The now former WBC super-middleweight champion Andre Ward has spectacularly turned down the opportunity to retain his status as ‘Emeritus Champion’ and fight the winner of the upcoming vacant title bout between Sakio Bika and Marco Periban.
Ward was removed from his position as WBC title holder at 168lbs after undegoing surgery on his shoulder recently and has now released a statement on his decision to sever ties with the World Boxing Council.
“After careful thought and consideration with my family and team, I have decided to relinquish my WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Emeritus Title,” stated Ward.
“As has been recently reported, the WBC elected to strip me of my world title belt, making the upcoming bout between Sakio Bika and Marco Antonio Periban for the vacant Super Middleweight Title. After consultation with my manager James Prince and attorney Josh Dubin, it is my belief that the WBC did not have the right to strip me of my World Title and name me Champion Emeritus. We voiced our position to the WBC, and after several discussions, have agreed to disagree with their interpretation of the facts and rules. In our opinion, we feel strongly that I did not violate the rules in any manner whatsoever.
When I fought Chad Dawson, there was no mandatory contender. Subsequent to my victory, I injured my shoulder but have remained ready, willing and able todefend my title within the period specified by the WBC’s rules. Nonetheless, without what we feel was appropriate due process, the WBC elected to strip me of my World Title. I think my track record in fighting the best opponents available speaks for itself. I worked extremely hard and dedicated my entire career to win and defend my WBC belt. As a matter of principle, I have chosen to stand up for what I believe is right. I think the fans know and appreciate that I am the Super Middleweight Champion of the World, and I trust that I will continue to be recognized assuch. I am back in training again, feeling great, and excited about my return to the ring.”
The Super Middle Weight Champion of the World,