Andre Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) was a rough and rugged fighter during his heyday, and his fierce style has transitioned behind the microphone as an analyst for ESPN in the retirement phase of his career.

When the Hall of Fame fighter was asked to assess the recent fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin – a clear unanimous decision win for the Mexican star – the unbeaten former two-division champion Ward didn’t mince his words while breaking down the Kazakh’s performance. 

“I thought Alvarez should have stopped that version of Golovkin,” Ward said on Max on Boxing. “If Canelo is who he says he is, an all-time great, you got to take advantage of a fighter like that, who literally just showed up to get a check.

“The performance from Canelo was a little shocking. I thought he would do a little bit more, but the performance from Golovkin was not shocking. I was shocked by the reaction and the response that people finally got the revelation that he’s looking old.

“He’s looked old for the last two to three years, and because he’s got the mantra of Mexican style, everybody excuses the fact that he takes way too many punches and way too much punishment. The response time and reaction weren’t there.

“[Golovkin] has looked 40 for some time.”

Ward and Golovkin were once long-linked to face each other, just before Ward ended his career in 2017 after back-to-back fights at light heavyweight against Sergey Kovalev. 

“If you think about it, [Alvarez] is the biggest name, the only real name that Golovkin has on his record. No matter how you feel about it, that’s the truth,” said Ward.

“I don’t think he wanted to fight some of those fighters. I’m not talking about me. There were certain guys that you and I know being at HBO that he wasn’t going to fight.”

In February, Ward and the current unified middleweight champion Golovkin traded words online about the fight between them that never materialized.

Ward said that Golovkin turned down a fight in less than five minutes. 

Triple G responded: "Andre, stop lying to the fans. Your team made the offer after I announced the fight with [David] Lemieux [in 2015] and sold out Madison Square Garden. You are still angry since that you never sold tickets like me. HBO knew you used the offer for publicity to move to 175."

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on