Andre Ward vs. Alexander Brand Set For August 6 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA

TWO-TIME WORLD CHAMPION ANDRE WARD AND

POWER-PUNCHING COLOMBIAN ALEXANDER BRAND SET FOR

SATURDAY, AUGUST 6 SHOWDOWN AT

ORACLE ARENA IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

TELEVISED LIVE ON HBO®

 

NEW YORK, NY (June 28, 2016) – Roc Nation Sports is pleased to announce that Two-Time World Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter Andre Ward (29-0, 15 KOs) will return to the ring on Saturday, August 6, to continue his conquest of the light heavyweight division when he takes on power-punching Colombian Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) at Oracle Arena in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, California. The event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. 

 

Ward and Brand were slated to face each other last November on the pay-per-view undercard of Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez, but a leg injury forced Ward to withdraw from participation in the event.

 

Tickets priced at $300, $120, $90, $60 and $30, not including applicable service charges and taxes, go on sale Tuesday, June 28 at 5:00 p.m. PT and will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

 

Ward vs. Brand is a 12-round fight presented by Roc Nation Sports and sponsored by Corona Extra, the motion picture HANDS OF STONE: The True Story of Roberto Duran, Corporate Travel Management Solutions (ctms) and The Clorox Company, supporting the Bay Area Community for over 100 years.

 

“We can get it on, right now,” said Ward.  “August 6th, I will be ready, so come out to Oracle Arena or tune in live on HBO.  Don’t miss it.”

 

“It will be a great honor to face Andre Ward on August 6 and better yet in his own backyard,” said Brand.  “Fighting somebody with such an illustrious career, facing a guy that perhaps hasn’t lost a round in his entire life, is even more thrilling.  We were set to face each other last November, but he was forced to pull out of the fight with an injury. Now the time has come to fight him and I can’t wait to derail his future plans.  I’ll work hard to spoil them.”

 

“Andre Ward’s quest to become the best light heavyweight on the planet and boxing’s number one pound-for-pound fighter continues on August 6,” said David Itskowitch, COO of Boxing Roc Nation Sports.  “Alexander Brand has been waiting for this fight since last year and we have no doubt he is going to enter the ring hungry for a huge victory.  There’s a lot on the line in this fight for Andre who knows he can’t look past Brand towards a much discussed clash with Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey Kovalev.”

 

“Undefeated for the last two decades, technically brilliant and the last American man to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing, Andre Ward is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world,” said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports.  “On August 6th, Andre continues his move up in weight to campaign in the 175-pound division against challenger Alexander Brand in front a hometown crowd at the Oracle.”

 

Known for his strong character and integrity outside the ring and his warrior’s instinct inside it, 32 year-old Andre Ward’s skill and talent were apparent early in his outstanding amateur career.  He racked up every title in the books, culminating in a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.  As the only male American boxer to claim Olympic gold in the past

decade, Ward joined the likes of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya.  He turned professional on December 18, 2004, scoring a second round technical knockout victory over Chris Molina at Staples Center in a fight that was televised live on HBO.  He has gone on to rack up 27 more victories since then, building an ever-growing legion of fans in the process.  After becoming the Ring Magazine and WBA Super Middleweight World Champion, rising to the number two spot on the pound-for-pound list and winning the 2011 Fighter of the Year Award (ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Ring Magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America), it was announced that Ward signed an exclusive promotional agreement with Roc Nation Sports in January 2015, opening a new chapter in his storied boxing career.  The Bay Area product returned to the ring on June 20, 2015 at the Oracle Arena in front of his hometown fans in Oakland, California and scored a ninth-round knockout over Paul Smith, continuing his unbeaten streak which dates back to when he was a 12-year-old amateur.  In his most recent fight on March 26, 2016, Ward made his highly publicized 175-pound debut against Cuba’s undefeated and IBF number one rated light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera in front of frenzied crowd at Oracle Arena that including luminaries such as Michael B. Jordan, Stephen Curry, Marshawn Lynch and Draymond Green.  Ward expertly managed the fight and began to unravel his opponent in the third round when he caught Barrera with a counter left hook, dropping him to the canvas.  The rest was a routine victory for Ward, who scored a dominating dispatch of Barrera by way of unanimous decision after 12 rounds.  Ward looks forward to a formidable challenge in Brand who is now the only obstacle in the way of his anticipated showdown against Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey Kovalev in the fall.

 

Bogota, Colombia native Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) turned professional at the relatively late age of 32 following a long and accomplished amateur career that saw him tally over 400 wins.  He burst on to the professional scene in 2009, scoring knockout wins in his first 12 fights and winning 15 of his first 17 bouts inside the distance.  His first and only professional setback came via an eight-round split decision loss to current WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Badou Jack in a 2012 fight that many ringside observers thought Brand had won.  Since that fight, Brand has passed every ring test with flying colors, notching eight consecutive victories.  In his last bout, Brand faced the sternest test of his career since the Jack fight when he fought a favored, undefeated and highly touted light heavyweight Medzhid Bektemirov on December 5, 2015 at Osceola Heritage Center in Kissimmee, Florida.  Brand weathered an early Bektemirov blitz, including recovering from a first round knockdown, and notched a 10-round split decision victory by the scores of 98-91, 98-91 and 94-95.  The 39 year-old Brand, who has held several regional title including the WBC Latino Super Middleweight and the WBC Silver Interim Super Middleweight Championships, will be looking to pull off another upset on August 6 and thrust himself into light heavyweight title contention.

 

Follow the conversation using #WardBrand.

 

For more information, please visit www.rocnation.com. Follow Roc Nation on Twitter and Instagram @rocnation and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RocNation.  

 

For more information, visit www.hbo.com/boxing, follow on Twitter and Instagram at @HBOBoxing and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HBOBoxing.

 

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ABOUT ROC NATION SPORTS

Roc Nation Sports, a sub-division of Roc Nation, launched in spring 2013. Founder Shawn “JAY Z” Carter’s love of sports led to the natural formation of Roc Nations Sports, supporting athletes in the same way Roc Nation has been working alongside and advocating for artists in the music industry for years. Roc Nation Sports focuses on elevating athletes’ career on a global scale both on and off the field. Roc Nation Sports conceptualizes and executes marketing and endorsement deals, community outreach, charitable tie-ins, media relations and brand strategy. Roc Nation Sports launched its boxing division, a full service promotional company which represents Five-Time World Champion Miguel Cotto and Two-Time World Champion Andre Ward, in August 2014. Roc Nation Sports’ roster includes premiere athletes such as Robinson Cano, Skylar Diggins, Kevin Durant, Geno Smith, Victor Cruz, CC Sabathia, James Young, Dez Bryant, Ndamukong Suh, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Cespedes, Jaelen Strong, Todd Gurley, Wilson Chandler, Erick Aybar, Justise Winslow, Willie Cauley-Stein, Jerome Boateng, Miguel Sano, CJ Prosise, Ronnie Stanley, Henry Ellenson, Caris LeVert and Mike Gbinije.

 

ABOUT ORACLE ARENA & OAKLAND ALAMEDA COLISEUM:

Oracle Arena and Oakland Alameda Coliseum, managed by AEG Facilities, are the premiere sports and entertainment complexes in Northern California. These facilities are home to the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, MLB’s Oakland Athletics, as well as host to concerts, family shows and special events.  Additional information on Oracle Arena and Oakland Alameda Coliseum, including a complete schedule of events can be found on our mobile app available on the app store for fee and online at www.oraclearena.com

 

MEDIA:          Media Credential Requests: http://berkcommunications.com/request.php

 

CONTACTS:

Lauren Menache, Berk Communications for Roc Nation Sports: (212) 889-0440 (O), [email protected]

Marina Bui, Berk Communications for Roc Nation Sports: (212) 889-0440 (O), [email protected]

Kevin Flaherty, HBO: (212) 512-5052 (O), [email protected]

Patrick Byrne, HBO: (212) 512-1361 (O), [email protected] 

Chelsea Nice, AEG at Oracle Arena & Oakland Alameda Coliseum: (510) 383-4930 (O), [email protected]

Andre Ward A's pitch10

Andre Ward Throws out the First Pitch for the Oakland A’s

My Open Letter to Muhammad Ali

I first laid eyes on you as a nine-year-old boy who was just learning to box. I heard many stories about you but only through the lens of my father, Frank Ward, and the tales he would tell me about you when I was growing up. My father was white, yet he identified with you as an African American man who spoke out against segregation, racism, and had a strong belief in his faith as a Muslim. My father was not Muslim, he was Christian, but you still touched him and impacted him in a major way. He boxed in high school and was 15-0 as a heavyweight. He danced in the ring because that’s what you did. He wore all white leather Adidas boxing shoes with red stripes because you did. He ultimately taught me how to box out of his love for you.

I used to watch VHS tapes of you over and over again. I saw your Olympic Gold Medal fight in Rome and wondered if I could one day win a gold medal just like you did. I’m not sure if you actually threw your medal in the Ohio River, but I often wondered if that was true. I’m not sure I could do something like that.

I remember watching your first fight with “The Bear” Sonny Liston. No one believed you could win that fight at that time, except you. I’m not quite sure you even fully believed it or if were you just crazy enough to try. That has always inspired me as well as your match ups with Joe Frazier, especially the last one in Manila. The fight where you said that was the closest you had ever come to death. I wonder if I will ever be taken to that place in a boxing ring and I how I would respond.

I always look back on those moments and the confidence and courage you had as I face the biggest fights and challenges in my own career. You have and will continue to inspire me to have confidence in myself and always be true to what I believe no matter what the naysayers and critics have to say.

I still have no idea how you beat BIG GEORGE, in Zaire, Africa in 1974. Once again, you were doubted. People said you were too old, washed up, and there was no way you could deal with a power puncher in his prime like George Foreman. First you won over the people in Africa. Then you beat Big George just as the skies burst open and it started to rain. And you once again regained your heavyweight crown. I’ll always remember that moment, even though it was 10 years before I was born. I always wished that you had retired on top as the Heavyweight Champion of the World.

I never had the opportunity to meet you. I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t push hard enough or because I didn’t want to see you struggle with Parkinson’s, a disease you and your family courageously fought for 30 plus years. I often wondered if you knew about me or had ever heard about me. To think that my name or anything I’ve done in a boxing ring might have crossed your mind is pretty crazy for me to imagine.

I can go on and on about the influence you’ve had on me and my career, the sport of boxing and the world. You not only dared to be great so many times in your life and career, you became The Greatest! Great in the ring and in all your many other exploits outside the ring, which I believe is our true calling as athletes. It’s not just enjoying the fruits of our labor but taking the time to be a blessing to others, lending our voice, giving our time, talents and our treasure to the world.

Thank you for being an example. Thank you for paving a path for me and so many other athletes who have come behind you and will continue to in the years to come.

“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”- Muhammad Ali

Andre S.O.G. Ward

Andre Ward Hosts Meet and Greets for Fans in the Bay Area and Las Vegas

Andre Ward enjoyed the chance to interact with his fans through Meet and Greets at Shoe Palace locations in Hayward, Calif., and Las Vegas over the past couple of weeks. He hosted hundreds of his hometown faithful at the Shoe Palace in Southland Mall on Friday, April 29 and enjoyed meeting the large contingent of fans who wanted in a line around the building to meet their homegrown champion. Andre’s daughter, Amira, stood by her dad’s side and helped him greet all the fans as they got their t-shirts, photos and gloves signed. Fans brought photos and memorabilia he hadn’t seen in years to the Hayward signing, bringing back amazing memories for Andre.

He moved southeast to Las Vegas for his second signing on Saturday, May 7 at the brand new Shoe Palace location at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian Hotel. Fans began lining up four hours before Ward’s arrival to meet their favorite fighter and purchase the latest SOG gear. Andre met and greeted fans for more than three hours before heading to MGM to support his teammate in his big showdown with Canelo.

If you missed Andre at one of his first two signings, don’t despair, he’s working on more signings in other areas of the United States now so stay tuned to his twitter @andreward, Instagram @andresogward, and Andre Ward on Slyce, for his upcoming stops.

 

Can’t make it out to a meet and greet but still want to grab the latest SOG gear, it’s available now at ShoePalace.com and Nike.com.

sog x jordan

Brand Jordan x SOG

The new Jordan Brand Andre Ward collection just dropped. You can get the latest SOG gear online or at Shoe Palace locations in northern California and the Niketown stores in New York and Las Vegas.

The new items are available online at ShoePalace.com or Nike.com via this direct link.

Media Workout

OAKLAND, CA (March 23, 2015) – On Tuesday, March 22, Two-Time World Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter Andre Ward (28-0, 15 KOs) and number one rated IBF light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera (17-0, 12 KOs) participated in a media workout at King’s Gym in Oakland, California in advance of their March 26 fight at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Ward and Barrera will meet in 12-round IBF number one position and mandatory position eliminator bout televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT. NABF Featherweight Champion Joseph “Jojo” Diaz Jr. (19-0, 11 KOs) and top-rated featherweight contender Jayson “Star” Velez (23-1-1, 16 KOs) were also in attendance during the workout ahead of their 10-round NABF Featherweight title fight which will open up the HBO telecast.

 

After shadowboxing in the ring and a few rounds on the punching bags, all four fighters participated in interviews with media members in attendance. Super Bowl Champion and Oakland native Marshawn Lynch, an avid Andre Ward supporter, made a special appearance during the workout in support of Ward.

 

Below is what the fighters had to say during the final media workout:

 

ANDRE WARD, Two-Time World Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter:

 

“I feel good and I am ready to go. I’m peaking at the right time. I’m just excited to get it on Saturday night.

 

“I used to drive by Oracle Arena on 880 as a kid on my way to King’s Gym and wonder if I could make it there one day and [trainer] Virgil [Hunter] used to say with confidence, ‘You’re going to headline there.’ As I got older, I used to go to some of the cards put on in the arena. I was still an amateur and I would just dream. Next thing you know, in 2009, I was in a sink or swim fight against Edison Miranda. If I won, there was probably a good chance that I would get a title shot and the rest is history. Here we are again, it’s my 7th time at Oracle and it’s still a blessing.

 

“It was the right time to move to light heavyweight. It was a combination of not having the right guys to fight or guys that didn’t want to fight me. I want to be great. These are the types of moves you have to make. I’m a student of the sport and when I study the sport, this is what greats have always done. They move up. The great ones find a way to get it done and I want to be in that conversation.

 

“Barrera is a big body. He’s confident. Seems to be a good puncher. We did not pick him because he’s a soft touch. We picked him because he was going to get me ready and show me what this weight class is all about. If you look at my career, there’s a place for tune-ups which I haven’t had a lot of. You want to fight the best and if you aren’t fighting the best, you want to fight the number one contender. That’s what we’re doing.

 

“I think I am evolving into an efficient fighter. I’m moving when I have to move. I think that’s the beauty of any athlete who doesn’t abuse his body and really takes his craft seriously. I’ve seen some articles claiming I missed my prime. It’s crazy to me. I feel that I am as good as I have ever been. I’ve been in a boxing gym without much of a break for the past 20 years. My brain thanked me for the last two years. My body thanked me. It might give me another two years in my career.

 

“I have to just be me. Who I am is enough. I don’t have to show up for Kovalev in the crowd on Saturday night. We just have to implement the game plan. I think that’s going to send the message it’s supposed to send and if it doesn’t, then he’ll [Kovalev] get the message when we fight.

 

“If I don’t win this fight, there’s nothing down the road. If I don’t win this fight, I don’t deserve to fight for the title. That’s the reality of my situation.

 

“Barrera has never fought a guy like me before, so they can talk a good game. They can dominate the headlines leading up to the fight. They can say all the slick stuff they want to say. We just want to dominate the headlines Sunday morning after the fight is over. That’s what I’m focused on.”

 

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SULLIVAN BARRERA, Number one rated IBF light heavyweight contender:

 

“I’m stronger than Ward. I have the Cuban background and I learned a lot of skills there. More than anything, the determination to overcome anything in front of me will help me defeat Ward on March 26.

 

“Once I am in the ring, it’s my house.

 

“Whatever Ward has, I will adjust to it and overcome it.

 

“I have two hands. He has two hands. I have a job to do on March 26.

 

“I know Ward and Kovalev are very highly respected and they create a lot of money and a lot of interest, but they don’t know what Sullivan Barrera is capable of doing. I will prove that on Saturday.

 

“I’m not really a guy that has to look for a knockout. My boxing skills speak for themselves. I am fighting Andre Ward and fighting here in Oakland, so I don’t think a decision will be rendered in my favor.

 

“To all the fans, especially the Cuban fans that have supported me please know that come Saturday, I am going to do everything I have to do to come out victorious.”

 

 

JOSEPH DIAZ JR., NABF Featherweight Champion:

 

“I can’t expect what Jayson did to Ronny Rios during this fight. I’ve got to go in there, test him out and adjust when I am in the ring.

 

“If the opportunity presents itself where he’s hurt and I see that my punches are overwhelming him, then of course I’m going to get in there, be aggressive and make sure I take him out as early as possible.

 

“I know getting on the inside, cutting off the ring and taking it to the body right away will break him down. That’s going to make him not move as much and later on in rounds I can land vicious blows to the head. I’m going to take it to the body right away.

 

“Mentally I am 100% ready. This is a big stage in my career, so I’m mentally focused. I’m well prepared. I feel like this is the moment I have been waiting for my whole entire life. I feel like I’m ready for this and I can’t wait for March 26. I trained very hard for this fight and I’m well prepared for it.

 

“I really want to make a statement this fight. I want to show the world that Joseph Diaz could be the next big thing in boxing, so I trained very hard to put on a great fight for the fight fans, be very aggressive and make it a war in there. I hope that Jayson Velez is 110% ready because I want him to be at his best.

 

“If I win this fight and make a statement, I think I can move to contender status and hopefully get a world title shot by the end of this year. I want to fight tough opponents this year because I want to show the world who I am.

 

“I feel like a beast when I step into the ring and I can see it in sparring. Whenever I’m landing effective blows, I can tell that I am hurting my opponent.”

 

 

JAYSON VELEZ, Top-rated featherweight contender:

 

“At my level, every guy is a top contender. I have to train harder and improve my defense. I’ve been working on that.

 

“If you see my last three or four fights, you will see that I have been dominating in the first couple of rounds and then I run out of gas, I have been working on my stamina so that won’t happen on March 26.

 

“I have seen Diaz’s fights. We’ve sparred a couple of times. He’s got speed. He’s got a hunger. It’s his HBO debut, so he’s definitely motivated, but so am I. It’s going to be a great fight.

 

“I want to be champion of the word. I know he wants it too. On Saturday, we will know who wants it more. We both want to win and we are both training for a win. A fight between power and speed is a great match-up. Not to mention he’s Mexican and I’m Puerto Rican. You can expect a great fight and it’s not one you want to miss.”

 

 

Ward vs. Barrera, a 12-round IBF number one position and mandatory position eliminator which is presented by Roc Nation Sports in association with Main Events, takes place Saturday, March 26, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.  The event is sponsored by Corona Extra, Ticketmaster, Corporate Travel Management Solutions (ctms), Glad, Lyft, Zappos, BodyArmor, SAN Nutrition, Shoe Palace, The Waterfront Hotel and Visit Oakland. The event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT. Opening the HBO telecast will be Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Jayson Velez in a 10-round fight for the NABF Featherweight title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Miguel Cotto Promotions.

 

Tickets priced at $300, $150, $100, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges and taxes are available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com (bit.ly/WardBarreraTix) and charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

 

Follow the conversation on Twitter by using #WardBarrera.

 

For more information, please visit www.rocnation.com, www.mainevents.com, www.goldenboypromotions.com, www.promocionesmiguelcotto.com, www.hbo.com/boxing, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @rocnation, @main_events, @goldenboyboxing, @cottopromotions and @HBOBoxing and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RocNation, www.facebook.com/MainEventsBoxing, www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing and www.facebook.com/HBOBoxing.

 

MEDIA CREDENTIAL REQUESTS:            http://berkcommunications.com/request.php

 

CONTACTS:

Lauren Menache, Berk Communications for Roc Nation Sports: (212) 889-0440 (O), [email protected]

Ellen Haley, Main Events: (973) 903-6715 (M), [email protected]

Kevin Flaherty, HBO: (212) 512-5052 (O), [email protected]

Patrick Byrne, HBO: (212) 512-1361 (O), [email protected] 

Chelsea Nice, AEG at Oracle Arena & O.co Coliseum: (510) 383-4930 (O), [email protected]

 

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March 26: Ward v. Barrera on HBO

Andre Ward (28-0, 15 KOs) returns to the ring on Saturday, March 26th, when he takes on undefeated, #1-rated IBF light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera (17-0, 12 KOs) in a 12-round bout presented by Roc Nation Sports in association with Main Events at Oracle Arena in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, California. Both fighters have their sights set on an eventual showdown with Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey Kovalev, but only one will move on to face him.

Tickets available on TicketMaster.

“I don’t really have much to say other than this. On March 26, it will be very simple. I’ll be in a new weight class against a tough opponent but I’m coming with the same approach,” said Ward. “I’ll be in great shape and ready for battle. Sullivan Barrera has had a lot to say lately and I love it. He’s going to have an opportunity to back up every word that he has spoken. These are the type of challenges I like and on March 26, it’s go time.”