Today, undefeated light heavyweight champion, Andre “S.O.G.” Ward has decided to hang up the gloves. He announced his retirement on his website via a statement and Jordan brand video.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED https://t.co/FTBBwubLsd https://t.co/dtQppu8pAZ
The announcement was a surprise to many. Fans have gotten used to seeing Ward as an HBO commentator and also his mentorship of young Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson. Ward co-manages Stevenson with music and sports impresario James “J” Prince.
Ward spoke to the crew at ESPN “First Take” to further explain his decision:
After announcing his retirement, @andreward tells us why he decided to make the decision. https://t.co/xzqb2TLsKQ
His retirement rocks the current pound-for-pound rankings, where for many Ward was at the top of the pyramid. This move places Terence Crawford at the top of the list with Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux following closely behind.
Ward leaves the ring with an undefeated record of 32-0 with 16 KOs. His body count includes two wins over Sergey Kovalev with one by TKO, a TKO over “Bad” Chad Dawson and wins over Carl Froch and Sakio Bika among many others.
HBO Executive Vice President, Peter Nelson issued a statement:
“Andre Ward ends his boxing career as he only knew how to live it — as a champion at the top. To watch Ward was to marvel at constant mastery of craft in the ring, to say nothing of his being the consummate role model outside it. The Hall of Fame will be lucky to have him.
“We wish Andre and his family much success and happiness as he explores new opportunities, including with our own HBO family as one of the expert analysts on our broadcast team.
“It was a privilege for HBO to serve as the television platform for many of his landmark achievements in the sport he loves.”
Ward retires as the WBA (undisputed), IBF, and WBO light heavyweight champion and former WBA (Super), WBC, The Ring and lineal super middleweight champion.