Interview: Boxing's Andre 'S.O.G' Ward

The winner of the big June 4 bout at Boardwalk Hall between Carl “The Cobra” Froch and Glen “The Road Warrior” Johnson will meet Andre Ward later this year.

By Rob Scott
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 6 | Posted May. 23, 2011

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Well it’s hard to say because sometimes I don’t even know what I’m going to do when I get in that ring. You know, being unpredictable has been a strength of mine, but I think when people see speed, athletism and skill, the first thing they want to do is call you just a boxer. I have never been a guy to float around the ring to avoid contact. I’m actually very aggressive, and have been very aggressive throughout my career. Obviously it has increased since I’ve been in these bigger fights, but I’ve always been a physical guy. I think people are just now getting to take notice of that though. I think I can do a little bit of everything against Froch and Johnson. I never want to put myself in a bag where I say I have to box twelve rounds or I’m going to lose. We’ve fought big punchers in Miranda, Kessler was a decent puncher, Abraham, Bika, and we showed that we can box and we can get physical. So being unpredictable and being able to make adjustments on the fly just makes it, in my mind, that I’m going to come away with the victory whether it’s Johnson or Froch.

You're definitely proving yourself to be a winner, but how important is it to you to be a crossover star? I only ask that because boxing seems to be one of the sports that the participants find it harder to be seen outside of boxing circles. How important is it for you to transcend boxing?

You know it’s always good to do things like that and transcend the sport, but I never got into this sport to be a star. I never got into this sport to blow up and things like that. I’ve dedicated most of my life to the sport and I respect the sport. That is why I prepare myself accordingly. All I can do is be myself inside and outside the ring. You know like I said before; there will be negative things written about you, but I can honestly say that I believe there will be at least two or three to one things that will be written that are positive. Whether it’s from my fans or people who just say, hey I respect you and I appreciate what you do with your attitude. It’s really hard to say.  At the end of the day all I can do is be true to God, who has given me this opportunity, platform, talent and gift. All I can do is be true to myself and be myself, then let the chips fall where they’re gonna fall. 

I only ask that because, as of late, you’ve been referred to as the anti-Mayweather. You’re the nice, non-arrogant Mayweather if you will. That’s why I asked whether you wanted to be a star, because from my vantage point, Mayweather didn’t become a full fledged star in or out of the ring until he created the character. After “Money” Mayweather was born, people outside of boxing circles seem to take more notice of him – just probably not the way he may even want at this point.

It’s unfortunate, to be honest with you. It's unfortunate Floyd had to play the villain to get the attention. Me personally? I can’t speak for Floyd because that’s what he wanted to do, but Andre Ward is going to be Andre Ward at the end of the day. Who I am as a man, the way I represent myself, the way I represent God and the way I represent my family is way bigger than boxing. One day I am going to have to walk away from the sport, and the interviews that I have done and the way I have carried myself throughout my career are things that I want my kids to be proud of; I want my wife to be proud of; I want the people who support me, like my family, to be proud of. So who you are as a man is way bigger than boxing and what somebody writes about you. Like I mentioned earlier; I’m going to be true to my self, and if it’s not good enough to be a “crossover star,” then so be it. If it is then praise God, then we’re gonna keep it moving. 

Froch (pictured at left) is the WBC champ while you have WBA laurels, but IBF champion Luceine Bute is also in the super middleweight mix. If you win the tournament, you just may be the holder of both the WBC/WBA belts. Since he wasn't a part of the tournament, would Bute be on your radar to totally separate the champions to just one undisputed champ? If so, then when?

How long is tough to say, but the willingness and the desire is most definitely there 100 percent.

Bernard Hopkins has expressed his interest in fighting the winner of the Super Six if he gets past his next fight with Pascal. Would you entertain a fight with Hopkins, even at a catch weight, especially if you had a chance to win the light heavyweight title at this young stage of your career?

I don’t think I’m willing to go up because [there's] still business to take care of here at 168 pounds. As I’ve told people, I don’t have a desire to fight Bernard Hopkins because I look at him as some what like a mentor. Now if it was something that the fans wanted, I am a fighter you know, and I would step up to the challenge. But at the end of the day, it’s not something that I’m looking for or chasing.

You've fought many of your bouts in California; but with names like Tyson, Mayweather and others having fought here, when are you going to showcase your talents here in Atlantic City?
Man I thought we were coming to Atlantic City for the last fight. That was one of the venues that was literally on the table and I told Dan Goossen to make it happen. I never fought there and I want to give the East Coast fans a fight out there. We would love to get exposed to that crowd, but unfortunately I can only do so much. I am looking forward to it though. 

Will you be here for the Froch and Johnson bout on June 4?

Yes, I will.

Well I look forward to seeing you at ringside. Thanks for taking the time to talk to our readers. Good luck in the Super Six finals and beyond.

Thanks a lot, I appreciate it.

The Super Six World Boxing Classic Semifinal, Froch vs. Johnson, comes to Boardwalk Hall on June 4, 2011. The event is brought to you by Dibella Entertainment, Warriors Boxing and Caesars Atlantic City. Tickets are priced at $300, $150, $100 and $50. For information on purchasing tickets click here.

Rob Scott has been working with boxing promoters and fighters, in the gyms and at ringside, for several years. His writing has appeared in several boxing publications and online.

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Comments 1 - 6 of 6
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1. D. Hampton said... on May 24, 2011 at 04:09PM

“Excellent article.”

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2. L. Scott said... on May 24, 2011 at 04:32PM

“Well done babe.”

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3. Christyle said... on May 24, 2011 at 07:33PM

“Great article!!! I ve been watching that tournament....very interesting indeed!!!”

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4. Karen Elliott said... on May 26, 2011 at 10:03PM

“Very well done. This brought a lot of issues in the boxing world to perspective to me. Great job Mr. Scott.”

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5. Joe Pasquale said... on May 27, 2011 at 11:20AM

“Atlantic City is one of the best fight towns in the world--glad to see this quality boxing coverage in your publication. One of the best interviews with a boxer, that I've read in a long time--Andre has way more going on, than the average fighter and you brought that out-- the interviewer loves the sport--

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6. East Side what? said... on May 29, 2011 at 01:29AM

“Nice story on a great young man.”


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