While the boxing world is still waiting for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather to step in the ring (yeah, right), Andre Ward's 10th-round knockout of Chad Dawson Saturday night was the best thing that could have happened to the sport.
Ward's left hook was unstoppable and delivered a big-time victory against a quality opponent, giving some relevancy back to the sport.
Let's face it, boxing is still very popular, it just isn't as mainstream as it used to be. After two high-profile stars such as Mayweather and Pacquiao, there was nobody on that next tier to care about.
Enter Ward, who improved his record to 26-0 with 14 KOs after knocking down Dawson three times. It was simply a fantastic performance from Ward, a performance that is being put on the same level as those by some of the greats of all time.
ESPN's Dan Rafael said this about Ward's performance:
The performance from Ward was staggering. Potential all-time-great staggering. This was as good as Roy Jones Jr. routing James Toney or Floyd Mayweather Jr. crushing Diego Corrales.
Pretty strong words from one of the most respected boxing journalists in the world. But it rings true. Ward hadn't been overly special despite his undefeated record. There hadn't been that one standout fight until Saturday.
Saturday was that fight. Saturday was that performance. Saturday was the night Ward took boxing by storm.
Other than Pac-Man and Mayweather, who really cares about boxing from the average fan's perspective? I mean, really, who cares?
Now we should all care. We should all care because Ward is a tank that just had his signature moment. Let's take it in and enjoy another quality fighter. We haven't had too many of these moments since the glory days of the sport.
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