News | Jun 17 2015

Andre Ward almost retired from boxing but now promises a ‘rude awakening’ for Paul Smith

Andre Ward came close to hanging up his gloves during his hiatus, writes George Gigney
Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward undercard
Andre Ward  |  Khristopher Sandifer/Roc Nation Sports

ANDRE WARD almost retired during his 19-month layoff, but insists Paul Smith is in for a shock when they fight on Saturday night.

The unbeaten super-middleweight has not fought since outpointing an overmatched Edwin Rodriguez in November 2013.

He makes his return to the ring on Saturday night in his hometown of Oakland, California against two-time world title challenger Smith at a catchweight of 172lbs, but admits he almost left the sport for good.