As word spread quickly today that Andre Ward was officially signed by Roc Nation Sports, many fans instantly began salivating over a possible Gennady Golovkin vs. Andre Ward fight. The battle, which would pit the 160-pound king against the 168-pound champ, would obviously be a major event. However, with Ward seemingly able to fight again instead of having his ass handed to him in court by Goossen Promotions, there are still some major hurdles to jump here.
First, the weight. When Ward fought then Light-Heavyweight pound champion (and recent multiple concussion victim) Chad Dawson, the fight was at 168 for Ward’s belt. It’s hard to envision anything different happening here, though Golovkin might opt for a catch weight of some kind.
Second, (and maybe the biggest) do the fighters actually want to battle each other? They’re both undefeated, and while Ward is pretty much universally recognized as the No. 2 fighter in the sport, Golovkin is quickly climbing the ranks as well. There’s a lot to gain here, but there’s also a lot to lose.
But hey, we’re due for a major fight between two of the top fighters in the sport, aren’t we?
Maybe this is the one fight that will actually happen. If it does, it’s an absolutely fascinating clash of styles. Ward is a ridiculously skilled boxer who is adept at controlling the fight and bending his opponent to his will. He tamed Carl Froch in a shockingly one-sided affair. He simply destroyed Dawson. And he humiliated both Arthur Abraham and Mikkel Kessler before that.
While Ward out thinks and outboxes his opponents, Golovkin opts to simply Hulk Smash his way right through them. But he’s not some dim-witted beast who looks to maim without forethought or skill. He’s got boxing ability to go with those cement fists. Ward is the bigger guy, but not by much. And with stories of GGG ripping through guys like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Sergey Kovalev and several North American Yeti in sparring sessions, size may not mean a damn thing.
Ward is probably the only fighter from 154-168 who would actually be a slight favorite over Golovkin at this point. But you could certainly make the argument that the Kazakh monster should be the favorite. While Golovkin fights three-to-four times a year, Ward sightings have been about as frequent as the aforementioned Yeti. Certainly, you don’t want to be going up against Golovkin with any semblance of ring rust.
It’s one thing to take time off and then use Edwin Rodriguez as your own personal Huggy Bear, it’s another to fight perhaps the most dangerous boxer on the planet. Bottom line, we can expect a tune up fight or two before anything major happens.
There are several questions and scenarios to break down here. Would GGG back SOG up and put him on his bicycle before breaking him down? Or would Ward keep GGG off balance all night with a nasty jab and effective counter punching? Let’s just hope we’re able to get some answers.
The good news is that one of the best fighters on the planet appears to be able to get into the ring again. Even better, the emergence of GGG gives Ward another dance partner. After cleaning out his own division, there’s really nowhere for him to go but up or down. He could jump to the Light-Heavyweight division and try to take on Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson, or even Bernard Hopkins, (please god not Hopkins) but the real draw here is Golovkin.
Ward vs. Golovkin has been kicked around as a fantasy fight for awhile, and who knows, it may stay right in fantasy land, nestled comfortably next to Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao and Kovalev vs. Stevenson. But with the biggest impediment cleared, we can at least speculate about it happening before having our dreams crushed once again.
Maybe this time, we’ll get lucky.