Andre Ward: Beating Sergey Kovalev Will Cement My Legacy
By Victor Salazar
New York, New York- Andre Ward (30-0, 15 KO's) has all of the credentials when it comes to being at the top of the sport. He won Olympic gold, cleaned out the super middleweight division, and has been on the pound for pound list for several years.
Although he has had a very lucrative and accomplished career, he will finally make his headline debut on a pay-per-view platform this coming fall when he takes on unified light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev(30-0-1, 26 KO's) on November 19th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. HBO PPV will handle the production and distribution.
Ward's pay-per-view debut may have come later than expected, but he has no regrets with the path that he's taken.
"When it comes to pay-per-view, you have to have the right dance partner for people to pay to want to see you fight," Ward told BoxingScene.com. "If you look at Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, they had a lot of dance partners in their weight and above or below that warranted that. They worked hard for that too."
"For myself, I am happy where I am. I built a great legacy, was able to take care of my family. For me I may not have 15 pay-per-views but I am comfortable in how my career has played out. I got no complaints."
Ward went through a promotional dispute that took stalled his career for a few years and even he admits, it was tough and telling but he kept working.
"It wasn't fun," stated the former unified super middleweight champion. "It was the toughest time I gone through in my life and faith in God. It strengthened me and grew me a lot and gave me a greater appreciation of things. It was tough but necessary."
He says he never stopped working though.
"If you guys didn't see me, I was working," said Ward. "Throughout the lawsuit, we just didn't fight as often as we would have, fighting once a year as opposed to twice a year. I wasn't active as I wanted to be but I was still working."
Ward compared his plight to another fighter who was inactive for two years and recently came back this past July, Mikey Garcia. In the opinion of Ward, people should reserve judgement in certain stances that boxers take
"Mikey Garcia didn't fight for two years," explained Ward. "If a guy is taking that type of stance, the prudent thing to do is let me reserve my opinion because he's not making a living for a reason. It wasn't necessarily my case but I had to go through something similar."
Garcia said the layoff extended his career on a physical and mental level. Ward feels his time off did the same.
"I think I added a couple of years to my career," Ward said agreeing with Garcia. "I train really hard. I had injuries because of 20 years of repetition. I think I gained two or three years of my career. I needed the rest and I think he (Garcia) needed the rest. The hunger should be something you never lose and he proved it because he stayed in the gym like I did."
A win versus Kovalev would provide Ward with a very convincing argument to proclaim himself as best fighter in the world. The Olympic gold medalist says a victory in November would certainly put cement his legacy.
"I think I've accomplished a good amount. Whether its Hall of Fame or not - I don't have a vote. By winning this fight - regardless of how you feel - it cements my legacy," Ward said.