Ward raring to go
Andre Ward hopes to make a winning and stylish return to the ring against Edwin Rodriguez this weekend after a 14-month lay-off.
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The WBA super-middleweight world champion aims to show there will be no ring rust after being sidelined due to a shoulder injury.
Fighting in front of his native Californian crowd at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, the 29-year-old will be out to impress as he did in overcoming Chad Dawson so comprehensively in his last outing, back in September 2012.
"We're going to execute the gameplan and going to let it unfold - and if it unfolds the way it's supposed to he can definitely be stopped," said Ward.
"He's never been 12 rounds before and he makes a lot of mistakes. His eagerness is his strength but it's also his weakness, similar to Carl Froch. He doesn't regard his defence, he's reckless at times but if you're reckless you can be caught out.
"Edwin is a good fighter - he's undefeated and he's a hungry challenger but he's also dealing with a hungry champion. So you've got to look at that side too. I've not just got to deal with him, he's got to deal with me."
The 28-year-old Rodriguez, from the Dominican Republic, has built up a notable record with 24 wins from 24 fights with an impressive 16 stoppages.
It is not so much the record which concerns Ward, who himself remains undefeated, but rather his opponent's desire to seize his chance under the spotlight.
"I don't think its just being an undefeated fighter but the fact that it's his opportunity. I had my opportunity in 2009, now it's his chance and you can't underestimate his mindset going into the fight," said Ward.
"I'm well aware of Rodriguez's strengths and his weaknesses. At this level you want to take away your opponent's strengths and expose their weaknesses and that's what I'm planning on doing."
Ward vs. Rodriguez is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546) from 2am this Sunday morning. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribe.