Andre Ward earned a lopsided unanimous decision over Edwin Rodríguez to successfully defend The Ring and WBA super middleweight belts on Saturday night at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, California.

Ward (27-0, 14 KOs) officially beat the 28-year-old Rodríguez (24-1, 16 KOs) by scores of 118-106, 117-107 and 116-108.

Using a brilliant jab and ferocious left hook, Ward outclassed Rodríguez and absorbed virtually no punishment over 36 minutes.

"It's not always going to be a spectacular performance, but a win is a win," said Ward, 29, who underwent the knife on January 4 to fix a small tear in his right shoulder capsule. "I felt like I did great (after) being off for 14 months, and I'm happy to be back."

The sport’s second premier pound-for-pounder is a defensive virtuoso who employs elite footwork to keep opponents unbalanced.  

Quickly adapting and readjusting to Rodríguez’s roughhouse tactics, Ward dictated the pace of the bout and “did great (after) being off for 14 months.”

A gold medalist as a light heavyweight at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Ward’s a brilliant tactician who hasn’t been conquered since he was a 12-year-old amateur.

Andre Ward’s a prizefighter for the ages and genuine boxing fans should be ecstatic that he’s “back.”

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