Three-belt light-heavyweight boxing champion Andre Ward announces his retirement

Three-belt light-heavyweight boxing champion Andre Ward of Oakland announced his retirement Thursday just as he reached No. 1 on various pound-for-pound lists.

“I want to be clear — 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,” Ward said in a statement Thursday morning. “If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting.”

Peter Nelson, executive vice president of HBO Sports stated: "Andre Ward ends his boxing career as he only knew how to live it — as a champion at the top. To watch Ward was to marvel at constant mastery of craft in the ring, to say nothing of his being the consummate role model outside it. The Hall of Fame will be lucky to have him.”

The Times will have more on this throughout the day.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

@latimespugmire

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