Was Top Rank Going To Do A Deal With Andre Ward?



Was Top Rank Going To Do A Deal With Andre Ward?

Bob Arum is doing tons of business with ESPN now, and all his A grade talent is being featured on The World Wide Leader. But that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t still like to invite A grade talent aligned with other companies to the party.

For instance. Artur Beterbiev isn’t a Top Rank fighter, he’s been promoted by Yvon Michel and is advised by Al Haymon. But the 175 pound badass will fight on ESPN, on a Top Rank show, next month.

Arum had also been looking to try and get Andre Ward onto a Top Rank card, he told TALKBOX listeners this week.

“Andre Ward leaving, he was with Roc Nation,” Arum said.  “We work very well with Roc Nation, we’re doing this Lomachenko-Rigondeaux fight together, they’re good people, we have no problem dealing with them. And we had a conversation in my office about doing an event wher’d we co-promote an Andre Ward. And then Ward told us, told them and everybody, he’d made enough money in boxing and he was going to look to his career as a commentator. He’s a brilliant commentator. I applaud it, he’s getting up in age, why take the risk of incurring any kind of lasting damage. There’s no real story about that, other than Andre felt he had enough.”

What might have been…And c'mon, what still could be. Boxers retire, unretire, retire again. No one would be picking their jaw off the floor if in a year from now Ward announced he was coming back to the ring for another swing.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.