Andre Ward v Alexander Brand
This week sees the second instalment of the build up towards November’s mega fight of Sergey Kovalev V Andre Ward.
Last Month we saw Sergey Kovalev defeat Isaac Chilemba and this week we see Andre Wards return to the ring. His opponent will be super middleweight Alexander Brand who is being brought up from super middleweight. The fight will be taking place in Oakland, California and will be broadcasted on HBO and Boxnation.
My thoughts on the fight are relatively simple if Andre ward turns up focussed it will be a very comfortable victory for him and agree with some industry commentators in saying it is a total mismatch.
Im very very disappointed in the choice of opponent and let down that ward has chosen such a limited opponent. There were discussions between Andre Ward and Sean Monaghan but it seems that Ward and Roc nation were trying to pay hard ball with Monaghan. Below are quotes from Monaghan talking about the situation in regards to his dealings with Ward ( taken from ring tv ):
“Basically Roc Nation (Sports, promoter of Ward) asked Top Rank, would I be interested to fight (Ward) in his hometown on short notice. I instantly said yes. I found out the next day that they were offering half of what Sullivan Barrera got to fight Ward in his last fight, which I didn’t feel was a great offer, being that I’m 27-0 and Barrera was 17-0. They said it was a final offer, so I accepted. Then (Roc Nation) asked what kind of gloves I wanted to wear. I said I really don’t care; I guess Everlast because that’s what I always wear. They said no to that. Then they said all sponsors I wanted had to be OK’ed by them. We agreed on that.” “The deal-breaker was that if I pulled out of the fight on short notice, Top Rank had to pay Roc Nation $700,000. But if Ward, who has pulled out of fights on short notice before, pulled out, Top Rank couldn’t sue and had to pay for all their own expenses. It basically was unacceptable; the money sucked and they never negotiated anything.” “I believe Ward’s people didn’t want him in a rough fight three months before fighting (IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight titlist Sergey) Kovalev,” mused Monaghan. “They had their guy in mind: Brand from Colombia. I think HBO didn’t want him and told Ward to fight me. He thinks the outreach to make a Ward versus Monaghan bout was not 100 percent (and) was more so done to create leverage to get Brand Ko’ed.”
Although I do take most comments in boxing with a pinch of salt these days but with these comments I tend to see the logic behind them and agree in parts certainly about Ward having a better chance of securing a knockout . However the if the bulk of the article about roc nation being difficult and controlling is true then it’s a sign to me that it is the fighter is in control and letting egos dictate proceedings. If Monahan was not selected there are many other capable legit light heavyweights in the division and one which springs to mind and is virtually on the doorstep is Vyacheslav Shabranskyy. California based, recognised as one of the best up and coming men in the division, extensive amateur and would have been a fantastic fight to see.
However it makes the anticipation build for the fight of the year in my eyes: Kovalev v Ward a true must see event.