"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."
~Mike Tyson

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Andre Ward A No Show For Face Off

Main Events' initial
Faceoff announcement
My opinion of Oakland's Andre Ward is well known throughout the boxing circles I'm a part of and I've previously given my opinions of the the fighter here on this blog. I'm also not the first to write about the enormous problem Andre Ward has connecting with the boxing public and it's media. ESPN's Chris Mannix wrote a fantastic piece about this very subject and it's well worth your time as it really hits the nail on the head. Ward's difficult personality and his obstinance in business have reached levels of infamy within the business/sport but it seems that he is now taking things to the next level.

On May 7th, 2017 Sergey Kovalev's promoter Main Events took to Twitter to announce that Andre Ward was a no show for HBO's popular promotional series "Face Off With Max Kellerman". Conversely Sergey Kovalev broke training, left Big Bear, and arrived to fulfill his obligation to HBO. In this tweet Main Events went so far as to label Mr. Ward a coward. Whether or not it was cowardice that was a deciding factor in Ward's unexcused and surprise absence is open for debate. What isn't debatable however is how Ward's actions, or lack thereof, infuriated HBO as well as the Face Off crew whom had set up and where ready to proceed with recording.  If there was ever an example of biting the hand that feeds you...this is it!

Andre's Biggest Problem Is Andre

Indeed Mr. Ward...
Photo: notable-quotes.com
Ward's decision to skip out on Face Off reeks of arrogance, a complete lack of integrity, entitlement, and is wholly unprofessional. One would naturally think that Andre Ward would want to do everything he could to help promote his upcoming tough sell of a rematch with Sergey Kovalev. This clearly isn't the case however. Ward's attitude towards commitments should come as no surprise to anyone whom follows boxing with even limited enthusiasm. Ward has a long history of breaking contracts and being a primadonna among primadonnas. Moreover, when he comes under fire from boxing fans and the media Andre Ward plays the victim card as if he plays no part in his failure to connect with audiences or his failure to become a global superstar. Andre Ward has been given every opportunity to succeed in boxing having the backing of both Showtime and HBO, former HBO Boxing boss Ken Hershman, and is afforded every advantage when it comes to fighting. Be it always fighting in his hometown, his pick of judges, referee, etc., Andre Ward enjoys more privilege than most fighters ever will. So why then isn't he more popular?

As someone whom works in marketing during the day I can say with a great deal of confidence that Andre Ward is a walking nightmare from a public relations standpoint. I don't know what individual or firm is currently managing that aspect of his career but its clear something needs to change. Andre Ward has been largely ill received by the boxing public not because he's been mismanaged or because of racism but rather because he comes off as smug, angry, and over compensating for an inferiority complex. He's also boring in the ring, rarely fights, and when he does fight it's often against less than stellar opposition. His personality traits and disposition are tough issues to work around in the world of PR though it would not be impossible to repair his public image. Repairing his poorly viewed personality however would require Ward to meet his team half way, follow instructions, and really commit to improving his image so don't expect his popularity to begin soaring anytime soon. In the meantime expect to see more hollow on camera smiles and faux interest from Ward as next months fight continues to go shamefully under promoted.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Andre Ward faced some serious adversity growing up and in dealing with the environment he was born into. This type of childhood takes a psychological toll even the strongest of individuals. That said however, as adults we are responsible for our actions and we should treat people how we think we think they'd want to be treated. Having been raised by two individuals whom suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder I can tell you that dealing with such persons is infuriating at best and impossible at worst. Persons with NPD are self absorbed individuals whom seek out conflict and have a great desire to control everything. They are also notoriously bad at dealing with or handling criticisms levied against them, even when they are of a constructive nature. Many will act as self saboteurs if it helps them become or maintain the status of victim. You can offer a dying narcissist eternal youth, eternal life, perfect health, and a septillion dollars and they'll find a way to turn the offer into a slight against them, play the role of victim, and completely fuck everything up.

As I mentioned previously Andre Ward has been given a great deal of advantage in the past and enjoys accolades he doesn't deserve, things other boxers would figuratively kill for. His lack of acceptance stems not from him being a victim of anything but rather his awful personality, lack of professionalism, and contempt for everyone not named Andre Ward. I'm no psychiatrist but having dealt with 2 narcissists growing up they're not difficult to sniff out. The next time you hear Andre Ward complaining about any of the following remember the acronym "NPD".
  • His lack of exposure
  • Lack of respect
  • Waning popularity
  • Lack of recognition
  • Wanting everything his way
  • Walking away like an angry child
  • Not honoring contracts
  • Behaving like a petulant child
To those who've chosen or might choose to do business with Mr. Ward I say this, be very careful what you wish for. In the past Andre Ward has proven to be unreliable, unprofessional, and will step on anyone to get what he wants. This is further evidenced by his failure to show up for HBO's Face Off. The industry nor boxing fans should support or enable this type of behavior. Those whom demand respect but don't work to earn it don't deserve it and won't get it.

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split Decision Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com.


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