Former two-division world champion, Andre Ward, has revealed that he was close to a comeback to the sport two-and-a-half years after what turned out to be his final professional outing.
Ward retired somewhat prematurely in the eyes of many, hanging up the gloves with an undefeated record at the age of just thirty-three and vacating two of the light-heavyweight titles.
As a result, the ‘Son of God’ was continuously linked with a comeback to the sport, but has never returned to the ring.
In an interview on the MMA Hour, Ward explained that a fight between he and current super-middleweight champion, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, could have been the bout that saw him step through the ropes once more.
“I have been close [to making a comeback] a couple of times. I think that the closest that I have come, and I’ve said this when I was in Vegas, is when Canelo Alvarez was fighting Sergey Kovalev. It wasn’t Canelo specific; the media and fans made this fake beef between me and him, I don’t have no issue with Canelo.”
“There was a common opponent [Kovalev] and my name continued to be brought up, I was watching very closely, wondering if my name would be called, and he didn’t call my name. In retrospect, I am happy that he didn’t, because that would have been hard to turn down.
I was very close to picking up the phone, in fact we had conversations, my team had conversations hovering around that fight saying ‘listen, if he does this, what is the next move’, and he just didn’t. That was the moment where, if he wanted to call me out, that was the perfect moment.”
Still, six years on from his last contest, Ward is linked to bouts that could tempt him out of retirement.
The ever-present allure of a Jake Paul payday remains, and Ward has even admitted that he’d agree to put his undefeated record on the line in order to take on the controversial 26-year-old.