Respected trainer Abel Sanchez believes Andre Ward has passed his prime ahead of next Saturday’s fight against Sullivan Barrera.

Sanchez, who trains Barrera, was speaking to FightHubTV: “I think 5 years ago when he won the Super Six – that’s the Ward we have to worry about. This Ward is a little easier though still a difficult fight.”

With just one fight in the last 18 months, Ward has now signed with RocNation and moved up a weight in order to secure the big fights that have recently eluded the unbeaten Californian wizard.

“This Ward has been inactive, suffered injuries and is moving up from 168 to 175. We have in Barrera a big, strong kid so it evens out. Though we’re still fighting one of the best pound for pound fighters in the World,” continued Sanchez.

It’s a big ask for the Cuban Barrera, who knocked out Karo Murat in December, but the dangled carrot of a potential big World Title fight against Sergey Kovalev could be at stake for the winner.

“The motivation for Barrera being 33/34 years old, he knows this is probably his last chance at the big stage,” revealed the coach behind Gennady Golovkin’s rise to superstardom.

Watch Andre Ward v Sullivan Barrera live on BoxNation, Saturday 26 March from the Oracle Arena in Oakland!

Watch the full interview with Abel Sanchez below: