Ward signs with Roc Nation Sports
Super middleweight champion Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KOs) has signed with the promotional company Roc Nation Sports.
Ward, who has not fought since he defeated previously unbeaten Edwin Rodriguez by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision in November 2013, mainly because of all his legal issues, has signed with music mogul Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports, in its biggest move yet since opening a boxing promotion in August, shortly after working out an agreement to end his contract with Goosen Promotions last Friday.
"We have signed Andre Ward and it's something we're very excited about," said Roc Nation COO David Itskowitch.
"It's just the beginning for us but it's a game-changer. He's one of the best fighters in the world. Everything is coming together for us. On the same day we are having our first event, at Madison Square Garden, we are announcing our first really huge signing."
One day prior, Roc Nation completed a deal to buy promoter Gary Shaw's company, Gary Shaw Productions, and now Shaw will run the organization’s boxing division along with Itskowitch.
Ward is widely regarded as the best of all the top super middleweights in the world due to the fact he won the Super Six World Boxing classic in dominant fashion, including lopsided wins against Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham and then Carl Froch in the final to unify two 168-pound world titles in December 2011.
However, Ward has fought only twice in the past three years due to shoulder surgery and problems with promoter Dan Goossen, who signed Ward after he won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and promoted his entire professional career until his untimely death from liver cancer at age 64 in September. Another issue in Ward's career is not being able to get the top fighters in the division to face him and with Ward planning to remain at super middleweight and defend his world title in late March or April, he may be in a situation where he needs to get whatever fight he can to keep busy until he can get another interesting fight against the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Sergey Kovalev or Adonis Stevenson.