ANDRE WARD is fast approaching heavyweight. The elite American retired last year but broadcast on twitter that he was weighing just under 200lbs and mysteriously divulged that he was ‘working on something special’.
What could it be? Could he be planning to go up to heavyweight, like Roy Jones did, and win a world title there? Jones, who fights in his last fight tonight, thinks Ward is indeed good enough to do that.
“I don’t see that coming,” Ward’s trainer Virgil Hunter, speaking exclusively to Boxing News, said of a move up to heavyweight. “I don’t see that happening, that it would be a waste of time to come out and just fight a heavyweight. Now if it’s [unified heavyweight champion Anthony] Joshua on the table, sure. He’d have to really consider that. But the weight gain, he walks around now at 190lbs so that’s not much of weight gain. That’s just his street weight, his walking around weight, and because he’s working out and probably not doing two [sessions] a day, his weight stays at 195lbs, 196, that’s where it really stays. So he just happened to touch that one day. Probably after a buffet or something.”
But a high profile heavyweight fight for Ward would be Tony Bellew, especially if David Haye is injured once again in the build up to his rescheduled May 5 rematch with Bellew. “He’s always staying ready. Again it would have to be an offer that makes sense and you take it from there. You never say never,” Hunter said of Ward. “It just depends on what the offer would be. I’m sure the fight would pay for itself.”
“If they put enough money on the table, you would have to consider it. I think that fight was talked about [in the past], if I’m not mistaken. Bellew didn’t like the terms so that’s why it didn’t take off,” Virgil continued. “We definitely know it would be massive over there [in the UK]. I’ve actually spoken with Eddie about that and we know whatever arena it is, it’ll be sold out. If the fight ever had taken place, it would be a massive fight over there. But if Bellew really wants to fight, I don’t know what the terms were, I don’t know what he was unhappy about. I just heard him mention it. I don’t know the particulars about it or anything… It probably should have been a fight he [Bellew] should have took.”
Hunter though insists that Ward is not working on a particular boxing comeback. “He hasn’t been in the gym. He’s been playing basketball and doing three days a week I believe with his speed coach and fitness coach out there. He just likes working out. I’m confident and positive it has nothing to do with boxing. I would do everything I could to not allow him to box again anyway,” Virgil said.
He maintains that Andre Ward, who was a dominant champion at both super-middle and light-heavyweight, has nothing left to prove in boxing. “What else is there to do?” Hunter says. “He did it his way, which was the right way. That particular offer might never come. I see him being retired, because that was the plan from day one.
“Nothing [to prove] at all. Anything else would just be a challenge and a payday. He doesn’t have to prove anything.”