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Boxing Legend “Broke Down” in Tears After Andre Ward’s Exit From ESPN Amid Mass Layoff: “I’m Gonna Miss Him Dearly”

Published Jul 4, 2023 | 9:35 AM EDT

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The Sports News Network, ESPN touched the peak of reaching 100 million households almost a decade ago. But in 2022, the network saw a dramatic shift in these numbers as they could only reach 74 million homes, which affected their distribution revenue last year. According to statistics, a lot of viewers are turning to streaming options rather than traditional networks, so they’re losing their audience except with college football, NFL, and NBA. For that reason, the network went ahead with a drastic step, as they laid off 20 top on-air hosts.

This was done to avoid any future big layoffs like this. Even Max Kellerman joined the group of 20, leaving ESPN. Now, after the layoff, Andre Ward, one of the best boxing commentators out there, has also parted his ways from the network. His co-worker, Timothy Bradley, shared the shock of this news in a recent interview.

Timothy Bradley spills the details

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Two former boxers, 2-division Champions from different weight classes, end up on a common podium where they put forth their boxing knowledge on ESPN’s platform. Andre Ward and Timothy Bradley, the duo were considered to be the best commentators in the sport of boxing. But as it turned out, they had to part ways, and this has impacted Bradley on an emotional level.

Timothy Bradley came on an interview with FightHype.com, where he spoke about the moment he got to know about Ward. He stated that he didn’t know it earlier, and he was just as shocked as everybody else. He stated that his head boss, Mike McQuade, called both of them into his office and gave them the news.

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He just dropped the news on us bro, and immediately bro, I just broke down right there bro. Because it’s been a journey man, it’s been a journey through pandemic, through it all bro and we built this camaraderie amongst each other, our colleagues,” Bradley said. And he also stated that he could never see this coming and added, “I’m gonna miss him dearly.

It is to be noted that Andre Ward was not part of the 20 men layoff, he left ESPN due to the completion of his contract, which wasn’t extended further. The 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist dropped the news of his leaving on Twitter, a couple of days ago which hit like a train to a lot of viewers after the recent ESPN cutting-off fiasco.

Andre Ward announces his last day at ESPN

Andre Ward announced his departure after the fight between Jared Anderson and Charles Martin on July 1st. He sat down on the call with 2023 Hall-of-Famer, Timothy Bradley, and then went on Twitter to announce that this would be the last event he’d be a part of ESPN. He expressed his gratitude for all the past years because he’s been with the network since his retirement.

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Ward wrote, “It’s been a great ride and I’m going to miss the whole ESPN crew that I’ve worked with for the last six years.” This got everybody sentimental, and Ward has stated that he’s excited about future opportunities. Now ESPN laid off its employees due to the financial crunch last year, but Ward’s case is different as he’s leaving because his contract wasn’t renewed.

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There’s no doubt that Andre Ward would be missed, and it’d be great to see him soon making a comeback under another network. What do you think about this situation? Tell us in the comments section.

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Written by:

Chirag Radhyan

2,066Articles

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Chirag Radhyan is a Boxing Writer at EssentiallySports. He has authored over 300 articles and loves to talk about the animosity between athletes, leading up to a fight. His coverage of the off-court drama between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury received widespread appreciation from readers.
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Edited by:

Snigdhaa Jaiswal