After cementing his place as the Pound 4 Pound best fighter in world with a decisive June stoppage over Sergey Kovalev, Andre Ward is now walking away from the sport. The veteran made the shocking announcement today that he will be retiring after a 13-year, undefeated career.
Ward, who has dealt with shoulder and knee injuries for the last five years of his career, confirmed those issues played heavily into his decision.
“I want to be clear – I am leaving because my body can no longer put up with the rigors of the sport and therefore my desire to fight is no longer there,” said Ward in a statement. “If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting. Above all, I give God the Glory, for allowing me to do what I’ve done, for as long as I have.”
Ward won the last Olympic gold medal for the American men’s team in 2004. He turned pro to much fanfare and made his mark as an elite fighter by dominating the super middleweight Super Six tournament with dominant wins over Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch.
From late 2013 through early 2015, Ward would see his career sidelined by contract issues with promoter Goosen Tutor. After signing with Roc Nation in January 2015, Ward would jump to light-heavyweight and an eventual showdown with feared unified champion Sergey Kovalev. Ward would climb off the canvas to win their November 2016 encounter by split decision. In the rematch last June, Ward silenced critics by stopping Kovalev in the eighth off a series body shots.
Andre Ward leaves the sport with a record of 32-0 (16 KOs).