Andre ‘SOG’ Ward has wound back the years to remember the first time he set eyes on Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather and how it would spark some fresh impetus into his own career.

“I watched Floyd from the beginning. They had the ’96 trials here in Oakland. Virgil said you want to see what the elite looks like? I went down and saw Floyd, wow!” revealed Ward, who was speaking with FightHype.

“That sort of stuff sparked something in me.”

Floyd Mayweather

Ward can draw parallels with the self-proclaimed ‘TBE’ with criticism thrown in their direction despite both men boasting a perfect record.

“If they’re not going to give Floyd credit, some dude who’s been dominating since 1996… Well!” stated the 32 year old.

“When I was younger, I took it personal. I don’t anymore. I know what I’ve put into the sport. I know the sacrifices I’ve made. I hope I’m appreciated in the sport. But if not? You got to keep moving!” continued the latest addition to the Light-Heavyweight mix.

Fans have dismissed Ward as ‘boring’ down the years and after a spell of inactivity, the Californian will be looking to put in an impressive performance next Saturday against Sullivan Barrera, live on BoxNation.

“I stay locked in and concentrate on what I got to do. I just keep trying to win and keep getting better.”

Criticism aside, the purists will acknowledge Ward as one of the pound for pound king’s amongst the current crop of superstars.

“Being a student of the game and just understanding how the sport works… History will teach you. However great Floyd has been, they will put someone in front of him in a year and then a year after that. There’s always something!”

Watch the full interview with Andre Ward below: