Floyd Mayweather: Still No. 1 if Ward beats Golovkin, Kovalev and Stevenson?Written by Lee Cleveland
Will Ward jump weight classes to challenge light heavyweight knockout artists, WBO champion Sergey Kovalev and/or RING/Lineal Champion Adonis Stevenson, Andre's peer in the 175 lb division?
"With all due respect, those guys got a lot of buzz right now, and they're being pushed as the bogeyman in the division," Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) said during a Thursday conference call.
"(There's) Golovkin in the super middleweight division, Stevenson and Kovalev in the light heavyweight division, and that's fine."
Would a win over any or all of those highly-respected opponents today propel Ward to No. 1 on a consensus pound-for-pound list?
"I don't see a win over either one of those guys right now catapulting me right now past a Floyd Mayweather or something like that," insisted Ward.
"But to be perfectly honest, that's not even -- and I use this phrase a lot -- I'm eating, sleeping and drinking Edwin Rodriguez."
"Those guys are not even something that's on my mind right now at all."
And Ward, at least in the present, is correct in his assessment.
Golovkin, Stevenson and Kovalev, although very impressive in the ring as of late, are not considered top 10 pound-for-pound fighters by RING Magazine, FightSaga or most other reputable media outlets.
In order for Andre to unseat Floyd, the superstar dubbed 'Money' would likely have to lose or retire.
In a third scenario, if Mayweather feasted on a series of unranked, lesser-regarded opponents for 12-18 months while Ward defeated a sitting Top 10 pound-for-pound opponent and perhaps two highly-respected fighters, it's arguable the latter would be elevated to the top spot.
Aside from having the better record, Mayweather is far more accomplished than Ward and has defeated more reigning Top 10 pound-for-pound fighters. And while a fighter's record and level of opposition aren't the only indicators of a boxer's pound-for-pound worth, they are the most important.
Perhaps Ward will wait to see who enters the Top 10 first before making any decisions?
Whether it be Golovkin, Kovalev or Stevenson, the fighter who strikes first and does something special enough to be considered - consensus-wide - a Top 10 pound-for-pound fighter, might have the upperhand in getting the first crack at the proverbial 'Andre Ward Sweepstakes.'
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Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.