By Rich Cheney: Former light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev was disappointed at the news on Thursday of IBF/WBA/WBO 175 lb. champion Andre “SOG” Ward choosing to retire from boxing at age 33.
Kovalev says he wanted to fight Ward in a third fight, and now he can’t do that because of his retirement. For the record, Ward is 2-0 against Kovalev in beating him by an 8th round knockout on June 17, and a 12 round unanimous decision on November 19 last year. Both wins for Ward were controversial.
The boxing fans can only speculate why Andre Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) has decided to call it quits. The most likely reason for Ward retiring is a lack of big money fights available to him. There’s nobody available for Ward to fight at 175 that can bring him a big payday. Adonis Stevenson is tied down with a mandatory defense.
The other contenders in the light heavyweight division are more trouble than they’re worth fighting. It’s not a given that Ward would be able to beat some of the dangerous contenders at light heavyweight like Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Ward might be able to beat them, but none of them would be easy fights for him. Ward wanted to fight Tony Bellew, a UK fighter, but he’s looking to face David Haye. With no options available to Ward, he chose to retire father than take a risky fight against one of the contenders that could possibly beat him.
“He heard yesterday about me and today he’s retired,” said Kovalev to TMZ.com about Ward’s retirement from boxing. “It’s the reason. I’m back. In a few fights, it should be our 3rd fight, and he stopped. It’s over today. But I said before the fight that will stop his boxing career. It’s true. It’s very good for the boxing, because right now, more fighters will be more motivated to get their championship fights between each other, and he’s going to be much interesting for the boxing fans,” said Kovalev.
It is a good thing that Ward’s 3 world titles are now opening to the other contenders in the light heavyweight division. That creates possibilities for the young lions to get a crack at a world title. If Ward had kept fighting, he would have likely sat on his titles, fighting infrequently. This could help Kovalev’s boxing career because he can go after one of Ward’s vacated titles.
”No more boring fights, you know? Just a real fight for the world title, and I’m happy,” said Kovalev. ”Of course, I’m disappointed that I don’t have the opportunity to kick his [expletive] again. You know it, again. My opinion, I won the first fight. He won the second fight with the help of Tony Weeks, and right now, 1 and 1,” said Kovalev.