ward vs rodriguez*After watching this one go down, I think it’s time for Andre Ward to finally be given his just due and be declared one of the greatest fighters of our time.

Here’s  guy who’s been on a fourteen month lay off due to a much needed surgery on his shoulder, who comes into this bout looking like he hasn’t missed a beat.

And on top of all that, there was this challenge outside the ring that he had to deal with regarding  issues with the California State Athletic Commission as it pertained to renegotiating his contract with his two co-promoters Dan Goossen and Antonio Leonard.

Clearly, none of this seemed to take him out of focus as he went in against Edwin Rodriguez who charged out of his corner at the opening bell like  Ward  had stole something from him.

He fought with so much class, using his superb boxing skills and weathering the rough tactics that Rodriguez was trying to execute against him all night.

Ward dominated this one by using his body and head movements along with fancy footwork that had Rodriguez confused and out of his game throughout the bout. And what really did it was the accuracy of his punches as he delivered solid jabs that had Rodriguez’s head jolting backward each time he executed, along with the superb combinations that clearly showed that his skills were on another level.

Referee Jack Reiss did a splendid job in this highly anticipated event by keeping the bout under control when the evidence of rough tactics begin to come into play from both fighters (he had to take two points from each guy earlier in the fight as a result).

Aside from that, this was definitely Ward’s comeback night, and several of boxing’s greatest were on hand to witness including “Iron” Mike Tyson, “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Roy Jones Jr., Bobby Chacon, and the great Mike Weaver.

Folks, this was not a bad night for boxing as this joint was jumping and almost full with 4,158 in attendance, and the live gate pulling in 277,374.00 in ticket sales.

I think it’s about time that Andre Ward goes on to bigger and better things.

A match with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin would be great  if it could be worked out. That one would have to be in Las Vegas seeing that Ward has never fought there and would be a huge pay per view event. As I always say, we’ll see what happens.

Hold your breath, as we still have a lot of boxing left to go in 2013.

Coming up this weekend is the  much heralded match between Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios in Macao, China at the Venetian Macao Resort.

This will be telecast live on HBO pay per view.

And just when you thought boxing was done for the year, we’ve got Pauli Malignaggi vs Zab Judah on December 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The most interesting thing about this event is the return to the ring of Austin Trout as he goes against Erislandy Lara. We’re looking forward to that great matchup as Lara puts his title on the line.

And then it’s Adrien Broner going against Marcos Maidana on December 14 at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas.

And all this will be telecast live on Showtime Championship Boxing.

I leave you with this, “When the tide goes out, that’s when you find out who’s been swimming naked.”- Warren Buffet.

Check out who was also in attendance at the fight:

mike tyson & dr paul wallace

Mike Tyson & Dr. Paul Wallace

joseito lopez

Welterweight boxer Joseito Lopez at ringside

lou dibela & joseito lopez

Boxing promoter Lou Dibella with Josesito Lopez at ringside.

Southern California based Mohammed Mubarak’s Ringside Update column can also be seen in the Pace News, the Inland Valley News, and the High Desert Inland Valley News. Mohammed is a portrait artist as well. He can be contacted at q[email protected] for your comments.

Mohammed Mubarak

Mohammed Mubarak