HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Andre Ward Picks Apart Alexander Brand, Kovalev Next
By: William Holmes
The Oracle Arena in Oakland, California was once again the host site for Andre “Son Of God” Ward’s (29-0) return to the ring in a light heavyweight matchup against the Colombian Alexander Brand (25-1).
Ward has had most of his success in the super middleweight division, but a big money showdown with light heavyweight kingpin Sergey Kovalev awaits him if he is able to walk away victorious.
Many fans, including the HBO announcers, viewed this bout as little more than a tune up bout. Sergei Kovalev was in attendance.
Andre Ward, a lefty who fights out of an orthodox stance, focused on his jab in the opening round and was trying to find his range. Brand was short with almost of his shots, and that reapeated in the first three stanzas.
Ward was able to land his lead left hooks in the second round, and attacked to the body more in the third round. Brand was able to land an uppercut and a jab in the third, which may have been the first punches he landed in the fight.
Ward was able to pick up the pace in the fourth round and had Brand backing up with a consistent stream of jabs to the body. Ward was able to crack Brandi n his jaw with a lead left hook as Brand was moving backwards, and followed it up with a jab cross combo to the head.
Ward’s accuracy improved in the fifth round as he get the crowd’s approval several times with sharp crosses to the head of Brand. Ward even switched to a southpaw stance, and he looked like he was going for the knockout.
Ward stayed in a southpaw stance in the sixth round, and ripped several hard combinations to the body and head on Brand at will. The show continued into the seventh round as Ward switched seamlessly from orthodox stance to a southpaw stance and picked the overmatched Brand apart.
Brand’s eye was cut in the seventh round and showed signs of swelling in the eighth. Ward’s lead left hook from the orthodox stance was thrown with violence in the eighth, and the force behind his right crosses were more noticeable than before.
Brand was just trying to survive in the ninth round, and slipped badly in the middle of the ring in an attempt to counter Ward.
Brand’s corner told him before the tenth to try and just survive the rounds, and he followed their advice and took hardly any risks. Ward, however, continued to go for the stoppage and was able to catch Brand with several hard right crosses.
Ward went for the knockout, and Brand tried to avoid the knockout, in the final two rounds. Brand, at the very least, was successful in his goal of surviving.
Andre Ward wins the shutout decision with scores of 120-108 on all three scorecards.