Newly minted light heavyweight, Andre “S.O.G.” Ward returns to action this weekend to continue his short run of the division.
Returning to his hometown of Oakland, California, Ward (29-0) hopes to continue his dominance against Colombian fighter, Alexander Brand (25-1). The 12-round, 175-pound affair was originally slated for last November but the fight was postponed when Ward sustained an injury in training.
Ward, 32, is the definition of a boxing success story, triumphing at every level of competition and maintaining a perfect record as a professional. He boasts a stellar amateur career and won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
“I came up a little different in my Olympic days," said Ward at the open workout." Virgil Hunter is the type of coach who will get you away from everybody and turn your phone off. We didn’t have snapchat in 2004, we didn’t have Instagram in 2004. Understand why you’re there, take it seriously and everything else will fall in place."
After basking in a seven-year reign as super middleweight world champion, with some layoffs due to disputes with his former promoter, the late Dan Goossen, Ward stepped up in weight after being unable to secure bigger fights like Gennady “GGG” Golovkin at Middleweight.
The 39-year old Brand is a late bloomer who turned professional at age 32 racking up more than 400 wins as an amateur. Currently on an 8-fight winning streak, he won his first 17 pro fights, 12 by knockout with only one loss in 2012.
“I know enough about Brand. He’s got everything to gain and nothing to lose. He swings for the fences with every punch. He’s a dangerous guy to fight," said Ward.
In March, Ward beat Sullivan Barrera by unanimous decision. If he continues his winning ways, Ward is expected to seek another world title by fighting dangerous light heavyweight champ Sergey Kovalev in the fall, mostly November barring injury. That is the classic battle everyone wants to see and one that could catapult both fighters to legendary status.
Kovalev just won a unanimous decision victory in his native country of Russia against Isaac Chilemba last month retaining his WBO, IBF and WBA Super light heavyweight titles. Kovalev has been on the hunt for Adonis Stevenson who has the only remaining belt, the WBC light heavyweight title.
Watch Andre Ward take on Alexander Brand live from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California on HBO at 10:35 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT).
UFC Fight Night 92: Alex Caceres vs. Yair Rodriguez
After a three-fight losing streak at bantamweight, Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres (12-8) returned to the featherweight division winning two fights and is now headlining a UFC fight night main event.
He's facing Yair Rodriguez (8-1), a 23-year old Mexican featherweight who woke up the masses when he knocked out Andre Fili with an electrifying head kick. At UFC 197.
Catch all the action this Saturday live from the Vivant Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on Fox Sports 1 at 10pm EST / 7pm PST.