The last time we saw boxing superstar Andre Ward in the ring he was busy knocking out Paul Smith of England in his hometown of Oakland.
Since then, Ward has signed with Jay-Z’s up-and-coming boxing promotion company Roc Nation, a three-fight deal with HBO and moved up to the light heavyweight division.
In fact, Ward’s debut fight as a light heavyweight was supposed to take place on the undercard of the showdown between Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez this past weekend. The 2004 Olympic gold medalist was forced to push back his return and debut in the new weight class due to a knee injury.
So when is the next time we will see the talented Ward in a boxing ring?
Ward recently broke down his future plans with Today’ Knockout in an exclusive one-on-one interview.
“We should get a new date any day now. I think February mid-February late February is the target date. Obviously be on the lookout I recently signed a three-fight deal with HBO so they are working to get me a new date right now. I’m in shape I was in camp and I feel good I just want to maintain this and look forward to the new date and when we announce it.”
With the switch in weight classes, Ward is on a direct collision course with current light heavyweight kingpin Sergey Kovalev. Both Roc Nation Sports (Ward’s promoter) and Main Events (Kovalev’s promoter) have agreed publicly that a fight between the two undefeated superstars will happen as long as both fighters get past their upcoming fights in the early 2016.
A big fight with Kovalev is exactly what Ward wants and needs to increase his profile after being virtually inactive over the last three years due to an array of issues.
“I want to be a multi division champion I talked about that year ago,” Ward said. “He’s just a guy standing in the way it’s not personal but I want that light heavyweight title and I’ve been prepared for that long before we made this announcement we haven’t just start watching Kovalev. We been having our eye on him knowing that I would move up and that would be something we would do.”
With Floyd “Money” Mayweather out of the picture due to his recent retirement, many of the top fighters in the world have their eye on being recognized as the consensus top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Count Ward, who has been high on those same lists, as someone eager to take that top spot.
But for his goal to become reality, he knows he must get a career validating win over Kovalev to cement his place at the top of boxing’s pound-for-pound list.
“I’m working to be the best,” Ward said. “There’s a vacancy at the top spot, there’s a lot of young fighters saying they got next in line and I’m the next guy. But unfortunately it’s not that easy you got to work to get there and that is what I’m focused on doing.”