By Edwin Chaykovsky
WBA super midlleweight champion Andre Ward has applied added pressure on undefeated contender Edwin Rodriguez (24-0, 16KOs) to fight him in an HBO televised main event on November 16th. Ward has apparently signed his end of the bout agreement.
"Just signed my bout agreement to fight Edwin Rodriguez Nov 16th. The ball is in his court," Ward stated on the social networks.
In a recent article on BoxingScene.com, Rodriguez voiced his displeasure with the $800,000 offer he received to face Ward (26-0, 14KOs). Rodriguez was advised by his new manager, Al Haymon, that HBO placed over $3 million dollars on the table for Ward's next fight. Rodriguez has reportedly been trying to get a bump of $200K to $1 million. Rodriguez's biggest payday was $600,000 for a first round KO of Denis Grachev in Monte Carlo earlier this year.
Based on Rodriguez's recent comments, there won't be a deal unless that bout agreement, which Ward signed, has a few extra dollars included.
"My manager Al Haymon was working with Andre Ward's team and they were unable to come to an agreement. He's the best guy in my weight class, and if I don't get him next then I'll fight him down the road, Rodriguez said to BoxingScene.com.
"I'm 100% sure that he needs me more than I need him. I have other options. I'm the highest rated for the WBC, Sakio Bika is the champion and he's an Al Haymon fighter. If the Ward fight doesn't happen, the second option would be the winner of Bika and Anthony Dirrell - if that fight happens. I'm not going to allow Andre Ward to dictate a single thing just because he could."
"$800,000 sounds like a lot of money and it is, but when you look at the big picture and HBO is putting up over $3 million, and not talking about the gate and everything else that he's going to be keeping, then it's not a lot of money and it's not fair."