by Rick Reeno
Las Vegas - Andre Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) is looking for the biggest opportunity possible for his next fight.
On Saturday night, he retained his WBO, IBF, WBA light heavyweight titles with an eight round stoppage of Sergey Kovalev (30-2, 26 KOs) in their HBO Pay-Per-View rematch at the Mandalay Bay.
Afterwards, Ward floated the idea of potentially moving up in weight to chase after other titles - at cruiserweight or even heavyweight.
Ward is highly motivated by the career accomplishments of Roy Jones Jr. - who in 2003 was the undisputed light heavyweight champion when he jumped up to heavyweight to unseat John Ruiz for the WBA world title.
Ward is willing to take that same type of risk - but against the right opponent.
Virgil Hunter, who trains Ward, believes his man is capable of defeating the top dog of heavyweight division - IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs).
Joshua, an Olympic gold medal winner like Ward, would hold a significant advantage in size and strength.
But, Hunter believes there are certain factors that Ward can exploit in Joshua's style to make it a winnable fight.
"Fighting a bigger man, it doesn't have to do with size - it has to do with his attributes and their attributes. If you were to single out one thing that would make it a competitive fight for yourself, you take that chance - because that's what he's here for," Hunter explained.
"I'd like to see him fight Anthony Joshua. I'm not playing, I'm serious. I think would be a very interesting fight. I know you've got a lot of people who say 'oh, that's suicide.' But there are some things about Anthony Joshua that I see, that makes me think he can outbox Anthony Joshua."
"I see him outboxing Anthony Joshua, there are some things about Joshua that I see. He's a good kid, I know him, but I just see things with him in particular. And he's the best, but styles make fights. It would be a waste of time to go to cruiser. Just leapfrog it and go for it all."
Ward smiled after absorbing his trainer's statements.
"You've got me sweating. He's always setting the bar high. That's the kind of stuff that I've been dealing with since I've been a kid. That's the essence of our team right there. That man will make me believe something that I haven't even thought of right there. Anthony Joshua, really? But it will make perfect sense to him," Ward said.