Recently newly crowned light-heavyweight champion Andre Ward announced that he may retire and hang up his gloves for good.
This has come by surprise to many who would expect him to go straight into a rematch with former champion Sergey Kovalev in 2017.
Especially given the fact since Ward edged out a close decision over Sergey, and not to mention there’s a contracted rematch clause that his promoter negotiated during the first fight.
What’s the cause for Ward’s change of heart?
Critics will say he got a gift the first time and he’s trying to protect his undefeated record. I think that’s the furthest from the truth though, in all honesty.
Being a fighter that can make capable adjustments during and after a fight, he probably feels more confident going into the rematch if anything.
Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva exercised the rematch clause immediately after the first fight so one would suspect that will need to be honored.
Both teams should be in deep negotiations at this point, meaning that Ward’s pre-retirement talks are more than likely just a negotiation tactic.
I would expect him to fight at least a couple more times, at the very least.
Of course there’s the Kovalev rematch sometime next year that he must get through first though before any other matches can even be thought about.
If he’s able to beat Kovalev without any doubt in the rematch, then there is also a possibility of a future world title unification match with Adonis Stevenson who holds the WBC title at 175lbs.
However finding opponents after that could become difficult.
There are not too many any other big names at the light-heavyweight division after that. The next division cruiserweight has never been known for big names either.
He may retire do to lack of big fights, but only time will tell, unless of course he’d ever consider moving back down to super-middleweight if a possible Gennady Golovkin catchweight fight could be made there.
Time will tell.