After over a year away from the sport, WBA Super Middleweight Champion Andre Ward has finally made a new promotional agreement with Roc Nation Sports. Ward should now be back in the ring this year after being inactive all of 2014 due to a contract dispute with Goossen Promotions.
Ward stated, “I want to thank God for giving me the strength to get through these last two years. The fight that I’ve been involved in both professionally and personally has been one of the toughest seasons of my life, but I feel that it has only made me stronger as a person and a fighter.”
“After I met with the Roc Nation team, I was blown away by their passion and hunger and I left the meeting a believer. I also saw the kind of work that they’ve done for their other athletes and I believe that Roc Nation is going to be a major player in the sport of boxing sooner than people think. They not only have a vision for their athletes but also the power and resources to bring it to fruition.”
“I’m excited to focus completely on boxing knowing that I have the machine behind me to handle everything outside of the ring. At this stage in my career, that brings me piece of mind.” Ward also told Ring TV that if he had to fight next month he would be ready, but he did not specify who he would be ready to fight. Most boxing fans would like to see him take on Gennady Golovkin, who has been lighting up opponents during Ward’s absence. Three-time world boxing champ Adrien Broner was not only dissatisfied with Roc Nation Sports’ $40 million 5-year offer to join their team, he was flat out irate about it.
Broner appeared on “TMZ Hollywood Sports” and let off a highly explicit rant aimed at the rap star and his protege Rhianna, at one point saying that Jay-Z can “suck his d***” and that “The only thing she (Rhiana) is good for is p****.” It is unclear how much money Broner was looking for and how much Andre Ward signed for, but the response to being offered $40 million over a 5 year period is a bit mind boggling. To Broner’s credit, he submitted the two most-watched boxing matches on cable television in the U.S in 2013. That year, 1.3 million viewers tuned in for Broner’s split decision victory over Paulie Malignaggi in their WBA Welterweight title fight on Showtime. Another 1.4 million saw his lopsided win over Gavin Rees in their lightweight title fight on HBO. For these reasons, it’s likely that Broner believes that he is currently a bigger draw than Ward and deserves top dollar.