Light-heavyweight king Andre Ward has admitted he may never fight again following the American’s career-best win over Sergey Kovalev in November.
The 32 year-old finally made it to being recognised as the pound for pound number one with a razor thin decision victory over the solid Russian in Las Vegas, but Ward believes he may have achieved all he can in the sport.
“I’ll be honest, I’ve had a lot of fights in my career but this is probably the proudest I’ve been of myself based on how the fight went and having to just show the world, show myself, show my team that I can win a different way,” Ward told Rolling Stone Magazine.
“I’ve never had to come from behind and it wasn’t against a B-class, C-class fighter. It was against who many said was the best light heavyweight, if not the best fighter in the world. I’m happy about the performance.”
The debate about who won the contest rages on, with many seeing the wrong fighter having his hand raised, something undefeated Ward obviously disagrees with but has no problem accepting.
“No question I won the fight,” said Ward. “If a person thought I lost the fight, god bless you, that’s your opinion, we can agree to disagree. No big deal. But anybody crying robbery or attacking the judges or the Nevada State Athletic Commission, they’ve officially gone too far.
“That’s not the first tight fight or close fight that’s taken place in the history of boxing. They happen, especially when the best fight the best. It’s just amazing to me that – and I’m not just talking fans, I’m talking boxing media – that it was some kind of robbery or that we didn’t deserve to win.
“If you feel Kovalev edged it out or whatever the case may be, that’s fine. But anybody crying ‘robbery,’ it just doesn’t add up. There’s no way you can say he won the fight by three, four, five points. It just didn’t happen. We got up from that knockdown and we took over the fight and we took it to another gear. Kovalev didn’t match that.”
On whether a contracted rematch will now be adhered to, Ward added: “You have to entertain (a rematch), and I would love to put my stats on in such a way that there isn’t a conversation about who won an who lost. It would be more of a personal thing to me. But the element of people and media having an opinion, that’s never going to change. I accept that 100 percent. It would be more to put a stamp on that and send a message to his team that the first fight really happened and here we are, we did it again.”
And on his future in the sport, Ward wouldn’t be drawn on whether a decision had already been made in his mind.
“I really just got to take my time right now because I really don’t have to fight anymore.”I’ve accomplished pretty much everything that I’ve wanted to accomplish. It’s not about the money anymore, it’s just because god has blessed me to still have the ability to do it and I still love it. I just really got to take my time right now and make sure that every decision that I make and every fight that I take is the right situation because if it’s not, I don’t know if it makes sense to continue on.
“I’ve got to make some tough decisions over the next couple of months. Boxing isn’t a sport to play with. I’ve obviously been doing this for a long time and it just has to make sense. I think just collectively getting my team’s opinion and spend my time praying and talking to my wife. We’ll make the right decision,” he added.