Andre Ward: "I think Mayweather is going to dominate this fight and I would not be surprised if he stopped Canelo"
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Andre Ward: "I think Mayweather is going to dominate this fight and I would not be surprised if he stopped Canelo"
By Jenna J, (w/ Ruben) ON THE ROPES BOXING RADIO, Doghouse Boxing (Aug 30, 2013)

Andre Ward
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We are now entering the month of September and the big boxing match that everyone is looking forward to, Mayweather-Alvarez, is only a few weeks away. With all the opinions surrounding this fight, I had a chance to get one from the man widely considered as the number 2 pound for pound fighter in the world, Andre "S.O.G" Ward.

In part 2 of my "On The Ropes" interview with Andre Ward, the HBO boxing analyst gave his thoughts on the highly anticipated match up between two of boxing's biggest stars. Besides giving his prediction on that fight, Ward gave his thoughts on the division he fights in and if he thinks certain fights like a potential Mayweather-Ward will escape him because of it. Additionally Ward talks about his legacy in boxing and whether or not he thinks injuries could prevent him from reaching his goals in the sport. Here is what Andre Ward had to say.

Jenna J: Andre you have been a commentator for HBO for awhile now and I want to get your view on something that a lot of fans are talking about, the battle between the networks. HBO has stopped working with Goldenboy, and because of that it seems that Showtime now has most of the big named fighters, and fights on their network. What do you make out of this situation?

Andre Ward: Well I think from both sides, I think at the end of the day regardless who's at fault, I can imagine from knowing what I know and hearing what I hear just from watching from a distance probably how things got to that point, but I understand business and guys have to make tough business decisions sometimes but I think for me as a fighter, and more so as a fan, I think it's unfortunate because there are so many great match up's that could be made on either network and for things to be kind off split right down the middle, and really not down the middle because Al Haymon has signed the majority of the fighters, you know he's bought up the board so to speak, he's bought up the monopoly board, he's got a lot of pieces. So from a numbers stand point there is probably more guys at Showtime.

It's just unfortunate, I don't know who is wrong, Showtime is really making great match up's over there, but we know there are other great match ups that won't be made because of the dispute and the issue they got going on. At the end of the day, I don't see this lasting another 3-4-5-6 years, at some point someone is going to have to humble themselves, pick up the phone and try and hopefully restore the situation so the fans can get these match ups they are supposed to see, not just the match ups that are exclusively on Showtime or exclusively on HBO. Both sides fighting each other for the betterment of the sport.

Jenna J: I want to get your analyst view on a upcoming bout Andre, it's the super fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. I would like your thoughts on the match up, the catch weight of 152lbs and who you think will end up winning the fight and why.

Andre Ward: At the end of the day Canelo has a fan base, and I don't want to say it's easier, but for guys the have countries behind them, even before they fought the best, you can have a fan base behind them, and that's what Canelo has. Canelo has fought good fighters, but I personally feel like Canelo is going to be out of his league. Now he always has a punchers chance, he seems to be a good puncher, but he is going to realize really quickly when he steps in the ring with Floyd it's going to be a whole different level.

The speed he is going to have to fight at is going to be 10 times faster then he has ever had to fight at and the problem is Floyd does not get tired, and we have seen Canelo fade in fights before, and having to take that extra 2 pounds, people think it's just 2 pounds, but when you are already struggling to make 154 that extra 2 pounds is a lot, he is going to put on a lot of weight, but he's not going to put on the weight right in 24 hours, so he's going to feel the fact that he's stripped his body and cut the muscle to get to 152, and I just think Floyd is going to have to watch out for one big shot like he does every fight and all fighters do. I think Floyd is going to dominate this fight and I would not be surprised if he stopped Canelo.

Jenna J : Andre do you think the biggest shame of your career is that you’re not a little lighter, a little bit smaller, that you can’t have that fight with Floyd because you’re just in a weight class that he can never reach. I know you said a long while ago on twitter, 164 lbs when he was talking a little smack. Do you kind of have that regret that you can’t have that huge fight with Floyd?

Andre Ward: I mean, to be honest with you, I’ve thought about it when fans bring it up, or when somebody like yourself brings it up but it’s not something I think about a lot. I’m just different, I respect the guy that I’ve grown up watching and have respected. You know my three favorite fighters for a very long time have been; Floyd Mayweather, Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins. 

I respect those guys, but keep in mind I am a fighter so if I had the opportunity to fight any of those guys, I’m gonna rise to the occasion and get ready to fight because I’m gonna do what I have to do. I mean it would be a big event and I would definitely be up for it but I’m trying to create my own legacy and I’m trying to establish myself and continue to cement my legacy. It’s not really something I’m dreaming about.

Jenna J: You mentioned your own legacy, that’s very important, a legacy to a fighter is the most important thing. Do you think with everything that’s been going on, obviously fighters get injured, it’s a part of boxing. You mentioned you’ve been boxing for over 20 years, do you think that maybe your true legacy you can’t reach where you truly want to go if you just can’t keep your body where you like it, keep yourself healthy and get those big fights?

Andre Ward: No I’m not worried about that at all, and just to touch on the injury, again I think this is another misconception., it’s that you have some writers who look for a reason to criticize and they’ll say “Oh he’s not durable.” You have to understand that it’s one thing if I continue to have injuries that stop me from becoming world champion or stop me from defending my title, that would be one thing but you have to understand that I’m a two time world champion, I think I have five or six title defenses.

I’ve been boxing for 10 years and this is my first major boxing injury, when I hurt my knee that was doing something that I don’t do which is play basketball. So you have nicks and bruises, I fracture my hand and this and that, but this is the first major boxing injury in the ring that I’ve ever had in my whole career and I think when you look at the way that I train and you look at the amount of time I put in the sport, man I think with the handful of injuries that I’ve had, I’m not complaining, I’m not complaining at all. 

It’s unfortunate, I don’t like it, it doesn’t feel good but I’m telling you, it’s just with the internet and all these different websites and different things, guys say things and they shoot things out and if you don’t really think for a second you take that as truth and take that as a fact. But if you really think about it this is my first major injury, I mean I’ve had postponements with a cut and I can’t help that, that happens to anybody, but this is my first major boxing injury. 

Jenna J: Andre, it seems there is a lack of big fights in your weight class right now, how do that think that will effect you going forward. 

Andre Ward: I’ve been fortunate to go through a whole division and win the Super Six and what I’m not going to allow to happen is for me, from a network, from a whoever standpoint to be penalized for going through a whole division. I shouldn’t be penalized for dominance, I should be promoted for dominance. That’s the way I look at it, I think it’s just a perspective. 

So if my career ends today of course I’m gonna be disappointed because I feel there’s a lot more I want to accomplish but I’ve accomplished a lot. You know I’m a gold medalist, two time world champion, six title defenses, I went through a great tournament, came and fought a great champion in Chad Dawson, beat him, man I’ve accomplished a lot in my 10 year career and I feel like the best is yet to come. 

So when it’s all said and done I feel like my legacy is gonna be what it’s supposed to be. It may not be Floyd’s, it may not be this guys or that guys but it’s gonna be what it’s supposed to be, and I know that I’ve never cheated this sport, I’ve never cut corners, I don’t play with this sport so I’m gonna continue to go hard and go strong but if my body say’s “hey this is enough” then it’s enough or if I decide to walk away then  that’s what it is but I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished this far, very pleased.

Click play on the audio player to listen to the Andre Ward interview in its entirety. - "On The Ropes", with Jenna J.

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