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The Big Question: Will Andre Ward come out of retirement and fight again?

Andre Ward is still young enough to fight, but will he be a boxer who breaks his retirement, or one who stays out of the ring?

Andre Ward v Sergey Kovalev 2 Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Last week’s Big Question was for the super middleweight division, whether or not IBF titlist Caleb Plant should fight David Benavidez perhaps this summer, before potentially getting an autumn fight with Canelo Alvarez.

As it stands, Plant has the IBF title, and his theoretical Canelo fight could come in September or so, for all four belts at 168 pounds. That’s obviously a big, big fight to risk against someone as dangerous as Benavidez.

But 58 percent of you — and that includes my vote, too — voted yes. Why? Because we’re boxing fans. We want to see the best fights, and Plant-Benavidez is a damn good fight. Certainly more interesting than Plant-Caleb Truax, which we got Jan. 30 (and was a mandatory, to be fair), or the upcoming Mar. 13 Benavidez-Ronald Ellis fight.

A lot of us certainly understand that if we were managing Plant or whatever, the answer maybe is no. But we’re not. As much as anything, I wanted to see sort of how everyone thought about things like this anymore.

Anyway, this week’s Big Question!

Just a few days back, Andre Ward fielded a question from ESPN’s Max Kellerman about what he thought would happen if he were to come out of retirement and fight Canelo Alvarez. Ward didn’t make any grand declaration that he wants to fight again, but said flatly he doesn’t ever have the mindset that anyone, no matter what, can beat him.

It wasn’t the first time Ward fighting again had come up recently, and far from the first since he stepped away from the sport in 2017. Weeks ago, he said that if it came down to it, he’d rather go “all or nothing” at heavyweight against Anthony Joshua than come back to fight Canelo.

Ward was just elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame on his first ballot, but he doesn’t turn 37 for another week. Just for sake of comparison, Gennadiy Golovkin turns 39 in April, Artur Beterbiev just turned 36, and Manny Pacquiao, of course, is gearing up to fight again at 42.

My feeling has been that Ward (32-0, 16 KO) decided to hang up the gloves before he lost a step, before time and some nagging injuries caught up with him in some camp, or on some fight night, and reduced him to a notably lesser fighter than he’d been at his best.

And he may well still have that outlook. Yes, a lot of guys get “the itch” and come back to the ring, and some guys just don’t know what else to do with their lives. But some do stay out.

For recent examples, Ricky Hatton came back after three-and-a-half years out of the sport in 2012. He’s one of many who retired, even stayed away a fair length of time, but came back. Joe Calzaghe, on the other hand, had his last fight at age 36, and despite admitting he got the itch to fight again, never has, and considering it’s been over 12 years, I don’t think he’s gonna. Though you never know, of course. Oscar De La Hoya, now 48, was still talking comeback as of December.

Ward seems happy overall working as an analyst for ESPN, and can do a lot else in and around boxing, too, if he wants. But you never know unless you’re the man himself. None of us are, but let’s hazard wild guesses for the sheer hell of it all.

Will Andre Ward fight again? Doesn’t have to be this year, next year, whatever. Will he have a legitimate boxing match again, fully sanctioned, not an exhibition, etc.?

Poll

Will Andre Ward break retirement and fight again?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Yes
    (113 votes)
  • 87%
    No
    (769 votes)
882 votes total Vote Now

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