Andre Ward, returns to BoxNation exclusively in the UK live on Saturday March 26th when he faces undefeated challenger Sullivan Barrera. Undefeated Ward, and top ranked contender Barrera, clash in an exciting 12-round light-heavyweight contest at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, with the winner targeting a prize showdown against SergeyKovalev.
Oakland native Ward, 32, known as S.O.G (Son Of God), heads into the fight against Barrera with a perfect record of 28 wins with 15 knockouts and is renown for his immense talent, great in-fighting and magnificent defensive skills.
He returns to action at his home arena where he destroyed Paul Smith last June with a brutal and scintillating display, after a year-and-a-half lay off, to cut down the Liverpool fighter in nine rounds, leaving his face a mess with a suspected broken nose.
All-action Ward, the last American boxer to win a gold medal at an Olympics, cleaned up at 168 pounds by winning Showtime’s Super-Six tournament in 2011 with impressive victories over Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham and then Carl Froch in the final. He then smashed Chad Dawson in ten rounds followed by soundly out-pointing Edwin Rodriguez before meeting Smith at a catchweight contest.
On his quest to become a three-time and two-weight world champion and recognition as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, Ward said, “I don’t really have much to say other this: On March 26 it will be very simple. I’ll be in a new weight class against a tough opponent but I’m coming with the same approach. I’ll be in great shape and ready for a battle. Sullivan Barrera has had a lot to say lately and I love it. He’s going to have an opportunity to back up every word that he has spoken. These are the type of challenges I like and on March 26, it’s go time.”
Miami based Cuban Barrera won gold in the middleweight division of the World Junior Amateur Championships in 2000 and in the pros has racked up an unblemished record of 17 wins with 10 coming by knockout.
The 34-year-old has previously won the Interim WBO Latino and WBA Fedelatin titles and has notable victories over Former IBF World Super-Middleweight Champion Jeff Lacy and IBF World Light-Heavyweight title challenger Karo Murat last time out.
Barrera is currently ranked number one by the IBF and would have got a mandatory shot against Kovalev following his knockout victory over Murat, but opted instead to go for Ward with a fight against Kovalev unlikely to happen until the summer.
He’ll be looking to scupper Ward’s plans of meeting Kovalev and instead secure a showdown with his promotional stablemate and is confident of pulling off an upset with top trainer Abel Sanchez, the 2015 Boxing Writers Association Trainer of the Year, in his corner.
“We as a team had a tough choice to make – crash the party by taking out Ward first or wait for the mandatory and take out (Sergey) Kovalev,” said Barrera. “We decided that the time is now. Ward will fall first, and then we will go after the belts.”
Jim McMunn, BoxNation Managing Director, said, “I’m delighted that Ward v Barrera has been added to a packed March schedule for our subscribers. BoxNation continues to broadcast the best fights and the best fighters in the world and we’re two months into the year and by the end of March we’ll have shown four of the top ten best pound-for-pound fighters in Kovalev and Crawford, Rigondeaux and Ward.”