Friday, January 9, 2015

Andre Ward signs with Roc Nation

Rap mogul Jay-Z (I have never heard of this gentleman before his entry into the sports agent game) had made some noise about his new promotional group,but when they tried to use then-WBO middleweight champ Peter Quillin,Quillin turned down his largest ever purse to stay with advisor Al Haymon-even at the cost of his title belt.
Large offers to Keith Thurman and Deontay Wilder were turned down and things then quieted other than their first small card being televised on Fox Sports one (the return of Gus Johnson,bleech).

However on the night that their debut card hits television comes word that the Super Middleweight champion of the world has signed with them as Andre Ward has settled his disagreement with Goosen Promotions,an issue that has kept Ward out of the ring for most of the last three years.
Ward only holds the WBA version of the title,but he beat all that there was to beat during the Super Six tournament,so until someone beats him-Ward is the Super Middleweight champion to me.

Before I begin to write about why Roc Nation may have overpaid for Ward,let's discuss his positives.
Ward is extremely skilled technically,is arguably the most talented non Mayweather fighter in the game,was willing to fight top competition in the Super Six and could be favored against anyone under 168 pounds.
Clearly,Andre Ward is a talented fighter and has some value in the game of boxing.

Here's my problems with Andre Ward- Doesn't like to fight a lot (2 fights in last three years and none in 2014),Doesn't like to fight outside of his hometown in Oakland against top notch opposition (Only his decision win over Carl Froch in Atlantic City was outside of Oakland),is dull inside the ring and has only ever stopped one world class opponent-the soft jawed Chad Dawson,so his fights tend to be tedious and one sided decision wins.

Ward also doesn't appear to have a ton of fights waiting for him either.
The top 160 pounders have fights among themselves that they can get done-Gennady Golovkin,Canelo Alvarez,Miguel Cotto may have a mini round-robin coming up soon as well as being in position in case Floyd Mayweather wants a middleweight belt.
The top 168 pounders are fighters that Ward has already beaten (Carl Froch) or bring little mainstream recognition (James DeGale,George Groves,or the Dirrell brothers) and a move up to 175 for Sergey Kovalev brings danger,while Adonis Stevenson would have the HBO/Showtime problems to deal with.

All things considered,it seems to me that Roc Nation might have been paying a lot of money for a fighter that doesn't always like to fight,is not a draw outside of Oakland and has few guys to fight.
In other words-Look for a few Andre Ward lopsided decisions against top 10-20 style opponents in your viewing future.
In my opinion,that money might have been better spent elsewhere on more exciting fighters to build into attractions despite the ability of Andre Ward...

Back later with the Devils vs Islanders

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