Former featherweight world champion, Barry McGuigan, has pinpointed one American fighter who he believes nobody could compete with.
McGuigan won the WBA world title in 1985, outpointing the long-standing Panamanian world titlist, Eusebio Pedroza at Loftus Road to end a 35-year run without an Irish world champion.
These days, the 62-year-old has cemented a regular slot writing boxing columns for The Mirror and recently, when praising Carl Froch’s induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, highlighted the qualities of one American super-middleweight.
“His only defeats were to Mikkel Kessler on points in a barn burner, which he avenged, and Andre Ward. No-one got close to Ward, a uniquely brilliant boxer.”
Ward famously schooled Froch in 2011, claiming a unanimous-decision victory that was closer on the scorecards than many perceived the contest to be upon viewing.
Nevertheless, Ward claimed the Brit’s WBC world title before moving up to light-heavyweight and becoming a two-division champion in 2016. He retired undefeated just seven months later, at the relatively young age of 33-years-old.
In light of his supposedly premature retirement, Ward has said that he was almost tempted to make a comeback to the ring for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
The ‘Son of God’ has also revealed his interest in a well-paid showdown against controversial YouTuber-turned-boxer, Jake Paul, but at 39-years-old it remains to be seen if the 2011 Fighter of the Year would be willing to risk his undefeated record six years after he hung up his gloves.
Ward now uses his boxing IQ to breakdown big events rather than compete in them. Stepping away from the sport with faculties and record in tact is the ideal ending, but he has admitted doing so was ‘harder’ than expected.