The Irish-American light heavyweight thought that he had been given the opportunity of a lifetime to fight pound-for-pound star Andre Ward, but it soon turned out that he was merely a pawn in a struggle between RocNation, [Ward’s promoter] and HBO.
In an exposé with Ring Magazine, Monaghan explained that he was asked by Roc Nation “would I be interested to fight [Ward] in his hometown on short notice.”
Never one to turn down a fight the throwback brawler “instantly said yes.”
However, what followed was a succession of hoops to jump through regarding purse, gloves, sponsors, and fight insurance – eventually leaving Monaghan’s promoters Top Rank with no option but to reject the offer.
One might assume that it was merely just a poor offer from Jay-Z’s promotional label, but Monaghan puts forward a different, believable, theory, explaining that “I believe Ward’s people didn’t want him in a rough fight three months before fighting Kovalev.”
“They had their guy in mind: [Alexander] Brand from Colombia. I think HBO didn’t want him and told Ward to fight me.”
Therefore, Ward and his team only approached Monaghan as a form of lip-service to HBO, and when Irish Seanie refused the offer, as they expected, it served to “create leverage to get Brand OK’ed.”