Oscar De La Hoya says he thinks a fight between Canelo Alvarez and former two-division world champion Andre Ward would be an “incredible” match-up if ‘SOG’ were interested in staging a comeback. Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) is still young at 36-years-old, and he can easily come back if he wanted to for a mega-fight against Canelo.
In an interview this week, De La Hoya was asked about some comments that Ward had made about Canelo “ducking” fighters and losing when he stepped up against quality guys like Floyd Mayweather.
It would be interesting to see if Canelo would be willing to take on Ward if he came out of retirement. Canelo can’t say that Ward is too big for him, given that his last fight took place in the 175-pound division against Sergey Kovalev. Ward is smaller than Kovalev, and he’s the same age, and he’s been out of the ring for three years.
Andre Ward on Alvarez:
“Canelo Alvarez is strategic and always has been strategic. People don’t talk about his opponent selection. Canelo Alvarez has a lot of names on his record, but NOT a lot of prime names. The couple of prime names he fought, it was either a close fight or in the case of Floyd Mayweather, he got beat.
“So I would love to see him against Billy Joe Saunders to see how he would deal with a slick southpaw who won’t be afraid of him. I also wish to see Callum [Smith] get the fight too because he’s been clamoring for a big shot,” said Ward.
Andre brings up a good point about Canelo’s opponent selection. He’s fought a lot of older guys during his career, and when he had the chance to fight Gennadiy Golovkin when he was younger, he didn’t do it.
Canelo first fought Golovkin after he turned 35, and a lot of boxing fans saw that as a calculated move. Even then, Golovkin fought well enough to beat Canelo in the eyes of fans, but he was stuck with a 12 round draw. That was seen as a robbery by fans.
Here are the older guys Canelo has fought:
- Shane Mosley
- Floyd Mayweather
- Gennadiy Golovkin
- Ryan Rhodes
- Carlos Baldomir
- Kermit Cintron
- Miguel Cotto
Additionally, Ward said that Canelo would NEVER take a fight against the talented IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev. Ward saw Canelo’s recent choice of former WBO 175-pound champion Sergey Kovalev as a “calculated” move on his part in selecting a guy that was starting to show signs of slipping at 36-years-old.
Ward added that Canelo fighting Beterbiev would be a “stupid risk,” and he just doesn’t see him taking that kind of risk. Despite Beterbiev having TWO titles at 175, Canelo opted to fight WBO light heavyweight champion Kovalev last November, and he subsequently stopped the faded fighter in the 10th round.
De La Hoya interested in Canelo vs. Ward fight
“Andre Ward is a phenomenal fighter, and in my eyes, he retired too soon. I don’t know where he’s coming from,” said De La Hoya to Yahoo Sports News in responding to comments from Ward about his performances against Floyd Mayweather and Gennadiy Golovkin and needing to prove himself against Billy Joe Saunders.
“I think Canelo is still improving and getting better and growing as a fighter. Take this into consideration; he didn’t have an amateur career. Andre Ward was an Olympic [gold medalist for the United States]. I don’t know where he’s coming from.
“Who knows? Maybe Andre Ward wants to make a comeback, and maybe he’s calling out Canelo? You never know. I mean, strange things happen in boxing, but who knows. But imagine that. Canelo vs. Andre Ward would be incredible,” said De La Hoya.
Would De La Hoya let Canelo fight Ward if he came back? It would be a massive fight if it did take place. There would be a lot of fans backing Ward to school Canelo in the same way Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in 2013.
Well, that would be a GREAT fight if Ward were to call De La Hoya’s bluff by coming out of retirement to face Canelo Alvarez. It’s only been three years since Ward last fought, and he still looks very youthful, like someone in their late 20s and not 37.
Ward is aging well, and in all probability, he could return to the same form we saw him in his last fight against Kovalev in 2017. Ward stopped a younger version of Kovalev in the 8th round in their rematch.
Oscar open to working with other promoters
“We’ve always worked with everybody, whether it’s Bob Arum, Al Haymon, Don King, everybody. That’s who we are. We want to make the best fights possible, that’s it.
“Where there’s money to be made, there are fights to be made, and Bob Arum and Al Haymon are the perfect examples with Wilder and Tyson Fury.
“So can these fights be made with Vergil [Ortiz] and Terence Crawford and the best welterweights out there? Absolutely. I believe Bob Arum wants to make these fights. Al Haymon, he’s a businessman. He’s a smart man. Where there’s money to be made, we have to make these fights,” said De La Hoya.