As he boarded his flight in Oakland, fans were already beginning to line up, more than four hours ahead of his scheduled appearance time. After arriving at the location, he saw the long line of people waiting to meet him, many of whom had traveled a great distance to get their own autograph and photo with the Olympic champion.
“I had a tremendous time with the fans in Los Angeles at my signing. The first thing I told myself when I got injured was that I wasn’t going to disappear and disconnect from my fans so that’s why I’m doing things like this,” Ward said. “The turnout far exceeded my expectation because we only had about a week to promote it. I signed autographs for two and half hours and met people who waited in line and drove for more than two hours to see me. I apologize to all the fans lined up outside that we had to turn away, but I plan on coming back to LA soon. I’m working with my sponsor, Everlast, to put on a couple more of these events before I head into training camp for my next fight.”
Ward hopes to bring his next event to northern California and have a chance to connect with his hometown fans.
“Andre Ward has been an ideal brand ambassador for Everlast for the better part of a decade,” said Matt Cowan, Everlast EVP of Sales, Marketing and Product Development. “He has always enjoyed meeting his fans and giving back to the community, so when he approached us about doing an autograph signing, we jumped at the opportunity to organize the event with our retail partner, Sport Chalet. The crowd for this event exceeded the attendance that we anticipated so we hope to organize another fan meet and greet featuring Andre in the near future, perhaps near Andre’s home in the Bay Area.”
Ward has fully recovered from his January shoulder surgery and has resumed training with Virgil Hunter in his Oakland-area gym. He is tentatively scheduled to be back in the ring in November with more details on his opponent and the fight venue to be announced shortly.