By: Hans Themistode
The dust on his gloves has built up considerably. And the worn down boxing shoes are now as clean as can be.
With a second straight win over Sergey Kovalev roughly three and a half years ago, Ward was seemingly on top of the boxing world. There wasn’t a credible pound for pound list on planet earth that did not have the undefeated two-division world champion at the very top of it.
Yet, at the peak of his powers, Ward opted to walk away from the sport. Since leaving, other names have taken his place. But at just the age of 36, many believe if Ward truly wanted, he could return to the ring. Whether he would dominate, on the other hand, is another question entirely.
Still, even with all of the time that has passed by, and with fighters such as Canelo Alvarez, Artur Beterbiev and even Anthony Joshua making a name for themselves, Ward doesn’t flinch or hesitate in saying whether or not any of those names or anyone in the entire sport for that matter, would hand him the first defeat of his career.
“Let me put it like this,” said Ward during an interview with Max Kellerman. “I’m retired so I can’t really talk my talk and have the base in my voice like I use to when I was active. But, retired or not, I don’t believe any fighter can beat me and I’m just going to leave it there.”
At no point has Ward ever appeared unnerved in the ring. His brazen personality led to a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics, multiple world titles in the pros, of course, an undefeated record and recently, a trip to the Hall of Fame.
Those accomplishments, along with a never-ending self-belief, has convinced Ward that he will give himself the edge.
Regardless who he’s fighting.
“I’m a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I didn’t get to the Hall of Fame thinking that any fighter could beat me. I go into a fight with respect like okay this fighter has punching power, this fighter is a good boxer. You go in there with a healthy respect but, I don’t believe any fighter can beat me.”