Andre Ward announces retirement from the sport of boxing.
Andre Ward, the light heavyweight champion of the world, has announced his retirement from the sport of boxing. The 33-year old champ, widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, shared a video today with the caption "Mission accomplished."
In a statement posted to his website, Andresogward.com, Ward further explained his decision to walk away from boxing.
"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 Ward retires with an unblemished record of 32-0, 16 of those wins coming by way of knockout. In his most recent fight back in June, Ward defeated Sergey Kovalev by TKO in the eighth round to retain the WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles and win The Ring light heavyweight title.
Before his professional career, Ward won an olympic gold medal for the United States in the light heavyweight division at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Check out some of the reactions to Ward's shocking retirement announcement below.
🥊 Andre Ward:— bet365 (@bet365) September 21, 2017
🏅 Olympic gold
💪 Two-division world champion
✅ 32 wins
😎 0 defeats
🙌 One of the greats. pic.twitter.com/22MdocUihn
Full statement from Andre Ward on his shock retirement.— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) September 21, 2017
Who saw this coming? pic.twitter.com/S2fFlT01cj
BREAKING: Andre Ward is to retire from professional boxing aged 33, with a perfect record of 32 wins (16 ko’s) pic.twitter.com/EHum2RB3nl— Boxing Polls (@BoxingPolls111) September 21, 2017
Andre Ward announced he is "leaving" boxing.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 21, 2017
Top pound-for-pound fighters in world (from ESPN)
1. Andre Ward
3. Vasyl Lomachenko pic.twitter.com/a9CRR8jg6T
HBO and Andre Ward were closing in on a long-term multi-fight deal when Ward walked away, per industry sources. They wanted him back.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) September 21, 2017