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.
“Andre Ward is one of boxing’s most talented and skillful superstars,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “We are thrilled that he will be with us in Canastota to celebrate 25 years of preserving boxing history.”
Fighting out of Oakland, CA, Ward captured light heavyweight gold at the 2004 Olympic Games and turned pro the same year. In 2009 he entered the Super Six World Boxing Classic super middleweight tournament. In his first bout, he stopped Mikkel Kessler (TKO 11) to win the WBA title. Successful defenses over Allan Green (W 12), Sakio Bika (W 12), and Arthur Abraham (W 12) followed. In the Super Six finale in 2011, Ward captured the tournament championship and the WBC and vacant The Ring titles with a 12-round win over Carl Froch. Under the tutelage of trainer Virgil Hunter, Ward has compiled an undefeated pro record of 27-0 (14 KOs) that includes wins over Edison Miranda, Chad Dawson and Edwin Rodriguez. Widely regarded as one of boxing’s top pound-for-pound stars, Ward was named 2011’s “Fighter of the Year” by the Boxing Writers Association of America, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and The Ring. Outside of the ring, Ward serves as boxing commentator on HBO.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be included in such a historic induction weekend. I have a great deal of respect for the boxers in the 2014 Hall of Fame class and hope to follow in their footsteps after my career is over. I’m excited to join all the boxing greats that will be in town for Hall of Fame weekend and be a part of the festivities,” said Ward.
Events planned for the weekend include a banquet, a Night of Puerto Rican Pride, parade, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, cocktail party and the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the Class of 2014. Inductees include two division champion “The Pride of Wales” Joe Calzaghe, six division world champion “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya, three division champion Felix “Tito” Trinidad, promoter Barry Hearn, referee Richard Steele, journalist Graham Houston and photographer Neil Leifer. Posthumous inductees in the Old-Timer, Pioneer and Non-Participant categories will also be honored.
An impressive list of over 40 boxing greats from the United States and abroad, including “Irish” Micky Ward, Erik Morales, George Chuvalo, John John Molina, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Ruben Olivares, Vito Antuofermo and Pipino Cuevas, are scheduled to participate in weekend activities.