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.