33-year-old WBA/IBF/WBO light heavyweight champion Andre Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) has announced that he is retiring from boxing. A statement on his website reads, “I want to be clear – I am leaving because my body can no longer put up with the rigors of the sport and therefore my desire to fight is no longer there. If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting.”
— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) September 21, 2017
Andre Ward’s full statement:
To the sport of boxing – I love you. You’ve been by my side since I was 10-years-old. You’ve taught me so much. You’ve humbled me. You’ve promoted me. I’ve sacrificed a lot for you, but you’ve given me more than I ever thought possible. You gave me a platform, made me a champion and helped me provide for my family. I am forever grateful to you. You and I will always be synonymous, connected at the hip. Thank you for all the wonderful people I’ve come in contact with because of you. I’ve made friends for life. As I walk away from the sport of boxing today, I leave at the top of your glorious mountain, which was always my vision and my dream. I did it. We did it.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who has played a part in my journey. You know who you are. I could not have done this without you. I want to be clear – I am leaving because my body can no longer put up with the rigors of the sport and therefore my desire to fight is no longer there. If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting. Above all, I give God the Glory, for allowing me to do what I’ve done, for as long as I have.
Andre “S.O.G” Ward
Statement from Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports: “Andre Ward ends his boxing career as he only knew how to live it — as a champion at the top. To watch Ward was to marvel at constant mastery of craft in the ring, to say nothing of his being the consummate role model outside it. The Hall of Fame will be lucky to have him. We wish Andre and his family much success and happiness as he explores new opportunities, including with our own HBO family as one of the expert analysts on our broadcast team. It was a privilege for HBO to serve as the television platform for many of his landmark achievements in the sport he loves.”