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Ward Claims Canelo Avoided Him During His Active Years

In September 2017, the boxing world bid farewell to Hall of Fame fighter Andre Ward, who retired at the age of 33 with an impeccable record of 32 wins. The decision followed Ward's triumphant defense of his light heavyweight titles, where he defeated Sergey Kovalev in a rematch three months prior.

Ward attributed his retirement to the toll the sport had taken on his body, stating

"I am leaving because my body can no longer put up with the rigors of the sport, and therefore my desire to fight is no longer there."

As the 2004 Olympics gold medalist seamlessly transitioned from the ring to the broadcast booth, a rising star in the boxing world, Canelo Alvarez, began his ascent through the divisions that Ward had previously conquered. Alvarez, the current undisputed super middleweight champion and former light heavyweight titlist, started competing at 168 pounds in 2018 and made his mark at 175 pounds in 2019 with a knockout victory over Kovalev.

In a recent interview with sports commentator Stephen A. Smith, the now 39-year-old Ward expressed doubt that a bout with Alvarez would have materialized had he remained active during those years. According to Ward, his name was never mentioned alongside Alvarez until the Mexican fighter faced Kovalev, whom Ward suggested was not in his prime.

Ward, who has previously criticized Alvarez's resume, acknowledged Alvarez's strategic approach to selecting opponents but questioned mentions of him among all-time great fighters.

Meanwhile, Alvarez, boxing's top earner and an international star, responded to critics urging him to face David Benavidez. Alvarez emphasized his track record against top opponents and asserted his position as the sport's reigning king.

While fans have clamored for a potential comeback from Ward to face Alvarez, the former champion admitted to contemplating a return but has not followed through. Ward stated,

"It's like I've had to retire multiple times. I've had to talk myself off the ledge [of coming out of retirement] multiple times. It's not easy."

Despite six years of retirement, Ward noted that no one has called his name, leaving the boxing legend to ponder the reasons behind the lack of interest in a potential comeback.


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