(OAKLAND, CALIF.) - Reigning super middleweight champion and number two pound-for-pound boxer in the world Andre Ward (Oakland, Calif.) has been nominated for a 2014 ESPY award following his outstanding return to the ring last year. Ward is one of five nominees in the Best Fighter category, which includes athletes in both boxing and UFC. It is the second ESPY nomination in three years for Ward who was also honored for his outstanding performance in the ring in 2012.
"I want to thank ESPN for nominating me in the Best Fighter category. I am in great company with some of the top fighters in the world," Ward said. "The ESPY experience is something that every athlete would enjoy. I had a great time in 2012 and I'm excited to once again be in a room with some of the world's best athletes. These are experiences that I don't take lightly and these moments drive me to be the best athlete I can be."
Ward added another victory to his 17-year winning streak in November with a wide, unanimous decision win over super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. The dominating victory marked a highly anticipated return to the ring for Ward following major shoulder surgery in early 2013. The 2004 Olympic gold medalist made the sixth successful defense of his WBA super middleweight title with the impressive performance.
The 30-year-old was nominated for an ESPY in the Best Fighter category in 2012 following a dominating run through the Super Six tournament, which culminated in a final round victory over Carl Froch. Ward's fellow nominees in the Best Fighter category are Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Manny Pacquaio, Jon "Bones" Jones andRonda Rousey.
The ESPY winners are determined by online voting and fans can cast their ballots through July 16 via this link - http://espn.go.com/espys/2014/.