Blogs & Opinion


Andre Ward is lacking quality challengers, says Glenn McCrory

Glenn McCrory Posted 10th December 2013 view comments

Andre Ward may not be the most entertaining fighter around but that's only because he's so good.

Exciting fighters usually have a bit of fragility - Tommy Hearns, for example, was so electrifying because not only could he knock someone out, he could get knocked out himself.

But we have seen no signs of weakness from Ward, who is very solid, very professional and wins with ease, and his only problem is that he is head and shoulders above everyone else in his division.

Fleeter Andre: Ward is too quick and too slick for his rivals, says Glenn

Fleeter Andre: Ward is too quick and too slick for his rivals, says Glenn

I don't think his fights are dull by any means - he is more attacking than Floyd Mayweather and always looks extremely stylish - but no-one poses him enough of a threat so he doesn't have to take too many risks.

You can only be as exciting as your opposition allow you to be and even against a very good super-middleweight in Carl Froch he didn't have to fight fire with fire because he was able to nullify everything Carl was throwing at him.

Pleading

If you look what Ward and Froch have done since they fought, Froch wins, as along with Yusaf Mack, he has boxed Lucian Bute, Mikkel Kessler and George Groves, while Ward has laced up the gloves just twice, against Chad Dawson and Edwin Rodriguez.

You have to stop Ward from controlling the rhythm of the fight, as once he does he is virtually unstoppable.

Glenn McCrory
Quotes of the week

But it's not as if people are knocking Ward's door down, pleading with him to give them a shot - and I certainly don't think the American, who is a good man and devoutly religious, is a shirker.

I've been to his gym in Oakland, seen the work he puts in and discovered what a rough neighbourhood he comes from; he has to be tough just to train there so don't believe for one minute that he is afraid of anyone.

He proved his grit against Froch, when a lot of people wondered whether he was tough enough, and while he doesn't shout from the rooftops like a lot of fighters in our sport, he is a very determined individual.

There just aren't enough challenges for him at super-middleweight at the moment though, so I think he may have to move up to light-heavyweight - where he won his Olympic gold in 2004 - or wait for someone to climb up from middleweight.

Ward could always fight Froch again - though, for me, that becomes less likely by the day - and even though I wouldn't give Groves much of a chance if he took on the super-middleweight division's star name, he'd certainly give him something to think about.

But I would love to see Gennady Golovkin jump up as that would be a stunning fight - and I think he would have to jump up because Ward is more likely to move to light-heavy rather than middle if he switches at all, especially as he gets older and slower.

Aces

Plus, at light-heavyweight, you have the hard-hitting Adonis Stevenson, who has no issues with confidence, and Sergey Kovalev, who has Nathan Cleverly's scalp on his CV.

However, it was noticeable that when Stevenston stopped Bellew in six rounds in Canada, he only called out Froch and when Kovalev beat Ismail Sillakh on the same bill, he called out Stevenson!

Even though Stevenson and Kovalev would hold some of the aces if they boxed Ward at their weight, they are still not clamouring for him - and it's easy to see why.

Ward has great variety, a cracking offence and defence, and beat Froch at his own game, so it is hard to see how you could stop him but there are a couple of things you could attempt to throw him off his game.

The most important thing is to try and negate his skills, which means boxing at a pace, putting him on the back foot and stopping him from controlling the rhythm of the fight, as once he does he is virtually unstoppable.

One thing we have not seen from Ward is whether he can do what Froch did against Groves - recover from a good hiding and then bounce back in the second half of a fight - as he has never been out of his comfort zone.

Darnell Boone knocked him down earlier in his career and you thought then he might turn out to be a bit lightweight, but now any flaws have disappeared - or are very well hidden - and he has made the super-middleweight division his own.

Ward is not a wild fighter - but he doesn't have to be.

Comments (8)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Shane Gillece says...

I agree, Ward is head and shoulders above any other possible opponent. 2nd P4P fighter behind only Mayweather. The main reason these 2 guys are the best is because the don't get hit, they box smart and don't take risks. Unfortunately the best boxers are the least exciting for a neutral. But any boxing fan would be drooling watching these 2 at work. Most UK fans and myself included love a barnstorming Ricky Hatton or Froch type of fight but that is just not the way to be the best. I think he will move up in weight and clean up in LHW, not much left for him then. Try his best to get a couple of big pay days then retire. Unfortunately he will barely be remembered as the great fighter he is because of his lack of self promotion and 'so called' great fights.

Posted 10:19 18th December 2013

Asif Gani says...

Totally agree, this guy is too good in all areas for the rest!

Posted 21:16 16th December 2013

Gav Scott says...

He's good but if he is so head and shoulders above everyone he should be making short work of them. Tyson, in his prime, was so dominant yet he was ko-ing them easily. Nobody is interested in fighting Ward as nobody is that interested in watching him and that is andre's fault - he doesnt bring anything to sell to the paying audience, no ko's no wars, just a drawn-out fight that fails to get you out your chair. I disagree with you, Glenn, as I think he needs to take risks or he will just be remembered as a good fighter but nothing to get excited about.

Posted 13:25 14th December 2013

David Hudson says...

Ward wrestles and holds on the inside and pot shots on the outside. He is supremely good at what he does but it makes for ugly fights that are wholly unentertaining. Its time he moved up in weight and takes on the likes of Kovalev and Stevenson. When you dominate a division, you move up. Don't call out Froch for an easy UD or Chavez Jnr. when you would be massive favourite to win that fight.

Posted 12:34 11th December 2013

John Williams says...

I watched Andre ward on numerous occasions and it's been like watching paint dry. I wouldn't want to watch him if he was on at prime UK time. Stevenson doesn't want any part of Kovalev and frankly who can blame him, he looks the business. If Ward does move up he might bet them all by boring them into submission.

Posted 10:50 11th December 2013

Stephen Mc intyre says...

Nail on the head!!! Ward has the toughness of a Froch, the speed of a mayweather and the power of a kovalev. Almost RJJ mould and I personally would love to see him move up and clean the limited stevenson, kovalev and and whole lh division.

Posted 00:53 11th December 2013

Nathan Winter says...

Good Article , Glenn. I could not agree more in regards to Andre being head and shoulders above the oppostion. The fact is he has beat everyone who he has been in with but realistaclly the only fight for him is the Froch fight in las vegas with the belts been on the line This would put the division to bed and then in my opinion he can look at going up to light heavy weight. He has nothing to prove and to be fair its his card to call in regards to the Froch fight but I for one would love to see it.

Posted 16:00 10th December 2013

Jason Horne says...

ward doesn't do himself any favours, for a start he beat dawson at super middle despite supposedly wanting to move to light heavy he made dawson come down. also the reason no one calls him out is because he only fights in his back garden and never travels and there is no money in fighting him because he has a very small fan base still.

Posted 15:44 10th December 2013

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Boxing Blogs:

Latest Posts in Boxing:

Latest News RSS feeds

Groves doubts DeGale worth

George Groves has questioned whether James DeGale is a big enough name to challenge Carl Froch for his world titles.

Burns to battle Argentine

​Former world champion Ricky Burns will make his light-welterweight debut against Leonardo Esteban Gonzalez.

Cleverly-Bellew II deal close

Promoter Eddie Hearn says a rematch between old foes Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew is close to being finalised.

Saunders to meet Eubank Jr

Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr will meet on the undercard of the Tyson Fury-Dereck Chisora bout on November 29.

Wilson 'critical but stable'

Sheffield boxer Jerome Wilson remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital after being knocked out in a fight.

Features

Ringside Toe 2 Toe:

Ringside Toe 2 Toe:

Welcome to the Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast, an online offering from skysports.com bringing you the latest news and views from the world of boxing.

Sky Sports reviews the week in sport with the best and worst performances

Sky Sports reviews the week in sport with the best and worst performances

Some big prizes were handed out this week but, as always, for every gloating winner there are a number of losers counting their losses.