Andre Ward Meets the Press

By Robert Ecksel on March 18, 2016
Andre Ward Meets the Press
Karo Murat is no Andre Ward, even an inactive Andre Ward, as Barrera is soon to find out.

Ward was asked if he saw similarities between Sullivan Barrera and Sergey Kovalev, a question he struggled to take seriously…

On Saturday, March 26, at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, Oakland’s favorite son Andre Ward (28-0, 15 KOs) is moving up to light heavyweight to get it on with undefeated Sullivan Barrera (17-0, 12 KOs), from Miami, Florida, by way of Cuba.

The fight will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing starting at 9:45 PM ET/PT. 

The final teleconference call was held Thursday afternoon and Ward was as articulate as ever. When asked about fighting Barrera, he said, “It’s tough to get into what I want to exploit and capitalize on. But he’s a solid fighter. He’s a good fighter. He seems to be technically sound. He seems to have a good pedigree. And he’s got a good team. So we’ve taken him very seriously like we do every opponent. And, you know, he’s a formidable opponent for sure.”

We’ll see how formidable Barrera is when he steps into the ring on the 26th. He has a nice win over Karo Murat in his last fight, which also happens to be Barrera’s first 12-rounder. But Murat is no Andre Ward, even an inactive Andre Ward, as Barrera is soon to find out.

“I mean, time will tell,” said Ward. “You know I feel he’s going to see the difference in the fight. No question about that. You know, you can watch film, your team can tell you what they want to tell you. You can talk. But at the end of the day, when you get in there, that’s a different story, man. I’ve said that my whole career. I think that’s one of my biggest strengths. For whatever reason what happens in that ring, guys don’t see it on film. When they get in there and figure out everything that’s going on the fight’s over.”

Ward was asked to make a prediction, which he had no intention of doing. He was also asked if he saw similarities between Barrera and Sergey Kovalev, a question Ward struggled to take seriously.

“Not really,” he said. “Not really. I don’t think they’re similar at all. I don’t really see any similarities. Different body types, different styles, just different altogether.”

A couple of writers asked Ward about the Olympics allowing professional boxers to compete, which makes a mockery of amateur athletics, which can ill afford to be mocked. And with the Zika virus rampant in Brazil, an optional trip to Rio would seem less than desirable at the present time.

“I had to read it a couple of times over to make sure I was reading what I thought I was reading,” Ward said. “I was surprised and intrigued at the same time. You know I was like, wow. My publicist, she’s heavy into USA Boxing. She’s been a focal point in USA Boxing for a long time. So I picked up the phone and I was like man, did you see this? She was like yes, it’s legitimate. You know we’re trying to get more information.

“So I think that’s where I am with it… Just wanting to know more about the process and what that would actually look like. But I’m very interested and I think it’s a very interesting proposition.”

Changing gears in a big way, Ward was asked what it was like appearing in “Creed” with Sylvester Stallone and, if the opportunity arose, would he would do it again.

“Absolutely,” said Ward. “I communicated that to my team and I hope I get some other opportunities because even more so than just the exposure and the opportunity, the process was really fun.”

Ward was asked about Stallone, what is like, and if talked a lot about boxing.

“He’s a regular dude from what I can tell,” Ward said. “He’s a regular guy. We knew each other for years. You know I’m not a guy that’s going to be like hey, Sylvester Stallone. Like I just fall back you know, and just kind of play my role. And if he speaks I’ll speak or maybe I’ll wave. And he came up and was like, ‘Hey Andre, how you doing?’

“We just talked. We sat there and talked. And on the Red Carpet we talked for a long period of time. I talked to his brother. He’s an amazing man. And as storied as his career and his life has been, he seems to be just a regular person, which is really cool to see.”

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  1. No10Count 11:40am, 03/21/2016

    Sounds like Ward would jump at the chance to win another gold.
    Though I doubt it will happen as fighters would have to fight. They couldn’t pick and choose.  Which is what I get from Wards “Just wanting to know more about the process and what that would actually look like”.

    The Olympics are total garbage.
    A mockery of it’s original intent.

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