green was selected as his replacement and challenged Andre Ward on June 19.[5] Ward, defending the WBA super middleweight title, outclassed an opponent who spent most of the fight with his back against the ropes. Ward defeated Green by unanimous decision on June 19, 2010.[2] Though the 30-year-old gamely fought on, the knockout he needed to win never appeared remotely likely and he looked a spent man by the end as he picked up the second loss of his 31-fight pro career.

Ward was exempt from the final preliminary fight in the Super Six because he had already secured a number one position in the elimination rounds and his designated opponent (Andre Dirrell) had dropped out of the tournament. Instead, Ward successfully defended his WBA super middleweight title, unanimously outpointing another Top 10 ranked super middleweight, Sakio Bika, in front of a sparse crowd at Oracle Arena on Saturday night. Fighting in front of his hometown crowd as part of a dual-site co-main event, Ward didn't land many big shots but repeatedly hit Bika with a stinging left jab that the challenger was unable to counter. Ward won all 12 rounds on one judges scorecard and was ahead 118–110 on the other two.[6]

Ward vs. Abraham[edit]

Ward's next title defense came against Top 10 ranked super middleweight Arthur Abraham (32-2, 26 KOs) on May 14, 2011 in Carson, California. Abraham entered having lost two of his previous three bouts. Ward started out slow with Abraham, trying to find a way to penetrate his tight defense. After a competitive first few rounds, Ward seized control of the fight, using his ring savvy and instincts to control Abraham. Although Abraham was somewhat passive at times, he gave an earnest effort and frequently threw combinations that were mostly blocked by Ward. Abraham hurt Ward a couple of times in the final round, but it wasn't enough to finish Ward, who had dominated the fight and won a lopsided unanimous decision. The three judges scored the bout 120-108, 118-110 & 118-111. ESPN had it 118-110 in favor of Ward.[7]

Ward vs. Froch[edit]

Andre Ward won the Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament in a bout against WBC super-middleweight champion Carl Froch. Ward and Froch were rated #1 and #2 respectively by Ring magazine, and the vacant The Ring super-middleweight title was on the line, as well as Froch and Ward's super-middleweight titles.[8] Over the first seven rounds, Ward outboxed Froch, successfully using his jab to neutralize Froch and beating Froch to the punch from a distance and at close range. In the later rounds, Ward seemed to take his foot off the gas, leaving Froch to win a couple rounds near the end of the fight, though they were close and fairly competitive rounds. An MRI later revealed that Ward injured his lead left hand on which he relied for landing hooks to Froch's head. The hand was broken in two places. Ward noted extreme pain in the sixth round of the fight as well has one week prior, though the initial X-ray came back clear.[9] The judges scorecards were 115–113, 115–113 and 118–110, all in favor of Ward. Ward won the vacant The Ring super-middleweight title and is also regarded as becoming Lineal champion with his Super Six World Boxing Classic win against Froch, despite some independent sources rating undefeated IBF title holder Lucian Bute #1 or 2.[10]

The World Boxing Council Board of Governors voted to make Ward "Champion in Recess" due to a broken hand Ward had sustained during the Super Six tournament.[11]

Ward vs. Dawson[edit]

Ward's next fight was set for September 8, 2012 against Lineal/The Ring light-heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. The fight was at 168 lbs for Ward's super-middleweight titles. It ended in round ten with a technical knockout victory for Ward when Dawson asked the referee for the fight to be ended with the words: "It's over. I'm finished. I'm done."

In the first two rounds, Ward and Dawson felt each other out, with neither fighter having much success, though Dawson was able to land a few counter right hooks as Ward lunged inside. In the third round, Ward dropped Dawson with a left hook and dominated the round. Again in the fourth round, Ward was able to drop Dawson, in another dominating round. From fifth round until the end of the fight, Ward was able to neutralize Dawson's jab and work rate, seemingly out boxing and frustrating Dawson throughout. Then, in the tenth round, Ward dropped Dawson to a knee after a solid combination, which prompted referee Steve Smoger to stop the fight after Dawson could not continue.

Ward was scheduled to defend his super middleweight titles against former Lineal/WBC/WBO/The Ring middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik on January 26, 2013 at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. However, an injury sustained by Ward originally postponed the bout for 4 more weeks and the fight was expected to take place on February 23, 2013. The injury was more severe than originally thought and led to the cancellation of the fight as well as the subsequent retirement of Pavlik.[12]

On March 23, 2013 the WBC stripped Ward of the WBC super-middleweight title belt for being inactive for a long period of time, and for failing to face a mandatory challenger. They granted him champion emeritus status. Ward claimed a shoulder injury that required surgery was the reason for his inactivity, but the WBC claimed that Ward had not provided any medical evidence or even given them a rough availability date.[13]

On May 20, Ward relinquished the champion emeritus title, stating that he did not believe the WBC had the right to strip him of the world title because he was willing and able to defend it within the period specified by the WBC's rules. Ward was praised for standing up to the WBC.[14]

Ward vs. Rodríguez[edit]

Ward spent most of 2013 recovering from injuries, and feuding with promoter Dan Goossen, over the inclusion of a co-manager in Ward's promotional contract. The case has been to court or arbitration on 3 separate occasions. Each time, Goossen was deemed in the right. Ward defended his WBA and Ring titles against unbeaten Edwin Rodríguez in Ontario, California in November 2013 with a wide unanimous decision. The fight started with rough tactics until Jack Reiss made an unprecedented move, penalizing both fighters two points each and warning them that he would end the fight if it did not clean up. Ward went on to dominate the rest of the fight.

Ward spent all of 2014 inactive, still feuding with Goossen. Dan Goossen died of complications from liver cancer in September 2014, leaving the future of Andre Ward's boxing career even further in doubt.

On February 19, 2015 the The Ring reportedly stripped Ward of his Ring Champion belt due to him not having defended his title against a top #5 contender in the last two years.

Ward vs. Smith[edit]

On June 20, 2015 Ward fought British Paul Smith (35-5, 20 KOs) at the Oracle Arena in California at a 172 lbs catchweight fight. Ward won via TKO in the 9th round. Ward was winning every round at the time of stoppage (80-72, 3 times). Smith missed weight, coming in at 176.4 lbs and was fined 20% ($45,000) of his $225,000 purse by the California State Athletic Commission, half of which went to Ward and half to the commission.[15]

On November 12, 2015 in advance of his upcoming move up to the light heavyweight division, Ward vacated his WBA super middleweight title. Ward originally claimed the belt in November 2009 with a victory over long-time champion Mikkel Kessler in his opening fight of the Super Six tournament.

Light heavyweight[edit]

Ward vs. Barrera[edit]

Ward made his light heavyweight debut against Sullivan Barrera, who was undefeated at the time, in his hometown at the Oracle Arena. En route to a wide unanimous decision victory, Ward dropped Barrera to the canvas in the third round as he turned a left hook while on the ropes. Ward dictated the pace for the vast majority of the bout, showcasing good strength and ring generalship against the Cuban. The three judges scored the fight: 117-109, 119-109, and 117-108.[16]

Ward vs. Brand[edit]

On July 30, 2016, Ward fought 100-1 underdog Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) from Columbia. Ward unanimously outpointed Brand to claim the vacant WBO Intercontinental light heavyweight title. All three judges had the fight 120-108 for Ward.[17] Ward spoke to HBO in the post fight interview saying: "I'm excited, I'm looking forward to it. I'll see you in November." This was Ward's third fight in eight months, after only fighting three times from 2012 to 2015 and will now fight Kovalev in November.[18]

Ward vs. Kovalev[edit]

It was announced on June 16, that a contract had been signed between Ward and 33 year old Russian unified world champion Sergey Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs) to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on November 19, 2016. Both fighters remained undefeated through interim bouts. This would mark Ward's first time fighting in the state of Nevada.[19]

Boxing style[edit]

Known as one of the most complete boxers in the sport today, Ward harnesses his speed, athleticism, and ring intelligence to masterfully control distance and pace in fights, with high punch accuracy and counterpunching skills.[20] A natural left-handed fighter who boxes in an orthodox stance, Ward's best punches typically come from the lead left, including a sharp, piston-like jab. An injury and eventual surgery to the right shoulder has made Ward even more reliant on the left hand, causing him to even switch to southpaw on occasion to land his power shots. Ward is also noted for his extremely effective inside game; due to his own physical strength, Ward has been able to overpower and rough up many opponents on the inside and in a clinch. Connecting with his own shots, particularly the short left hook and uppercut, while smothering his opponent's shots and weaving their punches is commonplace in Ward fights. He attributes his self-described "formless" style to years of studying Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins, and Floyd Mayweather Jr.[21] Ward even makes effective use of the jab to the body while out of punching range, a common technique used by Mayweather Jr. in his fights.

Personal life[edit]

Ward married his high school sweetheart Tiffiney in 2009, with whom he has three sons and a daughter. Ward lives in Danville, California. A devout Christian, he regularly visits places in his area such as schools, prisons, and youth facilities to help his community and engage and inspire people with his story.

Filmography[edit]

In 2015, Ward made his acting debut in the American sports drama film Creed as the light heavyweight boxer Danny "Stuntman" Wheeler.[22]

Professional boxing record[edit]

No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
31 N/A N/A Russia Sergey Kovalev N/A – (12) Nov 19, 2016 United States T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. For WBA (Undisputed), IBF, and WBO light heavyweight titles
30 Win 30–0 Colombia Alexander Brand UD 12 Aug 6, 2016 United States Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, U.S. Won vacant WBO International light heavyweight title
29 Win 29–0 Cuba Sullivan Barrera UD 12 Mar 26, 2016 United States Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, U.S.
28 Win 28–0 United Kingdom Paul Smith TKO 9 (12), 1:45 Jun 20, 2015 United States Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, U.S.
27 Win 27–0 Dominican Republic Edwin Rodríguez UD 12 Nov 16, 2013 United States Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California, U.S. Retained WBA (Super), WBC, The Ring, and lineal super middleweight titles
26 Win 26–0 United States Chad Dawson TKO 10 (12), 2:45 Sep 8, 2012 United States Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, U.S. Retained WBA (Super), WBC, The Ring, and lineal super middleweight titles
25 Win 25–0 United Kingdom Carl Froch UD 12 Dec 17, 2011 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained WBA (Super) super middleweight title;
Won WBC and vacant The Ring and lineal super middleweight titles;
Super Six World Boxing Classic: final
24 Win 24–0 Germany Arthur Abraham UD 12 May 14, 2011 United States Home Depot Center, Carson, California, U.S. Retained WBA (Super) super middleweight title;
Super Six World Boxing Classic: semi-final
23 Win 23–0 Australia Sakio Bika UD 12 Nov 27, 2010 United States Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, U.S. Retained WBA (Super) super middleweight title
22 Win 22–0 United States Allan Green UD 12 Jun 19, 2010 United States Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, U.S. Retained WBA (Super) super middleweight title;
Super Six World Boxing Classic: group stage 2
21 Win 21–0 Denmark Mikkel Kessler TD 11 (12), 1:42 Nov 21, 2009 United States Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, U.S. Won WBA (Super) super middleweight title;
Super Six World Boxing Classic: group stage 1;
Unanimous TD after Kessler sustained cuts from accidental head clashes
20 Win 20–0 United States Shelby Pudwill TKO 3 (10), 2:16 Sep 12, 2009 United States Pechanga Resort and Casino, Temecula, California, U.S.
20 Win 19–0 Colombia Edison Miranda UD 12 May 16, 2009 United States Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, U.S. Retained NABF and WBO–NABO super middleweight titles
18 Win 18–0 United States Henry Buchanan UD 12 Feb 6, 2009 United States Tachi Palace, Lemoore, California, U.S. Won WBO–NABO super middleweight title;
Won vacant NABF super middleweight title
17 Win 17–0 Mexico Esteban Camou TKO 3 (10), 2:46 Dec 13, 2008 United States Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, Cabazon, California, U.S.
16 Win 16–0 United States Jerson Ravelo TKO 8 (12), 2:37 Jun 20, 2008 United Kingdom Royal Watler Cruise Terminal, George Town, Cayman Islands Won vacant WBONABO super middleweight title
15 Win 15–0 United States Rubin Williams TKO 7 (10), 2:51 Mar 20, 2008 United States HP Pavilion, San Jose, California, U.S.
14 Win 14–0 United States Roger Cantrell TKO 5 (10), 1:56 Nov 16, 2007 Saint Lucia Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
13 Win 13–0 United States Francisco Diaz TKO 3 (8), 2:59 Jul 14, 2007 United States Home Depot Center, Carson, California, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 United States Dhafir Smith TKO 6 (8), 2:47 May 17, 2007 United States Tachi Palace, Lemoore, California, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 Haiti Julio Jean TKO 3 (8), 2:04 Mar 29, 2007 United States HP Pavilion, San Jose, California, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 United States Derrick Findley UD 6 Nov 16, 2006 United States HP Pavilion, San Jose, California, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 United States Andy Kolle RTD 6 (8), 3:00 Apr 29, 2006 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 United States Kendall Gould UD 6 Feb 23, 2006 United States Tachi Palace, Lemoore, California, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 United States Darnell Boone UD 6 Nov 19, 2005 United States Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 United States Glenn LaPlante KO 1 (6), 2:59 Oct 1, 2005 United States St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 United States Christopher Holt RTD 3 (6), 3:00 Aug 18, 2005 United States HP Pavilion, San Jose, California, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States Ben Aragon TKO 3 (6), 0:59 Jun 18, 2005 United States FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 United States Roy Ashworth DQ 3 (6), 2:56 Apr 7, 2005 United States Pechanga Resort and Casino, Temecula, California, U.S. Ashworth disqualified for hitting on the break
2 Win 2–0 United States Kenny Kost UD 6 Feb 10, 2005 United States Tachi Palace, Lemoore, California, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Chris Molina TKO 2 (4), 0:40 Dec 18, 2004 United States Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Professional debut

Titles in boxing[edit]

Regional titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Jean Pascal
WBONABO super middleweight champion
June 20, 2008 – November 2008
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Andre Dirrell
Vacant
Title last held by
Andre Dirrell
WBO–NABO super middleweight champion
February 6, 2009 – September 2009
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Allan Green
Vacant
Title last held by
Peter Manfredo Jr.
NABF super middleweight champion
February 6, 2009 – September 2009
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Sébastien Demers
World titles
Preceded by
Mikkel Kessler
WBA super middleweight champion
Super title

November 21, 2009 – November 12, 2015
Vacated
Succeeded by
Fedor Chudinov
promoted from Regular status
Preceded by
Carl Froch
WBC super middleweight champion
December 17, 2011 – April 11, 2013
Status changed
Vacant
Title next held by
Sakio Bika
Vacant
Title last held by
Joe Calzaghe
The Ring super middleweight champion
December 17, 2011 – February 19, 2015
Stripped
Vacant
Lineal super middleweight champion
December 17, 2011 – June 20, 2015
Vacated
Honorary titles
Previous:
Mikkel Kessler
WBC super middleweight champion
Emeritus title

April 11, 2013 – June 2015
Vacated
Vacant
Inaugural champion Super Six World Boxing Classic winner
December 17, 2011
Incumbent

References[edit]

  1. ^ Powell, Jeff (15 December 2011). "Son of God is on a mission: Ward preaching the right way, but can he handle the Cobra?". Daily Mail. London. 
  2. ^ a b Andre Ward's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2011-10-08.
  3. ^ "Andre Ward Remembers the Father Who Inspired His Boxing Career". HBO. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  4. ^ Gonzalez, Edgar (2009-11-29). "Ward defeats Kessler". MyBoxingFans. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  5. ^ Tulsa's Allan Green Tulsa World accessed February 17, 2010
  6. ^ Rafael, Dan (2010-11-28). "Andre Ward defeats Sakio Bika". ESPN. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  7. ^ "Andre Ward defeats Arthur Abraham via UD". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2016-06-22. 
  8. ^ "Froch advances to No 2 super-middleweight". ringtv.craveonline.com. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  9. ^ http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/7384318/andre-ward-had-broken-hand-win-carl-froch
  10. ^ THE CYBER BOXING ZONE PRESENTS THE LINEAL SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONS. cyberboxingzone.com
  11. ^ "Dirrell-Sjekloca For WBC Title, Ward is Champion in Recess – Boxing News". Boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  12. ^ "Andre Ward-Kelly Pavlik fight to be canceled, Ward to have shoulder surgery – ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2012-12-27. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  13. ^ .com, Fightingnews. "WBC Statement on Andre Ward". 
  14. ^ Iole, Kevin (21 May 2013). "Andre Ward tells the WBC to get lost, and hopefully he is the first of many". Yahoo!. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Andre Ward vs. Paul Smith – BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 
  16. ^ http://www.badlefthook.com/2016/3/26/11304864/ward-vs-barrera-live-streaming-results-and-round-by-round-coverage
  17. ^ Times, Los Angeles. "Ward takes WBO Interncontinental light-heavyweight title from Brand in decision". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-08-07. 
  18. ^ "Andre Ward outpoints Alexander Brand in California stroll". Sky Sports. August 6, 2016. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Kovalev-Ward to take place Nov. 19 in Las Vegas". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-06-18. 
  20. ^ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wZom8virO8A
  21. ^ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3Rbq9Qtx0dM
  22. ^ "The star of 'Creed' wants a sequel – here's why it will probably happen". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-04-02. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Previous:
Sergio Martínez
The Ring Fighter of the Year
2011
Next:
Juan Manuel Márquez
BWAA Fighter of the Year
2011
Next:
Nonito Donaire