"I'm ahead of schedule. My first day at the boxing gym will be tomorrow. You know, I can't go crazy in there, but I can shadowbox. I mean, I'm taking the whole process serious. I'm not just rehabbing, laying on my back, just doing stuff with my shoulder. I'm doing heavy cardio, you know, and I'ma get in there and I'ma do everything that I can do because I'm serious about having 2 fights this year. I have a date in my mind...I don't think I've ever been this hungry in my career. I mean, this last situation has really taken me to another level mentally," stated undefeated super middleweight king Andre Ward, who made a recent appearance on FightHype Radio to give us an update on how rehab is going on his surgically repaired shoulder. Check out what else he had to say about rehab, his future plans, and much more.
On his rehab after shoulder surgery...
I'm ahead of schedule. My first day at the boxing gym will be tomorrow. You know, I can't go crazy in there, but I can shadowbox. I mean, I'm taking the whole process serious. I'm not just rehabbing, laying on my back, just doing stuff with my shoulder. I'm doing heavy cardio, you know, and I'ma get in there and I'ma do everything that I can do because I'm serious about having 2 fights this year. I have a date in my mind. It's a little premature to say when that target month is that we're looking at, but that's what we're looking at; two fights this year and God-willing man, we can be consistent moving forward. I'm excited, man, and I don't think I've ever been this hungry in my career. I mean, this last situation has really taken me to another level mentally.
4 months is what I've been given where I can go full-fledge in the gym, hit bags, hit mitts, and then from there, you gotta kind of just track what's your progress. So I'm ahead of schedule. Like, me being able to go to the gym tomorrow and start shadowboxing, that's better than what the norm is. I just think that every marker that I've been given, being smart about it, we're going to exceed that and that's going to cause us to come back at the right time and come back sooner than expected.
I feel it, and that's what I'm excited about, because, you know, I had the new injury, but people don't know that I also had an older injury that I've been dealing with since I've been 12/13 years old, and I was able to fix both of those issues. You know, aleady I'm like 7 1/2, almost 8 weeks post-op and I'm feeling strength, I'm feeling power in an area that I never felt power before, and I'm able to do things with this right shoulder that I've never been able to do before, so I'm really, really excited. This is going to allow me to add something new to my game.
It's 3 things that's going on. We're working my internal rotation, external rotation, and then making sure that I got all my range back and, you know, there's no area that's tight, whether it's behind my head or wherever; just making sure I got my full range back, and that comes from stretching and my internal rotation and then my external rotation. And really, man, I'm ahead of schedule. You know, if I wasn't, I wouldn't say that, and I think when I come back, people are going to see what I'm talking about.
On his future plans and potential fights for him...
I'm watching guys, but it's really not one guy right now or one big fight that you can say I want the winner. You know, I feel like I'm at the point in my career where, you know, I don't have to chase anybody. A lot of people say, "Aw, you cleaned out the division. There's nobody to fight." Well, I kind of push back on that theory. I'm not going to allow myself to be penalized because we were able to come in and clean out a division. That's my team's job is to go find somebody to fight, and that's what they're going to go do when it's time to come back.
On Floyd Mayweather's multi-fight deal with Showtime...
It's a surprise. I don't think many people thought they would see a Floyd Mayweather fight on Showtime, but I'm happy for Floyd. Floyd seems to have a timeframe, which is I think it was 2 1/2 years or 30 months, something like that, where he can, he used the word "cash out", and I think he deserves that. He's give a lot to the sport.
I'm really focused on me right now. I don't have another 10 years in this game. Like I'm really trying to end my career with a bang and really just stay focused on what Andre Ward and his team is getting ready to do next.
[ Follow Ben Thompson on Twitter @fighthype ]