After a protracted legal battle with Goosen Promotions, WBA Super World middleweight champion Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KOs) signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports on Friday, which reportedly ends his deal with Goosen Promotions. This means that the soon to be 31-year-old Ward should get a lot busier in terms of fighting on a more regular basis.
Ward’s fought only fought twice in the last three years, and he didn’t fight at all in 2014.
In what turned out to be a somewhat lackluster year for the sport, there were some bright spots for boxing fans in 2014. The validation of stars like Sergey Kovalev, Terence Crawford and Nicholas Walters. The rejuvenation of Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao. The continued rise of Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. This writer decided to share some of his favorites from the past twelve months below (check out the videos to see more). Let’s take a look at the pugilistic best of the year that was.
Montero’s “Rising Star”: Nicholas Walters
The “Axe Man” is one boxer who truly lives up to this nickname. He kicked off his year by chopping down former titlist Vic Darchinyan in Macau, then chopped down former pound for pound star Nonito Donaire in Los Angeles. The bilingual bomber can also box, as he showed a top-notch jab in his dismantling of Donaire. Fighting in a loaded featherweight division, the Jamaican native built most of his career in Panama and is fluent in Spanish. A consummate professional with a humble attitude and plenty of charisma, the sky is the limit for Nicholas Walters. Continue reading
(Note: As part of a week long breakdown, boxing scribe Vivek “Vito” Wallace analyzes where today’s top fighters stand, and whether or not 2015 could be the year many of them fall. This week long analysis will cover over 30 fighters from around the world)
Throughout Boxing history we’ve seen drugs, alcohol, crime, and a host of other demons strip precious time away from distracted talents which they could never get back. In the case of Andre Ward, 2014 proved that even for a focused “Son of God” the ills of the sport can be far too much of a cross to bear. For Ward, a stiff game of politics has been more of a test outside the ring than his incredible talent ever allowed inside of it. Continue reading
Marc T. (Athens, GA): I’m tired of hearing all of the talk about Golovkin and how he’s “the most feared man in Boxing”. Andre Ward’s team sent HBO a direct statement saying that he wants the fight, & Golovkin responded in saying he’s basically “not ready” for Ward. What are your thoughts about GGG and this whole “most feared” reputation being built around him?
Vivek W. (ESB): For starters, I think there’s a slight hint of truth to it. Strong promotion and network support can be credited for this growing cult following, slash, bootleg version of an almost Tyson-like mystique. When we look back at Tyson, many of us were young enough to buy into the ‘Boogeyman’ persona that he embodied; but as adults when you look back, it’s very easy to note that most of the men he destroyed had no chance against you and I on two weeks training, let alone him! Our entire perception of Tyson – (one of my personal favorites) – vanished when he faced someone who couldn’t be intimidated and wouldn’t be denied. There lies both my question and answer relative to GGG. Continue reading
I was deeply saddened to learn the news of Dan Goossen’s passing early this morning. My thoughts and prayers have been with Dan and his family since I received the news of his illness last week. While Dan and I recently had our professional struggles, he was a great man, father and husband. He will be greatly missed by the boxing community. I will continue to keep the Goossen family in my prayers.
ESPN Statement on the Passing of Boxing Promoter Dan Goossen
Longtime boxing promoter Dan Goossen, of Goossen Promotions, who passed away Monday, promoted six events televised on ESPN networks in 2014 and has been a longtime promoter for ESPN’s boxing coverage. Most notably, Goossen promoted the WBC World Heavyweight Championship between Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola on ESPN in May. Continue reading
(OAKLAND, CALIF.) – Reigning super middleweight champion and number two pound-for-pound boxer in the world Andre Ward (Oakland, Calif.) has been nominated for a 2014 ESPY award following his outstanding return to the ring last year. Ward is one of five nominees in the Best Fighter category, which includes athletes in both boxing and UFC. It is the second ESPY nomination in three years for Ward who was also honored for his outstanding performance in the ring in 2012. Continue reading
Max Kellerman of HBO offered up the idea that IBF/WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch can always look in the direction of WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward if he wants to get a good opponent in the near future. Ward still has a victory over Froch from 2011 that Froch has nothing to try and avenge. Ward has open to a fight against Froch for the past three years, and he’s still willing to fight him if he’s feeling up to it. Froch has been feasting lately on the unproven George Groves, and he’s not fought a quality fighter for some time since he was beaten by Ward in the Super Six tournament. Continue reading
The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced today reigning WBA / The Ring super middleweight world champion and pound-for-pound standout Andre “S.O.G.” Ward will be in Canastota to help the Hall of Fame celebrate its 25th anniversary during Hall of Fame Weekend festivities June 5-8th. Continue reading
When talking with a friend of mine; a serious boxing-head, the conversation managed to swing around to how Andre ‘Son of God’ Ward (27-0-0) is still marginalized despite garnering quite glowing praise from critics around the world. We got on to this subject as we were discussing the upcoming super-middleweight clash between ‘Saint’ George Groves (19-1-0) and Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch (32-2-0), and how the British public’s interest in the fight had greatly elevated the perceived status of the fight; already supplemented by the fact that there are two World titles on the line. Now, as a massive George Groves fan, I am delighted that he was made mandatory for the IBF title and has been successful in forcing a rematch; the question that lingers in my head is why these two fighters are having two title fights in the space of a year, whilst Ward languishes. Continue reading
The Pugilist KOrner: Bill Caplan, Virgil Hunter, Mike Stafford, Joe DeGuardia, Marvin Cordova Jr, and Alex Martin
Tonight at 9PM EST/6PM PST, “JEK III Productions” presents another two-hour, six guest edition of “The Pugilist KOrner”!!
The exclusive presentation will feature Hall of Fame publicist Bill Caplan, elite level trainer Virgil Hunter, expert boxing coach Mike Stafford, passionate fight promoter Joe DeGuardia, talented Welterweight prospect Marvin Cordova Jr, and undefeated 147 pound prospect Alex Martin.
Pugilist KOrner listener line: 718-506-1506 Continue reading