Andre Ward undefeated super middleweight and light heavyweight World champion SIGNED (gold sharpie) and INSCRIBED "S.O.G." (Son Of God) after fight victory celebration 8" x 10" photo.
Condition excellent (signature signed in black sharpie on dark background. However, still clearly visible)
Andre Ward (born February 23, 1984) an American and the current WBA (Super), WBC and The Ring Super Middleweight Champion.
Currently, Ward is rated among the best pound-for-pound boxers in the World. He is rated #6, #7 and #5 by Yahoo! Sports, Sports Illustrated and The Ring respectively. Ward was a Gold Medalist at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Ward was named Ring Magazine fighter of the year in 2011.
Andre was born to Frank Ward, an American of Irish descent, and Madeline Arvie Taylor, an African American. His father inspired him by regaling him with stories of hard fought battles and triumphant victories. Given the choice to fight or pursue other sports, the young Andre chose boxing and has poured his mind, body and soul into the sport & became a World champion.
Ward grew up in the East Bay in the Fairview neighbourhood of Hayward, in California, where he attended Fairview Elementary, Bret Harte Junior High School and Hayward High School. At Hayward High he starred as a running back and safety on the football team. When he turned 17 he became a close friend to boxer Andre Dirrell.
Ward started boxing in 1994 and had a record of 110–5 as an amateur. From 1998 to 2004 he didn't lose a single match. In 2002, he won the Under 19 National Championship and was also a two time U.S. National Champion in 2001 and 2003 at Middleweight.
* 2001 United States Amateur Middleweight Champion
* 2002 Under 19 National Championship
* 2003 United States Amateur Light Heavyweight Champion
* Won the Light Heavyweight gold medal for the United States at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece becoming the first American boxer to capture gold in 8 years.
His results were:
* 1st round – Second Place at the 1st AIBA American 2004 Olympic Qualifying Tournament
* 2nd round – Defeated Clemente Russo (Italy) 17–9
* Quarterfinals – Defeated Evgeny Makarenko (Russia) 23–16
* Semifinals – Defeated Utkirbek Haydarov (Uzbekistan) 17–15
* Gold Medal Match – Defeated Magomed Aripgadjiev (Belarus) 20–13
Ward made his pro debut on December 18, 2004 by scoring a second round TKO over Chris Molina. Ward dropped Molina in the first round with a straight left cross to the chin that drove him into the ropes and down on the second strand. Ward, continued to dominate the action and dropped Molina for the second and final time with another sharp left hook to the jaw. The referee waved off the bout at 40 seconds of the second round.
On February 5, 2005 Ward fought in his second pro fight against Kenny Kost. Ward overcame a rocky second round, in which he was hurt by a left hook, to win by unanimous decision. Ward defeated Roy Ashworth on April 7, 2005 by disqualification, after Ashworth committed numerous fouls on Ward, including shoving Ward to the canvas and hitting him in the back of his head.
Ward won his next three fights, all by knockout, before going up against Darnell Boone on November 19, 2005. Ward was knocked down for the first time in his career in round four. Despite the knockdown, Ward went on to win by unanimous decision.
After the fight with Boone, Ward went on to win his next six fights, including TKO victories over undefeated Andy Kolle and Francisco Diaz. On November 16, 2007 Ward beat undefeated Roger Cantrell by fifth round TKO in Saint Lucia.
On March 20, 2008, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, Ward defeated Rubin Williams by seventh round TKO. Ward hit Williams with jabs and straight left hands almost at will, opening a bad cut over Williams' left eye in the process. The cut would force the referee to stop the fight.
Ward faced Jerson Ravelo on June 20, 2008, in Georgetown, Cayman Islands, for the vacant regional NABO super middleweight title. Ward dominated Ravelo for the majority of the fight en route to a TKO victory in the eighth round.
On May 16, 2009, at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, Ward defeated Edison Miranda by unanimous decision. The scores were 116–112, 119–109, 119–109 for Ward. Ward showed he had an inside game as well as an outside game. Miranda couldn't stay up with Ward's versatility around the ring.
On September 12, 2009, at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California, Ward defeated Shelby Pudwill by TKO in the 3rd round.
Ward vs Kessler
Andre Ward defeated Mikkel Kessler on November 21, 2009 for the WBA Super Middleweight Championship in the Super Six World Boxing Classic. Kessler was the strong favourite going into Showtime's Super Six tournament. In a career-defining performance, undefeated hometown favourite Ward put the U.S. on the board in the Super Six and captured the WBA Super Middleweight title with a dominant 11 round technical decision over Denmark’s Kessler in their Group Stage 1 bout. The fight was stopped in round 11 due to cuts on Kessler's face caused by what was deemed unintentional headbutts by Ward. The fight went to the scorecards and Ward was far ahead by scores of 98–92, 98–92 and 97–93 at the time of the stoppage.
Ward vs Green
In January 2010 Jermain Taylor announced his exit from Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament. Ring Top 10 ranked Super Middleweight Allan Green was selected as his replacement and challenged Andre Ward on June 19. Ward, defending the WBA Super Middleweight title, outclassed an opponent who spent most of the fight with his back against the ropes. Ward defeated Green by unanimous decision on June 19, 2010. Though the 30-year-old gamely fought on, the knockout he needed to win never appeared remotely likely and he looked a spent man by the end as he picked up the second loss of his 31-fight pro career.
Ward vs Bika
Ward was exempt from the final preliminary fight in the Super Six because he had already secured a number one position in the elimination rounds and his designated opponent (Andre Dirrell) had dropped out of the tournament. Instead, Ward successfully defended his WBA Super Middleweight title, unanimously outpointing another Top 10 ranked Super Middleweight, Sakio Bika, in front of a sparse crowd at Oracle Arena. Fighting in front of his hometown crowd as part of a dual-site co-main event, Ward didn't land many big shots but repeatedly hit Bika with a stinging left jab that the challenger was unable to counter. Ward won all 12 rounds on one judges scorecard and was ahead 118–110 on the other two.
Ward vs Abraham
Ward's next title defence came against Top 10 ranked Super Middleweight Arthur Abraham on May 14, 2011 in Carson, California. Ward started out slow with Abraham, trying to find a way to penetrate his tight defence. After a competitive first few rounds, Ward seized control of the fight, using his ring savvy and instincts to control Abraham. Although Abraham was somewhat passive at times, he gave an earnest effort and frequently threw combinations that were mostly blocked by Ward. Abraham hurt Ward a couple of times in the final round, but it wasn't enough to finish Ward, who had dominated the fight and won a lopsided unanimous decision.
Carl Froch vs Andre Ward
Andre Ward won the Super Six tournament in a dramatic bout against WBC Super Middleweight Champion Carl Froch. In the first 7 rounds, Ward outboxed Froch, successfully using his jab to neutralize Froch and beating Froch to the punch from a distance and at close range. In the later rounds, Ward seemed to take his foot off the gas, leaving Froch to win a couple rounds near the end of the fight, though they were close and fairly competitive rounds. The judges scorecards were 115–113, 115–113 and 118–110, all in favor of Ward, with two of the scorecards being much closer than the general consensus of the how the fight played out. Ward won the vacant The Ring Super Middleweight title.
Ward vs Dawson
Ward's next fight was set for September 8, 2012 against The Ring Light Heavyweight Champion Chad Dawson. The fight was at 168 lbs for Ward's Super Middleweight titles. It ended in round 10 with a technical knockout victory for Ward when Dawson asked the referee for the fight to be ended with the words: "It's over. I'm finished. I'm done."
In the first two rounds, Ward and Dawson felt each other out, with neither fighter having much success, though Dawson was able to land a few counter right hooks as Ward lunged inside. In the third round, Ward dropped Dawson with a left hook and dominated the round. Again in the fourth round, Ward was able to drop Dawson, in another dominating round. From fifth round until the end of the fight, Ward was able to neutralize Dawson's jab and work rate, seemingly out boxing and frustrating Dawson throughout. Then, in the tenth round, Ward dropped Dawson to a knee after a solid combination, which prompted referee Steve Smoger to stop the fight after Dawson could not continue.
Ward vs Pavlik
Ward was scheduled to defend his super middleweight titles against former lineal, WBC, and WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik on January 26, 2013 at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, California. However, an injury sustained by Ward originally postponed the bout for 4 more weeks and the fight was expected to take place on February 23, 2013. The injury was more severe than originally thought and led to the cancellation of the fight as well as the subsequent retirement of Pavlik.
On March 23rd 2013 the WBC stripped Ward of the WBC super-middleweight title belt for being inactive for a long period of time, and for failing to face a mandatory challenger. They granted him champion emeritus status. Ward claimed a shoulder injury that required surgery was the reason for his inactivity, but the WBC claimed that Ward had not provided any medical evidence or even given them a rough availability date.
On May 20th, Ward relinquished the champion emeritus title, stating that he did not believe the WBC had the right to strip him of the World title because he was willing and able to defend it within the period specified by the WBC's rules. Ward was praised for standing up to the WBC.
Born in San Francisco, California, Ward currently lives in Dublin, CA and trains in Oakland, CA. He has three sons and a daughter.
Andre Ward made an appearance in the 2008 documentary, Beyond the Ropes.
Connection To Victor Conte
On December 4, the LA Times ran a story connecting Andre Ward with former convicted doping provider Victor Conte. Andre Ward was quoted saying:
"Victor, I like you man, but don't go down that road with me," Ward said he told Conte. "Victor's a brilliant guy when it comes to this stuff (sports science), but I was still going to be watchful. I did my due diligence. I read all the labels. And I feel he deserves to be forgiven."