Andre Ward explains HBO deal including Tony Bellew and Anthony Joshua
Former pound for pound king Andre Ward has explained how he was lining up a huge comeback to boxing back in 2018, culminating in facing Anthony Joshua.
The ‘S.O.G (Son of God)’ retired in the summer of 2017 and was happy with his decision until a massive offer came.
A trio of fights on HBO, including a massive world heavyweight title fight, hit the table.
Ward was close to accepting, as he told Joe Rogan on his podcast show in an interview.
“I didn’t know for sure [if I’d retire],” Ward told Rogan. “But I kind of feeling like, ‘Okay, I felt like that after the first one [Kovalev fight], this may be it after the second one.’
“But then the opportunities started coming. HBO had a three-fight deal on the table. And basically, it was going to be a gimme fight in Oakland, at home, kind of a celebration.
“A move to cruiserweight to fight Tony Bellew, probably in the UK.
“A gimme fight at light-heavy, I was probably going to do a catchweight at home, cruiserweight. So that was the three-fight deal. And the third fight was going to be Anthony Joshua.
“I don’t know if it had been made, we hadn’t even gotten that far. But that was our plan.”
Elaborating on gaining the weight from his previous position at 175 pounds, Ward added: “Maybe 200lbs (for the heavyweight fight).
“I’m never going to be as big as you guys. So why would I weigh myself down? Very dangerous situation. But that was something we were talking about.”
On his chances of overcoming Joshua, who was eventually beaten by Andy Ruiz last June, the American concluded: “It’s all good, though. I’ve been fighting big guys my whole life.”
Still relatively young for a boxer at 35, Ward has twenty years on Nigel Benn. UK legend Benn is returning to action this year at 55.
The fact Ward keeps himself in shape and is always around the sport in his capacity as an analyst, it may not be the last we’ve seen of the two-weight world champion.