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Andre Ward's 5 greatest wins

Andre Ward on the offense against Paul Smith
Andre Ward on the offense against Paul Smith

Nearly five years ago, Andre Ward retired from boxing, leaving the sport with a perfect 32-0 record. The Olympic gold medalist hung up his gloves after conquering one of boxing's most feared punchers, not just once, but twice.

Turning professional in 2004, the California native rose through the ranks to become one of the best of his generation. Ward, donning the moniker of 'S.O.G.' (Son of God) spent the majority of his career cleaning out the super middleweight (168lbs) division, before moving up to become the king at light heavyweight (175lbs).

Competing in the same era as Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, it was always difficult for Ward to lay out his claim as boxing's number one pound-for-pound fighter. Nonetheless, 'S.O.G' aruably cemented his status as the sport's best towards the end of his career.

With a flawless, phenomenal record packed with championship accolades and a resume filled with nothing but elite opponents, this list will examine five of Andre Ward's greatest victories.


#5. Andre Ward vs. Mikkel Kessler

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In 2009, Andre Ward entered the Super Six World Boxing Classic, a tournament dedicated to crowning the new king of the super middleweight division.

Despite being an Olympic gold medalist, pundits gave 'S.O.G' little chance of winning the tournament as it was filled with several big names, including former Undisputed Middleweight Champion Jermain Taylor, British champion Carl Froch, and division stalwart Mikkel Kessler.

In his first bout in the Super Six World Boxing Classic, Ward took on Kessler for the WBA Championship. In a dominant performance in front of his hometown crowd in Oakland, California, the undefeated American shocked the world by defeating 'The Viking Warrior'.

The Danish champion had no answer for Ward's speed and inside game. 'S.O.G' was able to beat his opponent to the punch with swift jabs and straight rights and move out of the way before Kessler had any chance to counter. At every stage of the bout, Ward was able to dictate the pace and range of the fight.

While there was controversy due to the frequent accidental head clashes โ€” something Andre Ward has long been criticized for โ€” there was still no doubt who the better fighter was. Ward's dominant victory earned him his first professional world title and propelled him forward in the tournament.


#4. Andre Ward vs. Chad Dawson

In late 2012, both Ward and Chad Dawson were the respective kings of their divisions, super middleweight and light heavyweight.

Chad 'Bad' Dawson was coming off a career-defining victory against boxing legend Bernard Hopkins. The win over the crafty veteran saw Dawson win the WBC and Ring Titles. Afterwards, to the surprise of many, 'Bad' declared interest in a fight with 'S.O.G' and even expressed interest moving down to 168.

Ward accepted the challenge and in September 2012 both men met in the ring for the WBC, WBA, and Ring Super Middleweight Titles.

The first two rounds started off slow, however, in the third round, Ward dropped 'Bad' with a quick short left hook. At the start of the fourth, the California native scored another knockdown, once again with a left hook.

Ward dominated Dawson in virtually every department. 'S.O.G' displayed superior hand and footspeed. He was able to land the harder shots, and even against a bigger man, Ward also looked like the stronger fighter.

In the tenth round, 'Bad' was knocked down for the third time. Dawson then reportedly told the referee: "It's over. I'm finished. I'm done," giving Ward one of his most masterful performances.


#3. Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch

On December 17th, 2011, the Super Six World Boxing Classic came to an end when Andre Ward and Carl Froch met in the finals at Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Ward, with a broken hand, delivered one of the most impressive performances of his career by defeating 'The Cobra' via unanimous decision.

'S.O.G' used his jab to perfection and was able to neutralize Froch's aggression with his greater hand speed and mastery of distance. 'The Cobra', who possessed a four-inch reach advantage, was also forced to succumb to Ward's superior inside game. The undefeated Olympian, despite having the quicker feet, rarely moved around the ring. Instead, he stood in the pocket with Froch where he consistently landed his trademark left hook.

After having outboxed Froch for the majority of the bout, Ward appeared to take his foot off the pedal in the last four rounds. While Froch was able to find some success in these stages, it wasn't enough to turn the tide.

Ward's victory over 'The Cobra' earned him the WBC Super Middleweight Championship. His dominance in the Super Six World Boxing Classic saw him cement his status as one of the best boxers on the planet.

After his defeat to Ward, Froch would never lose again and went on to defeat Romanian knockout artist Lucian Bute for the IBF Super Middleweight Championship. 'The Cobra' would also defeat Mikkel Kessler, avenging his first professional defeat, before engaging in a pair of huge showdowns against countryman George Groves.


#2. Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev I

Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward
Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward

After a long stretch of inactivity, 'S.O.G.' made his return to the sport in 2015.

Having already dominated at 168, fans clamored for Ward to finally step up in weight and fight undefeated Russian power puncher Sergey Kovalev.

'The Krusher' held three of the major belts at 175 and was one of the sport's most feared fighters. With victories over Nathan Cleverly, Cedric Agnew, Jean Pascal, and Bernard Hopkins, the undefeated Russian star established himself as one of the pound-for-pound best in boxing.

In November 2016, after making his return and scoring three consecutive victories, Ward stepped into the ring with 'The Krusher'.

The fight started out rough for Andre Ward. In the first round, Kovalev landed one of his signature right hands that sent his opponent to the canvas for only the second time in his career.

Utilizing solid fundamentals from long range, 'The Krusher' was able to land stinging jabs and powerful right hands on Ward. No opponent had been able to land with such frequency and accuracy on Ward before. For the first time in a long time, it looked as if 'S.O.G' was on his way to his first professional defeat.

Ward began to find his rhythm towards the second half of the fight. In the seventh round, the former super middleweight king landed stiff jabs and started working Kovalev's body. In the eighth, 'S.O.G' continued throwing hooks and uppercuts at the Russian's midsection. As the fight drew to a close, Ward's speed advantage grew more evident as he began winning the battle of the jabs.

Ward's hard-fought rally in the latter stages of the bout earned him a close and controversial unanimous decision victory. Many ringside viewers and fans at home believed Kovalev's dominance in the early parts of the fight should have sealed the win for him, while others claimed 'S.O.G' did more than enough to claim a comeback victory.

Ward left the bout as the WBO, WBA, and IBF Light Heavyweight Champion. No matter who fans and critics believed won the fight, nobody could deny that a rematch was needed.


#1. Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev II

Andre Ward met Sergey Kovalev in a rematch in June 2017.

Determined to squash all doubts about who the better fighter was, and that his last victory wasn't just a fluke, Ward entered the ring on a mission.

Starting the fight on nimble feet, 'S.O.G' moved around the ring and tagged Kovalev with jabs and straight rights. The speed advantage was clear, but fans knew who possessed the greater knockout power. All it took was one clean shot for the fight to completely change.

In a shocking turn of events, it was one single punch that stole the show, but it wasn't delivered by Kovalev.

In the eighth round, Ward, who was never known for possessing incredible power, landed the greatest punch of his career. A straight right hand on the chin of an overly fatigued Kovalev signaled the end and spelled disaster for 'The Krusher'.

On wobbly legs, Kovalev tried to avoid Ward's onslaught but the California native began landing powerful blows to his opponent's midsection. With his foe crumpled against the ropes, Ward finished the fight with a series of body shots that forced the referee to stop the fight.

Andre Ward's destruction of Sergey Kovalev in their rematch proved to be his last fight. It was the perfect sendoff for one of boxing's most decorated champions.

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Edited by John Cunningham
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