So Long “Son of God”
Written By. Eric Iraheta (@scarecrowgrin)
Andre Ward, the undefeated, number one pound for pound fighter, one of the greatest boxers of our generation announced unexpectedly his retirement to the sport of Boxing. Andre Ward is only 33 years old and still fighting at a world class, elite level. Ward’s retirement may be unexpected, but to be honest? I’m truly not surprised. Andre Ward has achieved every great feat a fighter could possibly want to achieve. What more does he have to prove? He has his health, his wealth and his legacy intact. Andre Ward has always been a fighter that moves to the beat of a different drum. He is a fighter that never cared what anyone other than himself or his trainer Virgil Hunter thinks. Ward’s decision to retire is a personal decision, a decision between him and God, and for a fighter known as “Son of God”, all we need to know is it’s the right decision.
Andre Ward hasn’t lost a fight….ever. Since the day he laced up a pair of gloves he has been perfect. As an amateur, under the guidance of his Godfather Virgil Hunter, Andre Ward has been flawless. Ward was marvelous in the 2004 Olympic Games, winning a Gold Medal as a Light Heavyweight for the United States. He is the epitome of a body attack boxer. Ward’s assault to his opponents bodies was second to none. Ward’s ability to separate and attack with tight uppercuts to the breadbasket or hard hooks to the ribs was sensational and the definition of poetry in motion. Andre Ward will retire undefeated with an incredible record of 32 victories, 16 coming by way of knock out. He was an 8X World Champion in two weight divisions (Super Middle Weight, Light Heavyweight).
Andre Ward rose to stardom when he stormed his way through the Super Six World Boxing Classic. The tournament which started in 2009 with Andre Ward capturing the WBA Super Middleweight Championship with a victory over Mikkel Kessler. As the tournament unfolded, Ward defeater Allen Green, Arthur Abrahams, and ultimately in 2011 Carl Froch, unifying the WBA, WBC Super Middleweight titles along with the vacant Ring and Lineal World titles. Andre Ward would hold those titles until 2015, when he would vacate his title in his quest to move up and conquer the Light Heavyweight Division.
Andre Ward cemented his greatness and his #1 spot as pound for pound king when he unified the WBA, IBF, WBO, and Ring light heavyweight titles with a hard fought victory over Sergey Kovalev in 2016. Andre Ward had to dig down deep in his bout with Kovalev. A fight that saw Ward hit the canvas for the first time in his entire career (pro and amateur). Ward, who took a beating for the first half of the fight was able to survive and adjust marvelously in the second half of the fight. Ward began a vicious body assault that showed the Man known as “Krusher” doubling over in agony in an attempt to stop the punishment. Ward would earn a Unanimous decision over Kovalev, yet many in the boxing world (including myself) felt Kovalev did enough to win the fight.
The rematch was immediately scheduled and would eventually take place on June 17, 2017. Ward showcased his boxing I.Q, by attacking Kovalev’s body right from the opening bell. Ward’s game plan worked to perfection eventually stopping Kovalev in the 8th round via TKO stoppage. Again, many believed the stoppage was premature and had Kovalev possibly ahead in the fight. However, one thing was undeniable, Ward was coming on strong and when Tony Weeks stopped the fight, Kovalev was doubled over, in visible pain and completely defenseless.
Here we are today, one of the greatest fighters of all time and surefire Hall of Famer announces his retirement to the sport that changed his life. The sport he loves with every fiber in his body. Sure he could have fought Kovalev for the third time in what certainly would have been a highly lucrative fight. Instead, Ward chose to retire. Again, what more does he have to prove? He is walking away from the sport as an undefeated Champion of the world. He is walking away from the sport as a Gold Medal Olympian, but most importantly, Andre Ward is walking away from the sport healthy, and on his own terms.
For the fighter known as “Son of God”, Andre Ward you are a Legend and will surely be missed. God Speed.