Retired boxing champs Andre Ward and Timothy Bradley vulnerably shared their thoughts and experiences related to racial inequality in the United States. Both got emotional as they shared some of the things they had personally experienced in their lives. The segment was recorded for Tuesday’s telecast of the first “Top Rank Boxing on ESPN” card to take place since the COVID-19 pandemic wrecked the sports world.
You can watch the entire segment below courtesy of ESPN.
Ward and Bradley Are Likely Future Hall of Famers
Ward, 36, and Bradley, 36, are currently retired from boxing. Each works as a commentator for ESPN, and both are likely headed to the Hall of Fame for what they did during their boxing careers.
Ward won the gold medal for the United States at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece in the light heavyweight division. That made Ward the first American boxer to capture gold in eight years at the time. Ward went on to win world titles as a professional boxer in the 168-pound and 175-pound divisions.
He retired undefeated in 2017.
Meanwhile, Bradley won world titles at both 140 and 147 pounds. During his 12-year professional boxing career, Bradley was one of the top fighters in the world, facing and defeating Hall of Famers such as Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez along the way.
Additionally, Bradley’s 2013 win against Ruslan Provodnikov was one of the best action fights of the era.
Bradley retired from boxing in 2014 after suffering a unanimous decision loss to Pacquiao in the rubber match of their trilogy.
Boxing Finally Returned to ESPN on Tuesday Night
Boxing returned to ESPN on Tuesday. While UFC president Dana White kept his MMA machine moving forward during the global pandemic, boxing promoters such as Bob Arum took a different approach.
In short, Arum postponed his upcoming shows and then worked diligently with all his various partners to get up and running again as quickly as possible once it became feasible to do so.
Another way to say it is that Arum didn’t rent or purchase a private island in Abu Dhabi so that he could keep his boxing shows going no matter what.
Regardless, Top Rank’s first card since the COVID-19 era began was a good one. Most importantly, it featured 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson, the pride of Newark, New Jersey, in his first fight at super featherweight following his featherweight title-winning effort over Joet Gonzalez last October.
Shakur went 4-0 in 2019, flashing the talent, skills, and athleticism that have many experts pegging him as the next Floyd Mayweather Jr., a future pound-for-pound superstar with limitless potential.
Shakur (15-0, 8 KOs) scored a sixth-round stoppage over Felix Caraballo.
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