He’s the “Son Of God” and today’s successor to Roy Jones’s role as boxing’s phenom, but Andre Ward is dangerously close to being stripped of his World Super Middleweight Championship by this publication. The Ring magazine has already stripped Ward of their own world championship, and for the same basic reason ProBoxing-Fans.com will in two months time: inactivity.
Feuding, Not Injury
Although Andre Ward has a history of injury, nursing along a bad rotator cuff in his right shoulder as he was, that hasn’t been an issue since late 2013. Ward’s shoulder finally broke down while he was training for a bout with comebacking Kelly Pavlik, so he took time off for surgery and recovery. He was reportedly good to go for his November 2013 clash with Edwin Rodriguez, which was the last time he fought.
Instead, the main reason for Ward’s prolonged absence from the sport was his feud with promoter Dan Goossen. A contractual dispute erupted between the two men in 2013, one that took them to court three separate times, and the bickering continued into 2014. So long as Ward was engaged in a paper fight with Goossen, he couldn’t get into a real fight with anyone else.
Even Goossen’s death from cancer in September 2014 does not seem to have completely freed Ward from legal wrangling. Despite news of his signing with Roc Nation, as of the time of publication there wasn’t even a credible rumor as to who or when he might fight next, but only a whisper in the wind Ward might return to the ring in April. Even if true, it’s doubtful he will fight a Top 10 opponent after such a long lay-off. ProBoxing-Fans.com is almost certain to join The Ring in stripping Ward by then.
Other Recent Strippings
Ward is not the only world champion ProBoxing-Fans.com has put in the docket for failure to fight a worthy contender recently, although his record is the one that is garlanded with the most cobwebs.
Floyd Mayweather lost his 154 lbs World Championship in December, but that was inevitable. The sport’s reigning defensive grand master was also ruling two divisions at the same time, welterweight and junior middleweight. That he would abdicate one crown was in the cards, and that crown was the junior middleweight one.
Also out is cruiserweight veteran Yoan Pablo Hernandez. Unlike Ward, Hernandez has kept somewhat busy, with two fights during each of the previous two years. The problem is that neither of them was against another Top 10 fighter. Firat Aslan is no slouch, but he is more along the lines of Top 25, not Top 10. Alexander Alekseev might scratch his way into the bottom of the Top 25, but only just.