His lengthy periods of inactivity have been widely discussed on numerous occasions before, but finally Andre Ward is set to fight three times in a single calendar year for the first time since 2009.
Having outpointed Sullivan Barrera back in June, Ward – signed to Roc Nation Sports – will next face Colombian Alexander Brand in two weeks ahead of a Nov. 19 blockbuster clash with light-heavyweight kingpin Sergey Kovalev.
Ward (29-0, 15 KO) previously dominated and cleaned up the super-middleweight division, before inactivity saw him fight just three times in a four-year period from 2012-2015.
Now though, the self proclaimed ‘Son of God’ is back enjoying the art of boxing and for fans it is a blessing to have one of the masters of the sweet science active again.
Speaking at a media conference call to World Boxing News, Ward said: “I’m happy and thankful to have the drive back again but it’s not easy as you get older. When you are in your late teens, early twenties, you just go, but once you’ve accomplished some things, you become very aware that you are punching your clock to go to work.
“You’ve got to find a reason to fight you know and at a certain point in your career you need to have that hunger and dedication.
“Beforehand, I felt like I had multiple days and weeks or several months where I just couldn’t get myself going and I would find other vocations to do, anything to avoid stepping in the ring.
“Now I have the drive again, I’m self-aware and I pay attention to my intensity, making sure that I’m doing the little things that are important. Everything needs to be on point, from your diet to your body work, whatever the case.”
Earlier in the call, Ward confirmed that he is injury-free after doubts over his shoulder ahead of his fight with Brand on August 6.
“I’m absolutely fine, the shoulder and my body are fine, I am feeling good and hopefully things will stay that way.
“I am motivated and prepared for this fight and want to look good. Brand is a very dangerous opponent and I ill have to be on point in there on fight night.”
Matt Horan is lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123