Courtesy photoOpen-water swimmer Jamie Patrick is preparing to try and swim 75 uninterrupted miles across Lake Michigan later this summer.

Courtesy photoOpen-water swimmer Jamie Patrick is preparing to try and swim 75 uninterrupted miles across Lake Michigan later this summer.

After lengthy layoff, Oakland boxer Ward hungry to get back in ring

Laid clad and gleaming, the Olympic gold medal dangled from Andre Ward’s neck, weighing down the accomplishments of a 10-year amateur boxing career.

And Edwin Rodriguez — then an aspiring Olympian — for one, was proud.

“In the amateur days, he was someone we looked at, and were like ‘Wow, we’re proud of this guy,’” Rodriguez said. “But this is a whole different level. This is about me trying to become great. And he’s in my way.”

Rodriguez (24-0, 16 KOs), an unbeaten yet largely untested 168-pound contender, will get his chance for greatness Saturday in Ontario against Oakland’s Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) — the super middleweight champion of the world.

“I feel like I’ve been ready for a while now,” Rodriguez, 28, said of his first title shot. “This is my time.”

It might be.

Despite being rightfully recognized as one of the finest prizefighters of this era, as he proved 14 months ago when he clinically battered then light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson over 10 punishing rounds, Ward, 29, will be coming off the longest layoff of his career — one that was spurred by an old tear in his right shoulder, dating back to his youth.

“I thought I was hungry before this happened,” Ward said. “But when something gets taken away from you against your will … those things are going to make you stronger or you’re gonna fall by the wayside.”

Ward prefers the former.

“I’m able to do things with [my] right hand. And I have power in this right hand, that I’ve never had before,” he claims. “I’m coming to take something — even though I have the title — and that’s get another victory and defend my belt.”

But mended shoulder or no, power has never been Ward’s game. For the better part of a decade, Ward has mauled and clinched, thumped and roughed, all serving to defuse a foe’s assault.

“I’m not a reluctant warrior,” Ward said. “I love banging on the inside — it’s just going to be on our terms.”

And against Rodriguez, an opponent with a dangerous overhand right and a decent left that’s fond of finding the ribcage, Ward will look to fight on his terms.

“Who’s able to make the adjustments, implement the game plan and get the job done, under the lights with all the pressure when it counts the most,” Ward said. “That’s what I try to do.”Andre WardOther Sports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Nicole Canedo looks at her City-issued Medical Reimbursement Account page on her computer outside her Berkeley apartment on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Canedo has worked numerous retail jobs in The City and the MRA has helped her with health costs. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Millions left sitting in medical reimbursement accounts by city workers

Health officials looking at how to improve access, outreach as untapped funds reach $409M

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF moves into purple tier, triggering curfew and business shutdowns

San Francisco moved into the state’s purple COVID-19 tier Saturday, requiring The… Continue reading

Indecline, an art activist collective in San Francisco, transformed a billboard into an editorial with a message blasting immigration policies of Donald Trump’s administration. (Screenshot, Indecline website)
Has immigration fallen off the administration’s radar? Not a chance

Enforced as executive orders, Trump’s hardline policies are proceeding, against will of the people

University of San Francisco head coach Todd Golden coaches his team on defense during a 2019 gameat War Memorial Gymnasium on the campus of the University of San Francisco. (Ryan Gorcey / S.F. Examiner)
Stunner in Bubbleville: USF upsets fourth-ranked Virginia

Less than 48 hours removed from a loss to a feeble UMass… Continue reading

A dinner at three Michelin Stars restaurant The French Laundry in Yountville, Napa Valley has highlighted Gov. Gavin Newsom’s relationship with a well-known lobbyist. (Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock)
The lobbyist who led Gavin Newsom to the French Laundry has a history of controversy

Lara Korte and Sophia Bollag The Sacramento Bee When photos circulated earlier… Continue reading

Most Read