No Problem

By Rick Strom on November 17, 2013
No Problem
Andre Ward was a wizard in the ring and Rodriguez was under his spell. (Naoki Fukuda)

A come-forward, aggressive opponent does not relent unless getting pummeled?

Yep. No problem.

Andre Ward is everything boxing purists thought he was, and even more. After taking 14 months off to rehab his shoulder, Ward dazzled his undefeated opponent Edwin Rodriguez so badly that the Dominican threw wild, outrageous hooks that hit nothing but air.

It was simply Ward’s night.

The fight started rough as Rodriguez, 28, bolted from his corner, running to attack his opponent like a pitbull who hadn’t eaten. It looked like it would be a dogfight for Ward with constant pressure coming from the challenger.

Although “S.O.G.” would earn a shutout on one card, the other two most likely gave Rodriguez this first round since it was tough to call. Then, something this writer has never seen occurred in the fourth round.

As both boxers were engaged, Rodriguez would put Ward’s head under his left arm, appearing to hold a firm grip. Referee Jack Reiss called for a break and when Rodriguez did not relent, Ward fired back. The two continued to trade blow after blow with Reiss right in the middle.

Kudos to Reiss for not only keeping his cool, but gaining control of the fight. The result was four points taken away, two from each fighter, and a pep talk from the ref.

The fight would be controlled in the long run, mainly by Ward’s boxing ability. A boxing clinic, if you will. Rodriguez was susceptible to left hooks the entire night, in addition to stiff jabs, combination punching and thudding blows to the body. 

Ward was a wizard in the ring and Rodriguez was under his spell.

As the final scores were read (118-106, 117-107, 116-108) Ward seemed pleased with the victory but knew it wasn’t pretty. “It’s not always going to be a spectacular performance, but a win is a win,” he said after the final bell.

So who could possibly next for Andre Ward one might ask? Well, here is who we know are most likely not in the running: Mikkel Kessler, Sakio Bika, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch and Chad Dawson. Like Rodriguez, have all fallen to Ward’s superior boxing ability.

A fight with Gennady Golovkin? Yes, please.

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  1. EL BASTARDO MAGNIFICO 05:50pm, 11/17/2013

    Irish Frankie- one weekend Sports Hernia surgery and the following weekend had the knee scoped out- so no Wynn points for me!!! Feel like Mitch “Blood” Green belted me in the balls late night at some clothing joint!!! I am in San Antonio for the four title fight card in December- and so nobody gets that one confused I aint there to see the Problem Boner- my buddy WBA Champ Shumenov has navigated his way back into the scene ( what a business this boxing is but that is a story for another day) and is back in action on the card ( Somewhere in the archive files Irish Frankie is my Shumenov Dinner Las Vegas- be about March of last year- was after the Rios vs Abril ) Ward is post fight presser talk talk talking about Edwin being a dirty fighter etc etc- he would be better off, sportsman and all things considered in terms of how he fights, just leaving those comments off the mike….hell of a talent, just saying!!!!! See you gents soon I hope in the Big Apple area, early New Years.

  2. EL BASTARDO MAGNIFICO 05:42pm, 11/17/2013

    Koolz I hear ya but I think you do the Monzon thing—either you fight the numero uno, or out of respect for yourself, boxing, your legacy, you simply retire and everybody thinks the best of you—Sergio has nothing to prove but having your team slip out the odd press quote how you would squash GGG etc etc nahh not good. Retire or fight the guy—Monzon went and did Valdez but you know what, if he had retired at that point nobody would have had anything but respect. Sergio is going to find the respect item dwindle in a hurry if he sticks around and does not fight the GGG. The very definition “Champion”.......

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:06pm, 11/17/2013

    El Bastardo Magnifico—I was thinking you would be checking in from Macau this week….Wynn is established there now and you could rack up some major league Rewards Points….anyhooo…..when you write about fight week in Vegas or dining at Roberto Duran’s place in Panama we are there with you too….so don’t forget your pocket notebook and mini-recorder on your next adventure….which reminds me….of course you are right on the mark regarding Ward.

  4. Koolz 04:39pm, 11/17/2013

    I don’t see Ward fighting Golovkin in the future.  I even heard HBO wanting GGG for Froch.  Groves vs Froch winner?
    I think this is all just speculation on everyone though to create a big fight make lots of money.

    Kovalev and Ward and honestly that would be Ward getting KO’d.  Kovalev hits way too hard.  I see him beating Stevenson.
    Ward would tag him and would in return get tagged himself which would change that fight.

    I think Martinez though has only two fights left shouldn’t we let that champion go out in a blaze of Glory instead of fighting for his life against some like GGG.


  5. EL BASTARDO MAGNIFICO 04:06pm, 11/17/2013

    I don’t disagree with you on those comments at all Koolz- I just don’t like the idea of holding on to a title (Martinez) and not fighting the best available number one- there is a whole line up of guys waiting to fight for the Money Bobble Belt and to simply stay on as Champion due to injury and then come back and hand pick what you want -nahhhhhh- and as mentioned, I have met both Ward and GGG- Ward is a big guy at 168 and GGG is not a big Middle ( Same as Marv Hagler, really a guy not much over junior-middle. It would have been silly to ask Marvin to step in with a Mike Spinks)- very convenient for Andre but me thinks he should be looking to Light Heavy which is more in his six to seven pound range- he already got his cherry pick by forcing Bad Chad to look like a prisoner of war weight. Move on up Andre where there are a host of guys to make a fight- Stevenson, Kovalev etc. And P.S when Monzon was most certainly ready to hang it up there was a lot of media and pressure put on him to fight the number one guy, Rodrigo Valdez and as you know- there was no “Cry for me Argentina” on that one. Monzon went in and did it not once but twice and the second one was honorable in deed. Adios

  6. Koolz 03:35pm, 11/17/2013


    styles make fights sure.  Martinez would fight on his back foot bring Golovkin in and trying to catch him but forget it.  Golovkin would open up and body and head shots would end him.  he wouldn’t make the mistakes he made against Stevens.
    Martinez aginast Golovkin would be the end of Martinez career no matter how he fights backing up he would no be able to stop the train GGG coming at him.

    I say GGG wouldn’t be able to beat Ward because of the styles and yes Ward is an amazing smart fighter.  He Ward clinches a lot and likes to fight in the inside after clinching.  Golovkin just hasn’t fought that style yet and I don’t know how he would do against a fighter that does a lot of clinching and dirty fighting and fighting on the inside etc.

  7. EL BASTARDO MAGNIFICO 12:56pm, 11/17/2013


  8. EL BASTARDO MAGNIFICO 12:30pm, 11/17/2013

    Hee hee Ted you crack me up!!! Lets look on the bright side, you can order up some of those fine ceeeegars and whiskey you like, go to a boxing match, and if you cross all your fingers, maybe, just maybe, a fight will break out. Seriously, there is a none to subtle attempt brewing by the powers to be to match Ward vs Golovkin and Andre who likes to orchestrate the whole dance start to finish would love that. GGG should get his scrape against Sergio—if Sergio is healthy enough to have his team say they would fight Cotto in April (and that they have said) then HBO should tell Sergio to buckle up for a April GGG or find some other TV application. As for Ward, well Adonis, by the opponent, and unless he loses in his close out fight this year, is a very strong candidate for Fighter of The Year—he destroyed Bad Chad at Chad’s weight, just moved up to Light Heavy AND IS A VERY DANGEROUS OPPONENT FOR ANDRE—HE HAS LIGHTS OUT POWER AND ANDRE, HE IS ANDRE’S SIZE, AND ANDRE DOES NOT HAVE THE POWER TO KEEP HIM OFF—ALSO BOTH GUYS HAVE SUSPECT WHISKERS- STEVENSON DROPPED BY AN ALBEIT HARD PUNCHER AND WARD, WHICH PEOPLE SEEM TO FORGET ALSO HAD HIS OWN GET OFF THE DECK LIFE AND BOX STRUGGLE BEFORE THE SUPER SIX. LET’S NOT GET TOO EXCITED ABOUT WHAT ANDRE DID LAST NIGHT AGAINST A WIDE AND FREE SWINGING GUY. AS FOR GGG—DID MONZON MOVE UP TO FIGHT FOSTER—NOPE. DID MARV MARV, WHO WAS NOT A BIG MIDDLE, MOVE UP TO FIGHT SPINKS. NOPE. ME THINKS GGG IS JUST FINE AT MIDDLE AND HAS MADE NO IF’S AND OR BUT’S ABOUT IT - IT’S SERGIO THAT HE WANTS AND THAT IS THE CORRECT FIGHT—CLEAN UP THE MIDDLE SITUATION—THERE IS ALSO MR. QUILLIN TO DEAL WITH. THE OTHER GUY, IF HE GETS BY GROVES, AND IS DESERVING BASED ON HIS DEMOLITION OF BUTE, IS FROCH AGAINST WARD.

  9. Ted 10:47am, 11/17/2013

    Hopkins vs Ward would be worse than pulling out toenails with a pliers.  It would be cruel and unusual punishment forbidden by the Geneva Convention.

  10. EL BASTARDO MAGNIFICO 10:43am, 11/17/2013

    HBO pushing a GGG fight is bullshit—there is unfinished business at Middleweight and it is two guys that naturally are not big Middles—that is Martinez vs Golovkin and if Sergio does not want the fight—ie wants Cotto etc then Sergio should be stripped. Ward is a naturally big Super Middle—come on now SOG—how about a guy that just recently moved to Light Heavy and will probably be fighter of the year—Adonis Stevenson—how about Kovalov, and what is all this bullshit that neither he nor Hopkins will fight each other because they respect each other too much—laughable…

  11. Koolz 09:27am, 11/17/2013

    I was really impressed with Ward!  I thought that was great display from him!
    Wow that left jab is so fast.
    I wouldn’t mind seeing Ward fight Froch again or Adonis.
    But GGG…I don’ think Golovkin would be able to handle Ward.

  12. Ted 08:46am, 11/17/2013

    Winner of Froch vs. Grove makes sense to me. Maybe Adonis at a catch weight.