Andre Ward stock has skyrocketed to the undisputed top spot of a second weight class as well as the pound-4-pound list. Ward walked into the Mandalay Bay facing the critics and a noticeably bigger top five 5 pound -for-pound type guy that many felt handed Ward his first loss professional or amateur in two decades. Ward walked out of the ring with a huge paycheck, his belts intact and having replaced Floyd Mayweather as the undisputed best boxer on planet earth and the face of the sport.
Andre Ward went absolutely beast mode while beast mode (Marshawn Lynch) was actually sitting ringside. After the first seven rounds produced a fairly even bout on the scorecards, that again was extremely difficult to score. Kovalev was landing a snapping, stiff jab that was bothering Ward that had the same effect as lead right hands.While Ward was getting to the inside and landing hooks to the head and body of Kovalev. By the 8th round, there was a clear shift in the momentum of the bout, it became clear that this time scorecards weren’t going to matter. Ward was getting stronger and Kovalev was tiring. If Kovalev was still winning the battle or at least staying even in the battle Ward was absolutely seizing control of the war. Tony Meeks said it was legal as the Russian looked for help and SOG continued to pour it on, with a crushing right hand that snapped Kovalev’s head back and sent him reeling. Ward then unleashed huge, massive body shots which mirrored Rocky Balboa chopping down his huge Russian opponent and the Soviet system. Tony Meeks watched closely and Ward continued to wind up and deliver massive body shots and Kovalev continued to look up for help from the ref and Meeks finally did so and stopped Wards assault and saved the unresponsive Russian who was doubled over in pain and slumped in the ropes.
Ward, like Mayweather, will now be in a spot no matter who he fights he will be the A side. Ward can call out who he wants when he wants and demand whatever split of the purse he wants. Ward is a much more humble man with a much smaller ego than Money Mayweather, but we will see if Ward’s new status affects that at all. There is plenty of talent at the 175lb weight limit. The obvious fight would be a unification match with WBC titleholder Adonis Stevenson. Ward could also broaden his fan base and take on the hard hitting tough nosed New Yorker Joe Smith Jr. who ended Bernard Hopkins, Another option at light heavy would be the Colombian, Storm Alvarez. Outside of Stevenson none of these fights will have a massive impact on Ward’s legacy.
Ward also could meet up at a catchweight or have one of the top super middleweights move up to light heavyweight.The 168lbs WBO champ Gilberto Ramirez could have some intrigue but Ramirez lacks the name recognization and would do nothing for Ward’s pocket or legacy. Ward could earn a massive pay day and sell out a huge arena on the other side of the Atlantic and outclass some of the top 168 pounders such as George Groves and James DeGale, Chris Eubank or Callum Smith. If Smith beats Anthony Dirrell that bout could have some luster but outside of that Ward would simply be taking those fights for the big pay day that can be earned by fighting a UK fighter in the UK
Wards only other option would be to move up. He is already small for the 175lb weight class moving up and winning a Cruiserweight strap against a cruiser no one has no one has ever heard of is not a smart risk. Meaning the only high-risk high reward fight for Ward would be to move up to the heavyweight division and take on Parker, a fight that Ward would clearly out skill his opponent, but would potentially be giving up 50 pounds.