ROC NATION Sports is pleased to announce that Two-Time World Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter Andre Ward (28-0, 15 KOs) will return to the ring on Saturday, Nov. 21 in the co- feature to the Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez middleweight world championship showdown that will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View. Ward has signed an exclusive multi-fight agreement with HBO that will commence with Ward’s Nov. 21 fight at The Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Having cleaned out the super middleweight division, Ward, 31, will be making his debut in the 175-pound light heavyweight division against an opponent to be announced.
“HBO is the premier network in boxing and has been a great home to me both as a fighter and a commentator,” Ward said. “I made my professional debut on HBO nearly 11 years ago and I’m excited to move on to this next stage of my career at the light heavyweight division on HBO. My team and I have been hard at work preparing for Nov. 21 and the fans can expect another strong performance in Las Vegas.”
“All of us at Roc Nation Sports are thrilled to partner with HBO as we embark on the next chapter in the storied career of Andre Ward,” said David Itskowitch, COO Boxing Roc Nation Sports. “Starting this multi-fight agreement and Andre’s quest to conquer the light heavyweight division with a fight on the highly anticipated Nov. 21 pay-per-view event is a fitting way to kick things off. We are hopeful that Nov. 21 is the first step toward a 2016 showdown with Sergey Kovalev.”
“From Olympic gold medalist, to two-time world champion, to winning all 28 of his professional bouts and dominating the super middleweight division, Andre Ward has demonstrated that he is among the finest performers in the sport,” said Ken Hershman, President, HBO Sports. “We are delighted to have Andre as part of our family, fighting exclusively on the HBO platforms.”
“Andre is a man of high integrity and honor so we are thrilled to be able to help deliver a multi-fight deal for him on the premier network in boxing,” said James Prince and Josh Dubin, Ward’s management team. “In moving to light heavyweight, we have no doubt that Andre will pick up where he left off in the super middleweight division – as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. We are extremely thankful to HBO and Roc Nation Sports for the opportunity.”
Known for his strong character and integrity outside the ring and his warrior’s instinct inside it, Ward’s skill and talent were apparent early in his outstanding amateur career. He racked up every title in the books, culminating with a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. As the only male American boxer to claim Olympic gold since 1996, Ward joined the likes of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya. He turned professional on December 18, 2004, scoring a second round technical knockout victory over Chris Molina at Staples Center in a fight that was televised live on HBO. He has gone on to rack up 27 more victories since then, building an ever-growing legion of fans in the process. After becoming the Ring Magazine and WBA Super Middleweight World Champion, rising to the number two spot on the pound-for-pound list and winning the 2011 Fighter of the Year Award (ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Ring Magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America), it was announced that Ward signed an exclusive promotional agreement with Roc Nation Sports in January 2015, opening a new chapter in his storied boxing career. The Bay Area product returned to the ring on June 20, 2015 at the Oracle Arena in front of his hometown fans in Oakland, California and scored a ninth-round knockout over Paul Smith, continuing his unbeaten streak which dates back to when he was a 13 year old amateur. Ward recently stepped in front of the camera for a completely different role, a part in the upcoming New Line/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Warner Bros. feature “Creed,” hitting theaters on November 25, a few days following fight week. Fellow Bay Area natives, director Ryan Coogler and the film’s star Michael B. Jordan, reached out to Ward so that he could provide his expertise for the film. In addition to working in front of the camera with Ward, Jordan spent time at Ward’s home gym in preparation for his role as Apollo Creed’s son.