Ward Reaffirms Retirement, But Keeps Future Open
Andre Ward has made the transition into post-fighting life quite easily. 11 months after announcing his retirement, Ward has become not only a broadcaster with ESPN, but also the host of the rebooted competition series The Contender.
While the former pound-for-pound number one fighter in the world, found it difficult to completely walk away from boxing, he is firmly standing by his decision to stay retired.
“I have no plans on coming back,” Ward told BoxingScene.com on Tuesday following a press conference in New York to promote “The Contender” premiere Friday night.
“I know the history of this sport and boxing doesn’t wanna let you go that easily. I’m gonna be asked about this for a long time to come and you never know what the future may hold. But again, I’m not planning on it. But I keep myself in shape and I’m a fighter, man. That mentality is not gonna go away just because I’m doing other things.
“That being said, I couldn’t have scripted this past year any better than it’s been playing out. You wonder, as a fighter or just any athlete or just any person that’s gonna retire, what’s next or what’s gonna come about. And my close group of family and friends would always say, ‘Listen, opportunities are gonna come. You’ve done it the right way. Don’t worry about it.’ ”
Ward told BoxingScene that he has “something left in the tank,” but Ward knows that he needed to look towards his health and his life after boxing.
“Me and my wife have done good with our finances,” said Ward, who recently signed a long-term broadcasting contract with ESPN. “We’re fine financially, but I’m still a young man. You wanna be active. You still wanna continue to be passionate about other things. And sure enough, it happened. Like I never would’ve thought ‘The Contender’ would’ve called and I would’ve been hosting a show that I was once a fan of. ‘Creed II’ is coming out Thanksgiving weekend. That was a blessing to be a part of.
“I’m working on my book. I’m working on my documentary. So I think these projects, just like ‘The Contender,’ have really helped me in this first year of retirement and just helped me to focus on some other things, instead of just mulling over the decision that I made.”
Initial Report: Boxing Scene