Undefeated super-middleweight Andre Ward is no longer ranked in the World Boxing News Pound for Pound Top 50 after twelve months have passed since the American last fought.
The 30 year-old has been involved in a dispute with his ex-promoter Dan Goossen, now sadly deceased, which has largely contributed to an extended period away from the sport for Ward – who last fought on November 16, 2013 in California.
Due to WBN ranking rules, Ward has now been stripped of his position at number eight in the top 50 fighters in the world having already dropped from his lofty place at number three on the back of his latest win over Edwin Rodriguez.
Ward will now be placed just outside the top 50 until his next fight is completed, but even then the WBA champion is unlikely to regain his old slot unless his opponent is of sufficient qualify and any win comes with a performance to match.
It’s been a sad slide for the ‘S.O.G’ since his stunning 2011 win over Carl Froch to take victory in the Showtime Super-Six tournament as Ward has only fought twice since – both of which did nothing to enhance his reputation.
A win over a weight-drained Chad Dawson, plus a one-sided mauling of an out-of-depth Rodriguez struggled to justify Ward’s continued place behind Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, and the 27-0 contender now faces a struggle to regain his previous status.
Only a world title at 175lbs or a triumph over one of the other title holders would lift Ward back into the top ten, and it will be interesting to see where his current situation leads to next heading into the New Year.