With Sept. 12 possibly marking Floyd Mayweather’s last fight and with the impending retirement of Manny Pacquiao, there’s an opening for new faces to carry boxing. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Andrew Ward could emerge as the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighters, leading to a potential bout in the near future.
Golovkin and Ward have gone back and forth in the media over the last year, but the two have never come close to agreeing to meeting in the ring. But Ward made an appearance on ESPN’s “SportsNation” on Tuesday, indicating that an upcoming fight between the two undefeated boxers is a realistic possibility.
“I’m ready,” Ward said after hearing Golovkin say that he wants to take on the super middleweight. “If you really want to fight, less talking in the media. Let’s get the network (HBO) involved, let’s put it in their hands, put it in our team’s hands. Andre Ward is available and we can make it happen.”
Both Ward and Golovkin are searching for their next opponent, following dominant victories. Ward beat Paul Smith with a ninth-round TKO on June 20, and Golovkin stopped Willie Monroe Jr. in the sixth round of their May 16 fight.
Over the last two months, much has been made about Golovkin's next possible opponent. He’s emerged as the most dominant boxer in the sport, knocking out 20 straight opponents to improve his career record to 33-0. While he continues to outshine his competition, GGG has struggled to land a high-profile bout.
Golovkin won't get a chance to fight an elite welterweight like Mayweather, and was denied by middleweights Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez, who will likely face each other in November. Golovkin could face the winner, but Cotto has seemingly been ducking the knockout artist, and the bout might never happen.
Ward has been the one big name that has publicly stated he wants a shot at Golovkin. He’s dominated the super middleweight division, and he could move down one weight class in order to take on the best boxers possible.
“If you look at my track record, I’ve always been ready and willing to fight everybody,” Ward said. “There’s places for tune-up fights, there’s places for stay-busy fights, there’s a place for that. But at the end of the day, I’m concerned about making a living for my family, but my legacy is really important to me. And the only way you get that legacy cemented where you can walk into the Hall of Fame and get voted in is to fight the best, and that’s what I want to do.”
Ward’s most recent win could be described as a tune-up fight, as he returned to the ring for the first time in 19 months. The 31-year-old said he felt better than he thought he would in his first fight back, though he admitted that he might have one more bout before possibly taking on Golovkin in 2016.
If Ward doesn’t move down from super middleweight to face Golovkin, he could move up to fight another top boxer. Light heavyweight champ Sergey Kovalev has expressed interest in fighting Ward at 175 pounds, and Ward said he would be up for the challenge.
The undefeated Kovalev has been particularly impressive in recent fights. He made quick work of Jean Pascal, knocking him down in the third round before winning by TKO in the eight. The 32-year-old Russian previously won a one-sided decision over veteran boxer Bernard Hopkins.