Ward (27-0, 14 KOs), who previously hadn’t scrapped since earning a 10th round TKO victory over “Bad” Chad Dawson in September 2012, last exited the squared circle on November 16 after outclassing Edwin Rodríguez to easily safeguard his crowns.
A brilliant tactician who hasn’t been conquered since he was a 12-year-old amateur, Ward officially beat the 28-year-old Rodríguez (24-1, 16 KOs) by scores of 118-106, 117-107 and 116-108.
Using elite footwork, a brilliant jab, and ferocious left hook, Ward dominated Rodríguez and absorbed virtually no punishment over 36 minutes.
The sport’s second premier pound-for-pounder is a defensive virtuoso who employs expert movement to keep opponents unbalanced.
Quickly adapting and readjusting to Rodríguez’s roughhouse tactics, Ward dictated the pace of the bout and excelled following a 14 month layoff.
"You guys know I'm dealing with a promotional situation that's not good right now. That shouldn't stop me from fighting. My manager is pressing hard, letting the promoter know that it's time to get me a fight,” said Ward, 30, a gold medalist as a light heavyweight at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
“The main thing is, my manager is doing his job. He's putting pressure to get me not just a fight, but the fight that I'm supposed to have at this stage in my career. I've gotten to the point I've gotten to by winning.”
The 31-year-old Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs), who is taking an extended break following the death of his father in February, will brutalize the 28-year-old Chavez (48-1-1-1, 32 KOs) into submission this summer.
Hence, boxing fans may be treated to an exceptional show pitting Ward against Golovkin this winter.
Still, regardless of the causes, Ward must perform more than once a year.
For countless reasons, “it's time to get” Andre Ward in the ring on a far more consistent basis.