By Ryan Maquiñana
Super middleweight world champion Andre Ward has been clamoring for a blockbuster bout with former middleweight beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for quite some time.
Following his dominant win over Edwin Rodriguez (24-1, 16 KOs) Saturday night, Ward reiterated his desire for a matchup with Chavez Jr., but admitted that it might not be on the table for the moment.
“I’m not putting my eggs in that basket,” Ward (27-0, 14 KOs) told BoxingScene.com/CSNBayArea.com. “I think (Chavez Jr.) is a tremendous talent. He obviously has some discipline issues. ... I don’t even know if that’s a fight that’s possible.”
However, the Oakland, Calif., native discussed the magnitude of such a clash with Chavez Jr. (47-1-1, 32 KOs), the Mexican son of a legend whose lack of training habits has resulted in a less-than-stellar reputation within the boxing community.
“I just think if you talk about a ‘now’ pay-per-view, I think that’s a ‘now’ pay-per-view,” Ward said. “I think the only two ‘now’ pay-per-views that I have right now -- maybe I’m wrong, and I gotta see who’s out there -- is probably Bernard Hopkins and Chavez Jr.”
Philadelphia’s Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KOs), who currently holds one of the light heavyweight belts, has publicly considered Ward to be his protégé. But over the years, Ward has risen through the ranks to where most observers peg him second only to Floyd Mayweather as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world -- a title Hopkins held at one point in his career.
One thing’s for sure. If he ever gets a shot at either Hopkins or Chavez Jr. one day, Ward likely would be the lighter man in the ring.
“The boy is big,” Ward said of the Mexican star. “He walked past me after the (Brian) Vera fight, and he’s big. He’s big. So he’d have a size advantage for sure.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a boxing column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine's Ratings Panel. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net or follow him on Twitter @RMaq28.