Undefeated boxer Andre Ward made his light heavyweight debut on Saturday night and found success moving up in weight serving his opponent Sullivan Barrera his first professional loss.
After the fight, the former super middleweight world champion and Olympic gold medalist was asked about Nate Diaz’s win over Conor McGregor at UFC 196 as Ward and the Diaz brothers have trained together.
“He’s hard to fight. I mean he’s really hard to spar, really,” Ward said. “And, they call it the Stockton slap because he’ll slap you to death man and I don’t mean that in a bad way.
“I sparred with Nick and Nate. Nate helped me get ready for Chad (Dawson) and he always comes in shape and throws a million punches from a million different angles and I felt like he had a great shot against McGregor. I just was worried about the 10-day notice.”
Ward says that his worries ended as Nate started to find his range and rhythm.
“When he started letting his punches go and he landed that short left I knew he had action because he’s just a bad boy man. They don’t care, they just come to fight. So, I’m happy man because I know they don’t always get the credit they deserve and for him to come in and upset the applecart like that I was so happy.”
Ward also mentions that there were two other big boxing matches that took place that night and he opted to watch and pay for his first UFC fight cheering his friend on.
While both Diaz and Ward have found success in their last bouts, they will look to keep their winning ways as Ward’s win over Barrera will likely lead him to a light heavyweight fight with world champion Sergey Kovalev next.