Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Topic of the Week: Andre Ward

This past Saturday night, 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward scored a one sided decision victory over former middleweight contender Edison Miranda.

Photo © Marty Rosengarten /

The Boxing Bulletin writers give their thoughts on Ward's performance and what they'd like to see next from the up and coming super-middleweight contender.

Showtime's commentators Steve Farhood and Nick Charles were full of praise for Andre Ward's performance. Was it that good?

Ward certainly didn't look bad, although I think very little of Miranda. I wasn't impressed nearly as much as I was bored after the first three rounds. - Mark Lyons

Ward did well, arguably winning every round, which means he probably hasn't clearly lost a round since his scare against Darnell Boone in 2005. The fact that he can fight just as well, if not better, out of the southpaw stance makes him a difficult puzzle to solve for anyone. In the second half of the bout, he showed he has Ricky Hatton's style down pretty well too. Add it up and he has the type of versatility not many other young fighters possess.

I did think he was going to knock out Miranda in the middle rounds so I can't say he exceeded my expectations. Most would agree that he could have gotten the stoppage if he pressed. And that's where my criticism lies; he's content with staying in the 3rd or 4th gear. We might have to see him in against the cream of the division to see if a 5th gear exists. - Michael Nelson

I thought he was very effective, and showed a gritty side that will serve him well against better opponents, but it wasn't an outstanding performance. Granted Miranda was a step up, but he's also extremely limited and as Michael mentioned, there was a real opportunity for the stoppage if Ward put his foot on the gas - and he didn't. - Andrew Fruman

I thought the Shobox team was over praising Ward for most of the night. He did well, but no better than anyone should have expected against a limited, though admittedly dangerous opponent. In the end he showed a lot of good things, but failed to explode onto the scene. It was an above average performance, and earmarked him as a Contender, but nothing more yet. - Jeff Pryor

Who would you like to see Ward fight next?

He isn't the most entertaining fighter, but he has some skills. He dominated a fringe guy like he should and deserves an opportunity. I would like to see him fight and Allan Green fight. Not that it has a chance of happening.- Mark Lyons

All of his opponents thus far have been relatively slow, so a fight with Pascal would be good. He's a mandatory for Carl Froch, but I doubt that fight happens next. If it does, I'll be watching with interest. - Michael Nelson

Someone like Sakio Bika would be good. Bika's been waiting for someone to step in against him, and he's a tougher out than Miranda, but a step down from the elite of the division. - Andrew Fruman

I think a bout with Andre Dirrell or with Allen Green would be outstanding. I don't expect either of those two to happen, but I think he should step up again soon. Maybe a rebounding Jermain Taylor or Jeff Lacy/Roy Jones. My hunch is he'll take a few more mediocre opponents and then try for a belt. - Jeff Pryor