Aged only 33, many eyebrows were raised when Andre (Son Of God) Ward turned away from some huge paydays via a move up to the heavyweight division where ex-cruiser weight champion Tony Bellew had called him out.
The Ward v Bellew negotiations had been held and the fight was almost done when the American ultimately came to the conclusion he wanted to preserve his legacy and not prolong his career unnecessarily.
Andre Ward decided to leave boxing after claiming boxing’s number one spot on the back of back-to-back victories over Russian puncher Sergey Kovalev in 2016 and 2017.
Speaking to Jim Lampley Ward has revealed he thought long and hard before making his choice to leave and expected it would be tough, initially.
“( I have) No second thoughts (but) retirement is a lot harder than I thought it would be,” Ward told HBO’s Jim Lampley on The Fight Game.
“I studied retiring. There is a detox that has to take place. I have been doing this 23 years straight…then all of a sudden it’s gone.
“It’s a process, but it is a process that I felt I had to undertake and I am up for the challenge. I just hope to be someone the younger fighters can point to and say, ‘He did it the right way,’“ added the two-weight undefeated world champion.