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Assigning the Blame for Andre Ward's Predicament


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#1 MaxPayne

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 10:46 PM

http://sports.yahoo....-065257741.html

 

I thought this article was really interesting.

 

"He started to speak, and within seconds you remembered why Ward isn’t there yet. The denial. The entitlement. The disconnect with reality. The lies — oh, my, the lies. Reflecting on how he has been covered over the years, Ward lamented the lack of reporters who bothered to try to get to know him, who ran with one side of a story without trying to get his. Across the table a handful of them — this one included — looked back, astonished, remembering the Herculean efforts that have been taken to get a hold of Ward. Efforts, it should be noted, that were almost always futile."

 

If this is true, then that's pretty fucked up. Ward is constantly complaining about how no one gives 2 shits about him, yada yada.

 

But as a boring fighter with a bland personality, the least you can do is to get your name out there as much as possible. The fight game is a hustle man, and you have to be on that "pavement pounding" side of the game.

 

It was about Ward, and why he didn’t immediately clamor for a second fight. Ward called the rematch “academic.” To Main Events, to HBO, to every industry insider privy to the talks, it was anything but. Negotiations should have been easy. Deal points — including a 60-40 Ward-favored split — were hammered out in the first contract. Yet Ward killed any momentum by flirting with retirement (come on) and declaring that he would fight Kovalev on his terms, on his time.

 

Once again, if this is true, then that's fucked up. The contractual terms for a rematch were as clear as day. The fuck is you doing trying to re-negotiate something that is already in legally-binding writing ?

 

Ward’s biggest problem? Ward. Great fighters fight. Ward doesn’t. In 2012, Ward knocked out Chad Dawson. It was his biggest win to date. He didn’t fight again until 14 months later. He outpointed Edwin Rodriguez in 2013. He took 18 months off after that. He fought his promoter in court more often than opponents in the ring. Popularity is backboned by a string of great performances. Ward wants you to watch his fights, then rewind them to remember how good they were. 

 

Boom. Headshot. Fight in the ring and not in the courtroom, where the lawyers are the only winners. Those lawsuits didn't accomplish jack shit. Only wasted Ward's prime.

 

Ward wants you to believe the deck is stacked against him. The reality: It’s not.

It’s a shame, really. Ward is a great fighter. Members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team worshipped him. One — silver medalist Shakur Stevenson — enlisted him as a manager. Ward should be the subject of deep New York Times profiles and featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

But he’s not. And he probably won’t be. He’s dug in on the disrespect narrative and will forever blame his refusal to act cartoonish for why a sports-starved country won’t get behind him. His conduit to the casual fans he covets is the media, and those talking points inspire in them a collective shrug. There’s a greatness to Ward, in the ring and out. It’s unfortunate so few will get to see it.

 

He's the best fighter in the world who nobody gives a fuck about because other guys fight more and put themselves out there more often. 

 

The GGG comparisons and Pacman comparisons are tough because they had set, built-in fan bases from their countries, whereas no one really knows who or what Ward's fan base is.

 

Frankly, he never even built up much of a fan base because the motherfucker doesn't fight, doesn't have an eye-pleasing style and seems to be unavailable on the hustle side of the game.

 

I have a problem with entitled behavior. He thinks he should be bigger than he is, but he won't put the work in to either fight or to get out there and promote himself. 

 

As much as I've supported him over the years and repeatedly called him the best in the world after Floyd, this kind of shit is fucking sad. I won't miss dude when he calls it a day. Good riddance. 



#2 Cshel86

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 09:26 AM

I just don't get it the disdain that Ward's getting, I really don't. I mean, these guys are fighters and when it's all said and done, whatever career decisions they make, should benefit them in the long run. 

 

I think that fans get so anxious and just "want to see fights", that they couldn't care less about these guys as human beings. I mean, yes, he has had long periods of inactivity, but he's set to rematch a guy that everybody wanted him to fight, and we're still getting articles like this?

 

That's boxing fans and the horrible media outlets that bedevil the sport....they create the issues that they complain about. Again, we're getting what is supposed to be the biggest fight this year, next to a couple of more that are about to take place, and we get articles like this. Why not relish in the fact that we're "getting the fights that we want"?

 

Nobody gave Mikey Garcia this much (if any) flack about his litigation. Bradley caught some flack with his litigation with Shaw, only because they wanted to see the Khan fight so bad, and now look at Tims' career....he looks pretty damn happy. 

 

My thing is, Ward isn't one of those personalities that people are gonna necessarily gravitate towards, but guess who's making him the villain? The media.

 

On the other hand, if this guy (Ward) is involved in one of the biggest fights of the division, then why did PPV sales flop so bad? Because boxing fans and the media are bashing the guy, trying to "sell" the fight or because of personal biases....both of which backfired on the sport. 

 

Again, these guys do what they need to do to make sure they're compensated fairly. We can blame Ward and his management for even signing the contract with Goossen from the beginning, but we'd have to apply to every fighter across the board who has dealt with litigation and so on. 

 

It's sad to say, but it's true.....had Kovalev been awarded the decision, no one would be up in arms about it, but here we are. I just saw an interview with Virgil Hunter and it was made clear that nobody's crying for a GGG/Jacobs rematch, because GGG won....won a fight that could have gone either way. 

 

If the terms of the rematch were so clear, then what took so long to announce the rematch. Mind you, Duva is involved and this is one of the same people involved in that "email agreement" with HBO regarding the Kovalev/Stevenson fight that fell through...so we can't say that there was no room to play with the rematch contract. 

 

If Ward goes out here and knocks Kovalev out in a couple of months, he'll be a business genius and at the top of everybody's biased P4P list that they think matters so much. Maybe. If he loses, the hate will continue. I mean seriously, people don't even sound right trying to hate the guy or say negative things about him....it's like a fart in the wind...it stinks for second, then fades. 


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#3 flazi

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:01 PM

great post cshel


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#4 Cshel86

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 05:15 PM

great post cshel

Max gave me some homework today, a lot! I've hardly been able to work today. Lol

 

I've watch a metric fuck-ton of interviews today regarding this fight. Ward's team has been consistent across the board stating the bullshit Team Kovalev and Duva have pulled. 

 

  1. Duva's mad becasue Ward's team refused her request for at least one International judge for the rematch, however, she was in total control of the who judged the first fight (2 Americans)...she obviously didn't think the first fight would go the distance. 
  2. Kovalev's making excuses saying that he was gassed a whopping 30 days before the fight, there's one excuse...basically saying that he overtrained. 
  3. It's little birdies saying that there's some significant conflict between JDJ and Kovalev, but it appears that JDJ's working with a fighter whom has a fight this weekend (hence why he wasn't at the Pressers this week). 
  4. Duva prolonged the negotiations because she had to be convinced that Kovalev wasn't the A-side this time. Duh. He wasn't the first time, truthfully. 
  5. Hunter showed a poster of the Ward/Kovalev which read, "Pound for Pound", but Ward hasn't been listed on anybody's P4P list because Kovalev wasn't the one that won. Hunter made it clear that the rules changed because Wad won. 
  6. I'll remind everybody again, Duva takes all the credit in the world for "trying" to put together the Kovalev/Stevenson fight, but pulled an amateur move with the email agreement and the fight fell through, Adonis was able to sign with another manager (Haymon), walk off with the WBC belt, and keep it on Showtime/PBC. So yeah, I'd bet my last dollar that something was something was workable in that rematch clause. 

Ward and his team has been consistent with how unfairly they've been treated. Regardless of how boring or flat (personality wise) a fighter is, nobody wants to be marginalized and used. Let's keep it real, how can Ward catch so much flack from the media for how poor of a fighter and businessman he is, but Kovalev would've been the greatest fighter ever, had he beaten Ward?

 

That alone tells you how the media feels about Ward....his credentials in the sport are only good enough when another fighter (preferably foreign) is set up to live off of it. Again, that tells you all you need to know about how they really feel about this dude. 

 

So what if he pissed away the good years of his career, that's his problem, right? I mean, this guy can't be THAT important to the sport, especially if he's considered to be so boring. It's just a thing of the media wanting to see this guy lose and someone else come through and live off of everything he's earned. 

 

You can't say that this guy wasted his career when he fought the likes of Miranda, Kessler, Froch, Abraham, and even Dawson. If we gave Stevenson credit for crushing Dawson (after Ward beat him) for the LHW title which sparked up a huge talk about Kovalev/Stevenson, then we have to give Ward credit for that victory. 

 

I swear, if you aren't the right color or nationality, you don't stand a chance in this sport. Sad, but it needs to be said at this point. 

 

FYI: I'd still smash Kathy Duva...she just does something to me. :drag:



#5 sduck

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 05:38 PM

People seem to have a natural bias in favor for or against black fighters, it even shows itself in MMA.


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#6 MaxPayne

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 07:51 PM

I think we're misunderstanding each other.

 

This is larger than just the Kovalev fight. Ward and his camp for years have been talking about how "we don't get no respect around here", but they fail to take any accountability for their own actions that have contributed to this "lack of respect/coverage/love/money/whatever".

 

Staying on the Kovalev point, if they were going to re-negotiate the rematch, then why put in specific language which already spell out the terms in the first contract ?

 

This is the same as Conor McGregor trying to talk his way out of his contract with the UFC to try and set up a fight against Floyd. I deal with lawyers and contract negotiations for a living. If you sign something, it's now binding. Ain't no trying to re-negotiate terms unless you want to end up in a frivolous lawsuit.

 

Then again, Ward wasted 4 years of his career in a courtroom and still lost, so maybe he prefers the court to a ring.

 

I have a very basic problem with people not wanting to take any accountability for their own predicaments.

 

You can't compare Mikey Garcia and Andre Ward, from an entertainment perspective. Ward is obviously on a different stratosphere skills-wise. However, Garcia is Mexican, has a more entertaining style and stays knocking fools out.

 

Yes he was in his own lawsuit, but was out of the ring for a much shorter time overall than Ward. 

 

Also, here's the most damning part: if you wanted to introduce Boxing to casual fans (who we desperately need for the sport's long term survival), would you be better off showing them an Andre Ward clinch-fest or a Mikey Garcia beatdown ?

 

It would be Garcia all day, every day. Bring the pain and not the clinch and hug-fest.

 

In 2009, I had a group of people over at the crib to watch Pacquiao vs. Cotto and even the broads were glued to the TV because of the action and ferocity of the fighters.

 

Tell me, how do you think their reaction would have been to Andre Ward vs. Alexander Brand ? I'll tell you: it'd turn into a sleepover party because them people would be laid out in my living room snoring by the 5th round.

 

No one gives a fuck about Ward because what does he really bring to the table ? I'm asking seriously.

 

He's not a KO artist or an aggressive, push the pace, Mexican-type fighter.

 

His defense involves holding, clinching and inside fighting as opposed to Floyd standing in the pocket, making guys miss and countering with clean shots.

 

He doesn't have much charisma.

 

He ain't on that wildin out and showin out Lavar Ball side of the game with antics to keep himself in the headlines.

 

Americans love controversy and pain. He brings neither to the table.

 

So now, is it any surprise at all that no one gives a fuck about him? He's an incredibly hard sell to mainstream fans. 

 

Once again, what are the merits to trying to market Ward ? 2004 Olympics ? No one cares.

 

Super Six ? Great, but that shit was 7 years ago. Old news.

 

Yes I'm ranting, but I'm tired of Ward and his camp being like, we don't get no respect and it's everyone else's fault. Fuck out of here with that shit. His camp has PLENTY of blame


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#7 Cshel86

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 09:30 PM

I think we're misunderstanding each other.

 

This is larger than just the Kovalev fight. Ward and his camp for years have been talking about how "we don't get no respect around here", but they fail to take any accountability for their own actions that have contributed to this "lack of respect/coverage/love/money/whatever".

 

Staying on the Kovalev point, if they were going to re-negotiate the rematch, then why put in specific language which already spell out the terms in the first contract ?

 

This is the same as Conor McGregor trying to talk his way out of his contract with the UFC to try and set up a fight against Floyd. I deal with lawyers and contract negotiations for a living. If you sign something, it's now binding. Ain't no trying to re-negotiate terms unless you want to end up in a frivolous lawsuit.

 

Then again, Ward wasted 4 years of his career in a courtroom and still lost, so maybe he prefers the court to a ring.

 

I have a very basic problem with people not wanting to take any accountability for their own predicaments.

 

You can't compare Mikey Garcia and Andre Ward, from an entertainment perspective. Ward is obviously on a different stratosphere skills-wise. However, Garcia is Mexican, has a more entertaining style and stays knocking fools out.

 

Yes he was in his own lawsuit, but was out of the ring for a much shorter time overall than Ward. 

 

Also, here's the most damning part: if you wanted to introduce Boxing to casual fans (who we desperately need for the sport's long term survival), would you be better off showing them an Andre Ward clinch-fest or a Mikey Garcia beatdown ?

 

It would be Garcia all day, every day. Bring the pain and not the clinch and hug-fest.

 

In 2009, I had a group of people over at the crib to watch Pacquiao vs. Cotto and even the broads were glued to the TV because of the action and ferocity of the fighters.

 

Tell me, how do you think their reaction would have been to Andre Ward vs. Alexander Brand ? I'll tell you: it'd turn into a sleepover party because them people would be laid out in my living room snoring by the 5th round.

 

No one gives a fuck about Ward because what does he really bring to the table ? I'm asking seriously.

 

He's not a KO artist or an aggressive, push the pace, Mexican-type fighter.

 

His defense involves holding, clinching and inside fighting as opposed to Floyd standing in the pocket, making guys miss and countering with clean shots.

 

He doesn't have much charisma.

 

He ain't on that wildin out and showin out Lavar Ball side of the game with antics to keep himself in the headlines.

 

Americans love controversy and pain. He brings neither to the table.

 

So now, is it any surprise at all that no one gives a fuck about him? He's an incredibly hard sell to mainstream fans. 

 

Once again, what are the merits to trying to market Ward ? 2004 Olympics ? No one cares.

 

Super Six ? Great, but that shit was 7 years ago. Old news.

 

Yes I'm ranting, but I'm tired of Ward and his camp being like, we don't get no respect and it's everyone else's fault. Fuck out of here with that shit. His camp has PLENTY of blame

I get the angle you're coming from, I really do. It can be frustrating, and I won't lie, I was tired of his litigation and inactivity. At the end of the day, if it works/worked for him, then who are we to get up in arms about it? Yeah, he lost the court battle, but if he learned a thing or two from it, then what can we do?

 

I mean seriously, you're talking about action fighters and contracts and so on, but didn't the same action fighter (Manny) have one of the worst contract in handler in the sport, which caused one of THE biggest fights in boxing history to not happen for nearly 6 years. Yeah, try explaining that to your friends, I know I had many battles with peers and strangers about that fight and "business" of boxing. 

 

Nobody cared about the "business" side of boxing when it came to that fight. What does Ward's diva ways and boring style have to do with the Kovalev fight? The better question is, has it stopped it from happening? Looks like the rematch is about 60 days out, so I guess the answer is clear. This is THE biggest fight in recent LHW history, let's appreciate what's in front of us. 

 

Back to the casual fans.....the necessary evil of all things. Since we're hardcore fans, it's our responsibility to make sense of what goes on in the sport...that ranges from "styles make fights" to the business side of the game. How many casual fans still think Floyd is a "boring" fighter, regardless of flawless his fight game is? That's just people's opinions, nothing we can do about that. 

 

For the record, Mikey Garcia sat on the shelf and dealt with his legal issues just as long, if not longer than Ward. If I remember correctly, Garcia was on the shelf for 2 1/2 years and Ward was pushing 18 months, it's only a few months difference, but Garcia sat longer. 

 

We love a mix of both in the sport, those blood and guts warriors, those technical heavy-handed guys, and the pure boxers with not as much power. We can't give Ward credit for being one of the purest boxers (I remember you mentioning this a while ago), but get upset because he isn't an eye-catching fighter. 

 

I'm aware that we need casual fans to make the sport bigger, but seriously, we don't need A LOT of these "hardcore" fans who know just enough about the sport to bash it and turn off casual fans. So yeah, I'd take an idiot casual fan over a lot of these undercover fans who ruin the sport. 

 

I'm not huge on guys not taking accountability for their own predicaments either, because it's clear that these guys sign these contracts that they raise hell about....even the exciting guys like Mikey Garcia. I didn't know Ward's case lasted 4 years, I was under the impression that it cut short after the 2 year mark. Point is, he and Garcia took their matters to court for the same reason(s). 

 

It's not like Ward wasn't able to negotiate fights during litigation, I believe it had more to do with his guaranteed minimum. Not only that, but I remember him taking time off for his shoulder to heal. 

 

My mind is a bit rusty, but I remember Ben explaining the fact that Ward able to still fight, but Goossen wasn't able to fulfill his guaranteed minimum and HBO wasn't really helpful because their relationship with Haymon ended on horrible terms.

 

Goossen had a great relationship with Haymon.....don't think that would've meshed well with HBO. Last time I checked, if your promoter isn't able to fulfill your contract minimum per fight, then that's a cause for some issues. 

 

Say what you will about Ward, but the man did what he had to do. The media is more upset with him because he isn't taking the bait and getting flustered with them. As a man, I would want any fighter to stand firm on what they believe. 

 

I'll stick with my thoughts on Duva and how the re-negotiations were probably a bit faulty from jump. Again, if Ward's team didn't see holes in the contract, then how is that things appear to be going their way again and the fight is happening? 



#8 MaxPayne

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 10:57 PM

The re-match terms were already set with Ward getting the majority share of the pie at 60-40 in his favor.

 

Ward kept talking about wanting to do the fight on his own terms, but that's how things were set up from the jump.

 

What, you want 80-20 now ? If you knew that going into the first fight, then why did you sign a contract which specifically stated that in a rematch, you would get 60-40, which appears to not be enough ?

 

Once again, then amend the contract BEFORE signing for the first fight to say that if a rematch occurs, the parties will discuss at length at the appropriate time...sorry, got my Lawyer hat on (fuck, why do I have to think about work even when I'm discussing a passion like Boxing ?)

 

I don't have a problem with Ward's style, so to speak, just like I don't have an issue with Rigo. They are what they are: skilled tacticians who know how to win, in sometimes very ugly fashion to the untrained eye.

 

This is back to my point about Canelo man...I just want people to be honest about what it is.

 

In a perfect world, Ward would be visiting the White House every other week or some shit. But we live in a world where I had to decide to vote between Trump and Hillary, on the "kill yourself please" side of the game.

 

Yeah, Ward SHOULD get a whole lot more credit/press/money and that is what he's complaining about. He's basically catching feelings over how he's been treated, whereas I believe personally that he should also be introspective about how he could potentially change his ways to allow for more respect/money/whatever.

 

The point is though, that long term, for the sport to survive at a level where it's relevant, we need a steady influx of casuals and dumbasses who just want to see Gatti - Ward every weekend.

 

So sadly, the most prized assets from a promotional standpoint are of course, the young, good looking, charismatic, all action fighters who have a built-in fan base. 

 

How many of those boxes does Ward fill ? Maybe after that introspection he'll realize that there's a lot more that he could have done in terms of getting out there and being a hustler to get more fame and riches.



#9 mgrover

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 05:06 PM

Its simple supply and demand, and there just aint the demand for that division, not even just Ward, the LHW division as a whole just is meh, its great for us sure, but for the mainstream, they don't care.






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