Andre Ward Continues His Rise In Boxing World After Saturday's TKO
Ward didn't just win his fight Saturday night, he won in style. He may not possess a crowd-pleasing style but after the 10th round the crowd was roaring; biting their teeth as to when the next show will be.
His demolition (or should I say surgery) of Chad Dawson not only won Ward a whole new legion of fans, but has now put his legacy into a whole new different stratosphere. He even had the courage after the fight to call out legendary, now retired, undefeated Welshman Joe Calzaghe.
Coming into the fight Ward held the WBA, WBC and The Ring Super Middleweight (168 pounds) titles. Multiple belts in each division have become somewhat of a joke in this era of boxing; however, The Ring title signifies a universally accepted champion among all of the boxing sanctioning organizations.
Ward had beat the elite of super middleweight division during the Super Six tournament. He steamrolled through tough opposition such as Arthur Abraham, Mikkel Kessler, and Carl Froch, picking up the WBA and WBC straps along the way. A trophy at the end was the cherry on top.
The 2004 Olympic gold medalist was only missing one thing on his résumé: a clean, crowd-pleasing knockout. The fact that the technical knockout came against the undisputed light-heavyweight (175 pounds) champion of the world was nothing less than spectacular. A former solid No. 5 or No. 6 on the pound-for-pound list, Andre Ward easily now holds the No. 3 spot behind only Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.
Showtime put in a lot of hard work and money in developing Ward's name. Now they must be very disappointed that their investment, one that has gained great value, is now in the hands of the ever-growing HBO. Interestingly enough, it was just announced that HBO and ESPN have agreed to work together to bring boxing back to the heights of yesteryear. ESPN is undoubtedly the world's leading sports media outlet, and a partnership with HBO is exactly what boxing needed.
Father Time is catching up with both Mayweather and Pacquiao, and boxing will need a new man to be its poster boy. Will it be Andre Ward? Saturday's fight was a clear indication that he very well may have what it takes.