On Saturday, August 6, 2016, Andre Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) secured his November showdown with Sergey Kovalev by scoring a dominant unanimous decision victory against Alexander Brand (25-2, 19 KOs) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
The fight headlined a single-fight telecast of HBO Boxing in the U.S.
Ward, who had previously secured a November 19 date with Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, needed to walk away from this fight unscathed in order to secure the more lucrative fight.
Unfortunately for tonight’s viewers, that meant fighting like the 32-year-old native of Oakland always does, by fighting intelligently without taking too many risks.
Brand, although experienced as an amateur and a professional, did not have the tools to even threaten Ward, but the 39-year-old native of Colombia did make it hard for Ward to get the knock out.
“We knew this guy was going to be really hard to knock out. People have to realize that when a guy with his experience doesn’t want to get knocked out, it’s hard,” said Ward in his post-fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman.
“I tried to press it, didn’t get it, but it’s good to get the rounds,” said Ward.
Then, as he was joined by his next challenge, Kovalev himself, Ward was asked about his November 19 showdown and if his fight tonight, which was admittedly a tune-up, was enough for him to be ready.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years. If I’m not ready to fight the best now, I’ll never be ready,” said Ward.
“Yes, he’s ready. I’m ready too,” said Kovalev on his part. Kovalev also compared his performance against his previous opponent, Issac Chilemba, and the toughness he faced in the fight, with his upcoming date with Ward. Kovalev seems to have been suggesting that he was in for a tough twelve-rounder against Ward.
Both men were diplomatic during Ward’s post-fight interview, but fan’s can expect anything but diplomacy in their fight.
Check out the post-fight interview below, and let us know who you think will win in the comments section.
Gabe Rivas has written for Round By Round Boxing since July of 2013. He studies Literature and Philosophy, tutors English, and teaches Boxing. Follow him on Instagram and on Twitter @GabeRivas03.