By Jeff Newman: WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward has been talking about wanting to get back in the ring by March or April for his first fight of 2015. However, Dan Rafael of ESPN doesn’t see the 30-year-old Ward returning to the ring until at least mid-year due to HBO having the April and May fight dates already booked by other fighters.
Ward has a contract with HBO, so he’s going to need to wait until they have an available date for him to fight. Ward is a main event type of fighter so he won’t be able to fight on the undercard of one of the other top fighters in April or May.
”Andre said he wanted to fight March or April. Honestly, I don’t see him in the ring until AT LEAST June based on the schedule as it stands now. Forget April, it’s already booked and May is basically set also,” Rafael said in his chat on Friday.
Ward and his new promoters at Roc Nation Sports want it to be a busy year in 2015 with Ward fighting three times against the big names. But it’s going to be difficult to get Ward into the ring without the dates being there for him with HBO, and without Roc Nation getting a big name for him. It’s no secret that the top guys in the division like Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler have little interest in facing Ward.
Ward and HBO are said to be having problems in agreeing on his next fight. Ward reportedly wants a tune-up fight and he wants to be paid well for it, according to Steve Kim of UCN. HBO is said to be on board with him fighting a tune-up, but they’re not good with paying him a lot of money for that fight.
Ward hasn’t fought in close to a year and half since beating Edwin Rodriguez in November of 2013. He doesn’t want to take a stiff test in his first fight back after such a long layoff.