Fight Photos: Ward, Rodriguez

423ONTARIO, (Nov. 16) – Two days ago defending WBA and Ring Magazine Champion Andre “S.O.G”. Ward (27-0, 14 KOs) declared that he would come back better than ever after a 14-month layoff, and he lived up to his claim on Saturday night by dominating challenger Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (24-1, 16 KOs) in earning a lopsided unanimous decision victory at the Citizen’s Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.

Scores were 118-106, 117-107, 116-108.

Billed as “THE RETURN”, the HBO® World Championship Boxing televised main event was the headliner of a nine-bout card presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions and sponsored by Toyota, Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, and the City of Ontario. The Ward-Rodriguez bout was presented in association with S.O.G. Promotions and DiBella Entertainment.

Due to the Worcester, MA fighter’s inability to make the 168-pound limit, Ward’s world title was not at stake. However, an obviously irritated but focused Ward seemed bent on punishing Rodriguez for what he called “lack of professionalism”, and his speed and sharp, crisp punches landed at will.

In what was a hotly contested bout with a high dose of nastiness, Ward and Rodriguez were each penalized two points by referee Jack Reiss in the fourth round for failing to break at his instructions and upon his attempts to pull the pair apart.

435“We had two highly trained athletes full of adrenalin and emotion,” the veteran referee observed. “I deducted two points from each of them and warned them that the deduction of another point would result in a disqualification. That was done with the intent to produce an exciting, competitive fight all the way to its conclusion. And it did.”

“We knew he would come out and try and bull me,” said Ward, who showed no ill effects from his inactivity following surgery to his right shoulder.

“Instead of trying to win rounds he was looking to land one big shot. He wanted to make it ugly and hope he could land something big. Jack Reiss did a tremendous job keeping the action going.”

“He was putting his head down a little too much,” a frustrated Rodriguez pointed out. “Andre Ward is very tricky, but does not have a lot of power in his right hand. I am just disappointed in my performance. The weight had nothing to do with it. He’s a good fighter. What can I say?”


Results from Ontario, CA

Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KOs, Oakland, CA), W TKO 10 over Edwin Rodriguez (24-1, 16 KOs, New Haven, CT).
Ward retains WBA & WBC Super Middleweight Titles.

Brandon Gonzales (18-0-1, 10 KOs, Sacramento, CA) W UD 10 over Jonathan Nelson (13-3-2, 3 KOs, Little Rock, AK

Sergio Mora (25-3-2, 7 KOs, Los Angeles, CA) W KO 5 (2:53) over Milton Nunez (26-9-1, 24 KOs, Barranquilla, Colombia)

Tony Hirsch (14-5-2, 6 KOs, Oakland, CA) W UDEC 6 over Donyil Livingston (8-4-1, 4 KOs, Palmdale, CA)

Oscar Molina (7-0, 6 KOs, Norwalk, CA) W TKO 4 (3:00) over Carlos Sanchez (6-5, 2 KOs, Denver, CO)
Justin Deloach (6-0, 4 KOs, Atlanta, GA) W KO 3 (:51) over Robert Hill (1-2, Inglewood, CA)

John Molina, Jr. (27-3, 22 KOs, Los Angeles, CA) W TKO 2 over Jorge Pimentel (26-18, 19 KOs, Los Angeles, CA)

Jonathan Arellano (14-2-2, 3 KOs, Ontario, CA) W MDEC 8 over Charles Huerta (18-4, 11 KOs, Paramount, CA)

Juan Funez (3-0, 1 KO, Van Nuys, CA) W UD 4 vs. Carlos Gonzalez (1-4, Bell, CA)

Above Photos – credits: Photographer Brittni Moten for Goossen Tutor Promotions

“The Return” – Press Conference Wrap, Andre Ward & Edwin Rodriguez

The final press conference between Andre Ward (26-0) and Edwin Rodriguez (24-0) was held today at the Citizens Bank Business Arena in Ontario California. Each fighter gave a short talk – this was the most intense and focused we have seen Andre – with more than a year since his last fight he is looking lean and mean – certainly prepared for this fight and up to the challenge that Rodriguez brings to the match.

“I’m locked in. I take this sport real serious. And he (Rodriguez) is going to find that out come Saturday night. Everybody talks about how hungry he is as a challenger, but he is running into a hungry champion. I am excited to get back. I’m sharp. I’m ready to be better than ever. ~ Andre Ward”

View our photos below of the press conference.

The weigh-in (open to the public) is tomorrow, Friday November 15th at 145pm. The fight starts at 3pm on Saturday November 16th with the under-cards – and the “big show” begins at 7pm. The arena is right off the 10 freeway – it seats 9,500 – we verified there were only two more floor tickets left at the box office today as of 1pm. However, tickets are still available for most of the rest of the arena – BUY TICKETS HERE!

“THE RETURN”features a 12-round World Championship bout between Super Middleweight World Champion, Andre Ward and undefeated challenger Edwin Rodriguez. The night of boxing will take place Nov. 16 from the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. live on HBO World Championship Boxing® (10:00 p.m., ET/PT). Available in HDTV.

Tickets are priced at $200, $125, $75, $50 and $25 (parking included with purchase) and are available at Citizens Business Bank Arena Box Office or online at or call AXS at 888-929-7849 starting. For more information, please visit Doors for the event open at 3:00 p.m.

The Ward-Rodriguez bout is being presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with S.O.G. Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, and sponsored byToyota, Morongo Casino Resort Spa and the City of Ontario.

For more information on Goossen Tutor Promotions, including exclusive behind-the-scenes videos and photos, visit . For more information on DiBella Entertainment, visit . Follow HBO Boxing news at , on Facebook and on Twitter at . Join the conversation by using the Hashtag #WardRodriguez on Twitter.

Andre Ward Set to Begin Rehab after Successful Surgery

Sherman Oaks, CA (Jan. 12) – Deferring to the recommendation of a noted Bay Area orthopedic specialist after receiving a second opinion on his injured right shoulder, reigning WBA, WBC and Ring Super Middleweight World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward underwent successful surgery, which will keep him out of action for an indefinite period and has forced the postponement of his highly-anticipated title bout against Kelly Pavlik for a second time.

Originally scheduled as an HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event from the Galen Center on the campus of USC on January 26, the bout was rescheduled to March 2nd after the 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist, “Super Six” World Boxing Classic tournament winner and 2011 “Fighter of the Year” felt pain in his right shoulder after throwing a punch at sparring partner Tony Hirsch during training in Andre’s hometown of Oakland. The original MRI revealed a significant amount of swelling and inflammation, but no injury to the rotator cuff.

However, after a period of rest and rehab resulted in little improvement, Andre sought a second opinion from Dr. Michael Dillingham, for 25 years the team orthopedic surgeon for the San Francisco 49ers and currently for the San Francisco Giants. A subsequent MRI revealed a small tear in Andre’s right shoulder capsule and, this past Friday, surgery was performed by Dr. Dillingham at the SOAR Surgicenter in nearby Burlingame. Assisting the doctor on the surgical team were his partners Ken Akizuki (team orthopedist for the Giants) and Joe Donahue (former 49ers assistant team orthopedist and current team physician for Santa Clara University)

“Technically, things went very well and all involved are very hopeful about the eventual outcome,” stated Dr. Dillingham. “Within a week, Andre will begin his rehab.”

Lisa Giannone, of Activecare Physical Therapy in San Francisco, will head up Andre’s rehabilitation team.

“The doctor said Andre will initially have his arm in a sling where he will be better prepared to give a timeline for Andre’s recovery process once the sling is removed,” said promoter Dan Goossen.

“Andre has always surpassed everyone’s expectations and I told Dr. Dillingham he can expect the same fire from Andre with his rehabilitation as the fans see when he’s in the ring.

The timing is unfortunate for Andre (26-0, 14 KOs), whose fast-track rise to elite status since winning his first world title in 2009 against reigning WBA super middleweight champ Mikkel Kessler — then capturing the WBC version in late 2011 against brash Briton Carl Froch and, in his most recent domination of current WBC light heavyweight king Chad Dawson — has vaulted him near the top of the “Pound for Pound” ratings and cemented him as a recognized superstar worldwide.

“My surgery went very well and I am definitely pleased with the outcome. I had a fantastic team of surgeons overseeing everything on Friday morning and they did a great job of repairing the injury. I am confident that I will return to the ring even better than I was prior to the injury,” stated Ward.

“I really want to thank everyone for all of the prayers and support that my family and I have received. We truly appreciate it and it has helped throughout this process. I can’t wait to get back out there and perform for all my fans and plan to keep everyone updated on my progress. The best is yet to come so stay tuned.”

Note: All photos provided below are courtesy of Squint Photography






Spotlight on King’s Gym, Oakland

Gym’s like this are a rarity in the Bay Area. King’s Gym has been here since 1990 but it looks and feels like its been here much longer. Its within spitting distance of the 880 Nimitz Freeway in East Oakland. Walls are lined with inspirational quotes, photos of fighters, fight posters and other boxing memorabilia. Its gritty. Its old school. Its got character. Oh and “the Man”, Andre Ward trains here.