Roc Nation Sports is pleased to announce that Two-Time World Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter Andre Ward (29-0, 15 KOs) will return to the ring on Saturday, August 6, to continue his conquest of the light heavyweight division when he takes on power-punching Colombian Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) at Oracle Arena in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, California. The event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Ward and Brand were slated to face each other last November on the pay-per-view undercard of Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez, but a leg injury forced Ward to withdraw from participation in the event.
Tickets priced at $300, $120, $90, $60 and $30, not including applicable service charges and taxes, go on sale Tuesday, June 28 at 5:00 p.m. PT and will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.
Ward vs. Brand is a 12-round fight presented by Roc Nation Sports and sponsored by Corona Extra, the motion picture HANDS OF STONE: The True Story of Roberto Duran, Corporate Travel Management Solutions (ctms) and The Clorox Company, supporting the Bay Area Community for over 100 years.
“We can get it on, right now,” said Ward. “August 6th, I will be ready, so come out to Oracle Arena or tune in live on HBO. Don’t miss it.”
“It will be a great honor to face Andre Ward on August 6 and better yet in his own backyard,” said Brand. “Fighting somebody with such an illustrious career, facing a guy that perhaps hasn’t lost a round in his entire life, is even more thrilling. We were set to face each other last November, but he was forced to pull out of the fight with an injury. Now the time has come to fight him and I can’t wait to derail his future plans. I’ll work hard to spoil them.”
“Andre Ward’s quest to become the best light heavyweight on the planet and boxing’s number one pound-for-pound fighter continues on August 6,” said David Itskowitch, COO of Boxing Roc Nation Sports. “Alexander Brand has been waiting for this fight since last year and we have no doubt he is going to enter the ring hungry for a huge victory. There’s a lot on the line in this fight for Andre who knows he can’t look past Brand towards a much discussed clash with Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey Kovalev.”
“Undefeated for the last two decades, technically brilliant and the last American man to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing, Andre Ward is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world,” said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “On August 6th, Andre continues his move up in weight to campaign in the 175-pound division against challenger Alexander Brand in front a hometown crowd at the Oracle.”
Known for his strong character and integrity outside the ring and his warrior’s instinct inside it, 32 year-old Andre Ward’s skill and talent were apparent early in his outstanding amateur career. He racked up every title in the books, culminating in a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. As the only male American boxer to claim Olympic gold in the past decade, 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 12-year-old amateur. In his most recent fight on March 26, 2016, Ward made his highly publicized 175-pound debut against Cuba’s undefeated and IBF number one rated light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera in front of frenzied crowd at Oracle Arena that including luminaries such as Michael B. Jordan, Stephen Curry, Marshawn Lynch and Draymond Green. Ward expertly managed the fight and began to unravel his opponent in the third round when he caught Barrera with a counter left hook, dropping him to the canvas. The rest was a routine victory for Ward, who scored a dominating dispatch of Barrera by way of unanimous decision after 12 rounds. Ward looks forward to a formidable challenge in Brand who is now the only obstacle in the way of his anticipated showdown against Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey Kovalev in the fall.
Bogota, Colombia native Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) turned professional at the relatively late age of 32 following a long and accomplished amateur career that saw him tally over 400 wins. He burst on to the professional scene in 2009, scoring knockout wins in his first 12 fights and winning 15 of his first 17 bouts inside the distance. His first and only professional setback came via an eight-round split decision loss to current WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Badou Jack in a 2012 fight that many ringside observers thought Brand had won. Since that fight, Brand has passed every ring test with flying colors, notching eight consecutive victories. In his last bout, Brand faced the sternest test of his career since the Jack fight when he fought a favored, undefeated and highly touted light heavyweight Medzhid Bektemirov on December 5, 2015 at Osceola Heritage Center in Kissimmee, Florida. Brand weathered an early Bektemirov blitz, including recovering from a first round knockdown, and notched a 10-round split decision victory by the scores of 98-91, 98-91 and 94-95. The 39 year-old Brand, who has held several regional title including the WBC Latino Super Middleweight and the WBC Silver Interim Super Middleweight Championships, will be looking to pull off another upset on August 6 and thrust himself into light heavyweight title contention.