Friday, 5 August 2016

Andre Ward v Alexander Brand, tomorrow in Oakland.

Tomorrow night at the Oracle arena in Oakland California, former WBA 168lb Super champion Andre Ward takes on Colombian import Alexander Brand (25/1, 19 Ko's) in his final bout as a prelude to his November 19th superfight with Russian three belt light heavyweight champion Sergei Kovalev, in Las Vegas. Ward (29/0, 15 Ko's) has done everything asked of him at supermiddleweight, winning the super 6 series in 2011, beating almost every notable fighter in the division along the way. Unfortunately injuries have hampered Andre's progression, with only four appearances in the five years since the Froch fight, one wonders if the Andre Ward feeding on a diet of Paul Smiths and Sullivan Barreras can elevate himself for such a heavy task in a relatively short period of time..   Enter Alexander Brand...  a man with a respectable record on paper, Brand is unbeaten in his last 8, since his sole career loss to the now WBC champion Badau Jack by split decision in 2012, a loss that looks more respectable four years on..   Brand appears an appropriate test for this version of Ward, but don't let the inactivity fool you, Ward has practiced his trade diligently for most of his life, regardless of current ring form, Ward isn't the kind of guy to take anything lightly or leave anything to chance..  With the enormity of the Kovalev fight in their sights, I doubt Ward or Roc Nation (his promoters) would have selected Brand if there was even a slim chance of an upset on the cards..  Ward is the consummate pro, Saturday is a calculated event, with the sole intention of reintroducing Ward at his very best, with November in mind..  I expect the capable Colombian to hang in and give a decent account of himself, but a vintage Andre Ward has too much to lose..