Andre Ward is one of the best commentators and ringside observers out there today. A master technician in the ring at both super-middleweight and light-heavyweight in his day, Ward never lost a fight. Now he prides himself on never missing a thing when he’s calling or watching a fight. Case in point: last night’s light-heavyweight battle between two-belt ruler Artur Beterbiev and game challenger Marcus Browne. Most of us were most impressed by Beterbiev’s performance and victory. Yet not Ward.
Taking to social media both during and then immediately after Beterbiev had finished his night’s work in the ninth round when he decked Browne with a two-punch combo to the body, Ward had the following things to say:
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) December 18, 2021
“Beterbiev looks very beatable tonight,” Ward wrote
And then, “I don’t know if it’s his age or the layoffs… but Beterbiev saw a lot of shots that he could not get off tonight. You will see more guys trying to fight him now.”
So did Ward see things we never saw, or did he see things that were not there? Beterbiev looked as good as ever in the opinion of plenty of people, and we cannot dismiss how his vision was seriously affected and compromised due to that horrific cut smack in the middle of his face. Did Beterbiev fail to get shots off last night? Maybe Ward was thinking about what he would have done had he met Beterbiev when he was in his prime. But Ward was an exceptional fighter. Have any of today’s rival 175 pounders got a real shot of beating Beterbiev? Maybe the Russian tank looked a little bit off-par to you, as he did to Ward?
I don’t know if it’s his age or the layoffs…but Beterbiev saw a lot of shots that he could not get off tonight. You will see more guys trying to fight him now 😉.
— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) December 18, 2021
If Ward is correct in his belief that more guys will want to fight 36 year old Beterbiev now, this could prove to be only a good thing. We want to see Beterbiev, 17-0(17) face the best at his weight, and Beterbiev wants it too. Maybe Canelo Alvarez will have seen some of the things Ward spotted last night and maybe he will be one of the guys wanting to fight Beterbiev now. Let’s hope so.
I for one think Beterbiev is still at the top of his game and that he would beat ANY light-heavyweight out there, along with Canelo IF the Mexican superstar agrees to take the fight (which I do not think he will). But of course, far more people will be listening to what Ward has to say.
What about you: do you agree with Ward – did Beterbiev look “very beatable” in last night’s fight with Browne?