In a way it's all good because while GGG and Ward are considered two of the best fighters out there they have also been two of the least vocal when it comes to talking a bit of trash, building a fight, and being a bit controversial. But boxing is steeped in trash talk and controversy and fans love the hype. Of course, we don't want no WWE WWF Bull Sh*t but it is OK to get the taste buds flowing and build the fight a little.
So what do we really know about this situation. Who is ducking who? First off, I don't think either man is afraid of the other, but the truth is that both men are in different situations career wise. Golovkin has been very active and is on the verge of unifying the middleweight division. Andre Ward has been through some promotional problems and has been inactive for quite some time (Since late 2013, and before that he only fought once in 2012). And we do know for definite that Ward's trainer (Virgil Hunter) has stated that Ward needs a few tune up fights before facing Golovkin. That is a fact.
|Picture Credit: roundbyroundboxing.com|
So for Ward to say Golovkin is making excuses seems rather contradictory because as his trainer stated, he is not in the position to fight GGG right now anyway. We also know that a meeting with HBO took place with both fighters and their representatives. Ward and GGG were asked if they were ready to fight each other and apparently GGG said yes he is ready to fight and Ward said No due to an injured shoulder and most probably because of inactivity too.
In some ways, with some of the comments Ward has made towards Golovkin, it does look like Ward could be a bit jealous because GGG is in the limelight and he isn't. Andre Ward is not even ranked anymore due to inactivity, so in many ways he is not even that relevant right now. Other than inactivity, If we look at the fighting styles of each fighter we can see why one is extremely popular and why one isn't. Wards boxing style isn't the most exciting or fan friendly. And then there comes the problem of Ward's fan base.
He can't even sell out a venue in his home city of Oakland, but yet when negotiations are taking place, not only with GGG, but also with Carl Froch, Ward wants the lions share of the split, which he does not deserve..He is pricing himself out of the market. Now Ward is also saying that he is only fighting Britain's Paul Smith because Carl Froch doesn't want to fight him.
But the word is that Froch asked Ward to come and fight in the UK and Ward refused. I tend to believe this because if you check Andre Wards boxing record you will quickly see that he has fought most of his career in the USA. Guess where he is fighting Paul Smith..Yep, you guessed it, the Oracle Arena in Oakland, USA. Home sweet home. People that know boxing know that a real champion has the balls and strength of mind to fight anywhere in the world.
Take a look at Sergey Kovalev and Gennady Golovkin, they are real champions who will fight anywhere, but Andre Ward's professional record makes it look like he's afraid to travel. The proof is there. Until Ward fights out of his comfort zone how can he be considered as a great champion..It should also be noted that Ward Vs Smith is taking place at a catch weight of 172lbs, so with 3 additional pounds Ward could well be fighting in Kovalev territory at light heavyweight.
With Golovkin and Ward, part of the problem is that the media keep on asking one about the other, when in reality they shouldn't be facing each other right now. Ward needs to get the rust off with a few fights and Golovkin needs to concentrate on unifying the middleweight division. And in fairness, Golovkin needs to face some tougher opposition. Fighters are certainly talking a lot, If only they would sign the contract though and commit to fight GGG. If the media would just STHU and let them both do there thing for a while it would be a great fight for the future when each man is in a better position to make the fight a reality.
The time isn't really right at this moment but both fighters are being forced into dialogue because of the hype and constant questions and accusations of what the other side said etc. Neither man is scared, and I think that Ward does want to prove he is the best and it looks like he secretly wants to fight and take out the two fighters considered the best and most feared right now which is GGG and Kovalev. All great fights that I hope can happen in the future. The outcomes are not certain, but neither is whether Ward, with so much time off, will ever be the same fighter he once was.
Since this post was written (I know the date is recent but the post is from my other site) a lot has changed. GGG is going to get his shot at the WBC Middleweight Title, (Even if the winner of Cotto - Canelo doesn't want to fight him) so a fight with Ward is well out of the picture for now. Adding to that, Ward can't make 168 anymore so is more than likely moving to Light Heavyweight where him facing Kovalev within the next year looks to be a more realistic fight than him Facing GGG.
Andre Ward had one of his "Tune up" fights turned down! With people saying it was too much of a miss-match! It was deemed as unsafe. That says a lot right there about his level of competition. After this happened, Ward has now injured his knee and won't be fighting for a while, yet again. Also, he has just vacated his WBA Super-Middleweight Title. Lots of talk about Ward faking the injury, and being scared to agree 100% to fight Kovalev, which is what some people think may have had something, or a lot, to do with his tune up fight being pulled from the Cotto - Canelo under card.
Andre Ward is quickly becoming more and more irrelevant and needs to actually start taking on some decent fighters if he's to remain one of the best out there. Personally, I don't think he has been active enough to be considered as a P4P boxer anymore. How many times has he even fought out of his comfort zone? Who will win out of Kovalev Vs Ward if they do fight. Outcomes are never certain, but I think Kovalev will destroy Ward. From what I've seen and read about Ward lately a lot of things point to him being a shot fighter.
The most important aspect here is that, yes I think he's a shot fighter, but more importantly, I also think that he knows it too. And thats the worst thing for a fighter. When they lose their self belief it is over. Other fighters have come through the ranks and overtook Ward while he's been inactive, and now he's not sure if he's got what it takes to beat these fighters anymore. He's scared to lose his unbeaten record to the fighters that are in the spotlight and are considered as real threats, so he fights opponents that are incapable of putting up much of a fight. OK, to the crowd he will look great knocking someone out, but this is a dangerous strategy. Because if Ward fights journey men for the next year and then takes the fight with Kovalev, he will not be ready for that huge step up in class and will get beaten badly.
Also, If he continues to fight journey men and one of them just happens to get lucky, clip his chin and knock him out, his boxing career is basically over. Or will require some serious rebuilding. But against who... Low level junior middleweights who haven't trained for a few years? Wards choice of opposition has become a disgrace. There are lots of B and even C level fighters that he could fight that would put up a decent challenge, yet he wants to fight the worst possible opposition. And if it couldn't be any worse than that, the boxers Ward was going to fight are not even true light heavyweights. Things don't look good for Ward right now.
It's quite sad really because the guy does have talent and I hope he comes back and proves me and everyone else, who thinks he's not quite the Ward of old wrong.