Andre Ward now a television free agent after HBO contract ends

Andre Ward now a television free agent after HBO contract ends

By Danny Z | Senior Writer 

Published: August 25, 2017


LINCOLN, NEBRASKA - Current WBA, WBO and IBF light heavyweight world champion Andre Ward recently told ringside press after the Terence Crawford vs. Julius Indongo event that his contract with HBO has now expired.

Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) has fought his previous six bouts on the HBO network and is coming off back-to-back victories against Sergey Kovalev -- both on HBO pay-per-view. The 33-year-old Ward is largely considered one of the top, if not the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world after recently gaining multiple world titles at the 175 pound division. 

“My contract is up with HBO right now — I’m a free agent there. But, my team is talking and working and, like I said, options will be presented in a couple of weeks.”
— Andre Ward

Ward was on hand at the Crawford-Indongo fight because he was a part of the ESPN commentary team and was also there to support his recent Olympic signing in Shakur Stevenson. Ward, who is also a former Olympian when he won gold at the 2004 games, additionally revealed that he is still with Roc Nation as rumors of a move to Bob Arum's Top Rank were being talked about. Ward spoke highly of the television partnership between ESPN and Top Rank, which could be a potential sign of the future for the light heavyweight. The ESPN card featured mostly fighters under the Top Rank banner, and Stevenson is also promoted under Arum's 44-year-old boxing company. 

“I’ll tell you this, this was beautiful tonight. What, you know, Top Rank and ESPN are doing is — I mean you have to notice what they’re doing. Any fighter, I think, would want to be a part of something like this.”
— Andre Ward

Besides Ward, the only other fighter within the light heavyweight division who holds a world title is Al Haymon managed, Adonis Stevenson. Adonis currently holds the WBC world title and has had it in his possession since winning it back in 2013. A fight between Ward and Adonis is the only logical matchup that seemingly makes sense for both athletes, as Ward defeated the top fighter in the division and now holds a majority of the belts.

Network politics is what affected potential fights between Kovalev (when Kovalev had the titles) and Adonis throughout the last few years, as Adonis has a television deal with Showtime and Kovalev maintains an agreement with rival HBO. No updated news about his [Ward] next bout are set in stone, however, with Ward now holding multiple world titles and free from HBO, a unification bout with Adonis is now more of a possibility. 


(Feature photo: Ed Mulholland / HBO)

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