HAYWARD, Calif. (KTVU) - Undefeated world champion boxer Andre Ward is returning to his former Hayward high school to host an event to help elevate the careers of amateur boxers.
Ward and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office will present the “The Generation NEXT Showdown” tournament on Saturday at the Hayward Adult School gymnasium. The event starts at 2:00 p.m. and all of the proceeds will benefit the Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs’ Activities League, a nonprofit that offers boxing classes for kids.
“Amateur boxing is where I got my start, and it’s extremely important to me to stay connected with the young boxers currently competing in the sport and to provide any knowledge and inspiration I can give them,” Ward said in a release, per East Bay Times.
Born in San Francisco, the 34-year-old nicknamed “S.O.G,” or “Son of God,” owns a perfect 32 wins and no losses as a professional boxer. Sixteen of those victories were by knockout. He won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and won a title in the World Boxing Association, the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Association.
Ward grew up in Hayward’s Fairview neighborhood. His career began in elementary school at an Oakland boxing gym when he was just 10 years old. Ward went pro in 2004 and then retired in September 2017 when he was 33.
He tweeted his retirement with the words “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” and a link to a statement that offered his appreciation, love and reason for leaving boxing. “I am leaving because my body can no longer put up with the rigors of the sport and therefore my desire to fight is no longer there,” he said.
Ward will be available for a meet and greet in the gym's courtyard at noon. Tickets are available at the door and on acdsal.org.