DATE OF BIRTH: FEBRUARY 23, 1984
WEIGHT: 175 LBS
LIVES: OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA RECORD: 32-0 (16 KOs)
TRAINER: VIRGIL HUNTER
HBO EXPERT COMMENTATOR
• RING MAGAZINE AND UNIFIED LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION
• TWO-DIVISION WORLD CHAMPION (SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT AND LIGHT
• FORMER NUMBER ONE POUND-FOR-POUND FIGHTER IN THE WORLD
• 2011 FIGHTER OF THE YEAR
• 2004 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST
• THREE-TIME ESPY NOMINEE
• RETIRED FROM BOXING ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
Before he could ever dream of winning Olympic gold, becoming a two-division World Champion or rising to the number one spot on the pound-for-pound list, a nine-year-old Andre Ward was taken to a boxing gym by his father Frank. He couldn’t possibly have known that his son would blossom in to one of the top amateur and professional fighters in the sport. He asked trainer Virgil Hunter, “to teach his son to hit and not get hit.” Hunter more than delivered on his promise, helping to develop his pupil into one of the most skilled technicians in boxing.
He went on to become a two-division, five-time world champion and the last American male to win Olympic gold in boxing. Ward retired from the sport on September 21, 2017 with an unblemished 32-0 professional record and as the number one boxer on the sport’s highly acclaimed pound-for-pound list.
Known for his strong character and integrity outside the ring and his warrior’s instinct inside it, Ward prides himself on being a strong role model and paving a path for those coming behind him.
The 2011 Fighter of the Year’s skill and talent were apparent early in his outstanding amateur career. He racked up every title in the books, culminating in a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
He turned professional on December 18, 2004, scoring a second round technical knockout victory over Chris Molina at Staples Center in a fight that was televised live on HBO. He has gone on to rack up 29 more victories since that time, building an ever- growing legion of fans in the process.
In 2009, Ward signed on to join five fellow elite super middleweights in the highly acclaimed SHOWTIME Super Six World Boxing Classic. Shortly after, he fulfilled his lifelong dream by winning the WBA Super Middleweight World Championship with a dominating performance over former World Champion Mikkel Kessler in front of over 10,000 adoring fans at the Oracle Arena in his hometown of Oakland, Calif.
He went on to make three successful defenses of his WBA title, defeating Allan Green, Sakio Bika and former World Champion Arthur Abraham, dominating his competition in all three fights.
His Super Six efforts culminated in a dominant 12-round unanimous decision victory over Carl “The Cobra” Froch in the Super Six final on December 17, 2011 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The victory earned Ward the WBC and Ring Magazine Super Middleweight World Championships as well as the highly coveted SHOWTIME Super Six World Boxing Classic Cup. As a result of his dominant performances over top-flight competition, Ward was named 2011 Fighter of the Year by every major media outlet.
While many fighters would have taken on a lesser opponent following a run such as Ward’s through the Super Six, the reigning Fighter of the Year chose fellow World Champion Chad Dawson as his next opponent. A fellow pound-for-pound list regular and the light heavyweight world champion, Dawson met Ward in his hometown of Oakland in a highly anticipated showdown on September 8, 2012, which was televised on HBO’s World Championship Boxing. Ward didn’t disappoint the packed house at Oracle Arena, stopping Dawson in the 10th round of a thoroughly dominant performance. The hometown favorite sent Dawson to the canvas in three different rounds en route to hhis 26th professional victory.
Following 14 months out of the ring due to major shoulder surgery, Ward made a triumphant return on November 16, 2013 with a dominating victory over previously undefeated contender Edwin Rodriguez at Citizen’s Bank Arena in Ontario, California. With boxing greats including Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson and his childhood idol Roy Jones, Jr. on hand, the super middleweight king handed the much larger Rodriguez his first professional defeat.
On June 20, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Ward made his highly anticipated return to the ring. In front of a packed, star-studded house, Ward scored a decisive ninth round technical knockout victory over two-time World Title Challenger Paul Smith in a fight that was televised live on BET in the network’s first ever boxing telecast.
In the fall of 2015, Ward signed a multi-fight deal with HBO and announced that he would be vacating his WBA Super Middleweight World Championship ahead of his move up to the light heavyweight division. On March 26, 2016, Ward made his highly publicized 175-pound debut against Cuba’s undefeated and IBF number one rated light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera in front of frenzied crowd at Oracle Arena that including luminaries such as Michael B. Jordan, Stephen Curry, Marshawn Lynch and Draymond Green. Ward expertly managed the fight and began to unravel his opponent in the third round when he caught Barrera with a counter left hook, dropping him to the canvas. He went on to dispatch of Barrera by way of unanimous decision.
Ward continued his conquest of the light heavyweight division on August 6, 2016 at Oracle Arena, in Oakland, Calif., taking on power-punching Colombian Alexander Brand in a 12-round contest. With the WBO Intercontinental title on the line, Ward once again emerged victorious by way of a wide, unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring the bout 120-108.
Immediately following the decision, Ward announced in the ring that he would be taking on unified Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev in the ultimate showdown for division supremacy and recognition. Ward defeated the reigning light heavyweight champion on November 19, 2016, overcoming a second round knockdown to win a unanimous decision victory and claim the light heavyweight title. He added a second victory over the previously undefeated Kovalev on June 17, 2017, earning a dominant TKO victory in the eighth round of their rematch at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Ward’s 32nd professional victory extended his winning streak to an incredible 19 years. He last lost as a 13-year-old at the 1998 National Silver Gloves tournament. The 33- year-old shocked the sports world by retiring at the top of the sport on September 21, 2018 with a perfect 32-0 record and at the top of the pound-for-pound list.
Ward’s goals don’t end inside the boxing ring as he is building a career as a boxing commentator and television analyst. A true perfectionist, Ward has put tremendous time and effort in to his work behind the microphone, honing his skills on small shows early in his broadcasting career before moving up the ladder and becoming a member of HBO’s commentary team. He also completed an internship with a Bay Area Comcast station in order to learn all the details, nuances and intricacies involved with live sporting event telecasts.
In 2015, Ward stepped in front of the camera for a completely different role, a part in the acclaimed New Line/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Warner Bros. feature “Creed.” Fellow Bay Area natives, director Ryan Coogler and the film’s star Michael B. Jordan, reached out to Ward so that he could provide his expertise for the film. In addition to working in front of the camera with Ward, Jordan spent time at Ward’s home gym in preparation for his role as Apollo Creed’s son.
A proud Bay Area product, being a consistent, positive presence in his community is of great importance to Ward. Throughout the past several years, he has visited numerous Boys and Girls clubs, schools, prisons and youth facilities, including the Santa Clara County Juvenile Detention Center, William F. James Ranch and Camp Parks military installation, to share his inspirational success story. Ward doesn’t limit his outreach to the Bay Area, he’s also traveled to Capitol Hill to speak about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and motivated young boxers at numerous USA Boxing events across the country.
Ward is a loving husband to his wife and high school sweetheart Tiffiney and a proud father of their sons Andre, Jr., Malachi and Champ and their daughter Amira. He and Tiffiney will welcome their fifth child in May.
A devout Christian, he incorporates his faith into every aspect of his life and is a strong role model to his fans around the world. He and his family reside in San Ramon, Calif., just outside of Oakland.