As initially reported by Chris Mannix of Sports Ilustrated last night, undisputed super middleweight champion Andre Ward suffered a shoulder injury while training for his January 26 fight against former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. This results in a likely postponement of the somewhat curious fight.
Ward (26-0, 14 KO's), widely considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, is coming off one of his finest performances with a tenth round technical knock out of light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson in defense of his 168-pound title this past September. That fight pitted two of the best fighters within their respective divisions against each other, a match-up that is very rarely seen in this era of boxing.
After running the tables within the super middleweight division with his win in the Super Six tournament against Carl Froch in December 2011 and his dominating victory over Dawson, there appeared to be little left for the WBA Super and WBC champion Ward to accomplish at 168 pounds. This is what made the announcement that he would next fight the 30-year old Pavlik (40-2, 34 KO's), who is on a four fight win streak since making a comeback from struggles with alcohol after losing the middleweight title to Sergio Martinez in April 2010, somewhat startling.
The injury to Ward is likely to postpone the fight for at least two months. The status of the rest of the card, which includes heavyweight Chris Arreola vs. Bermane Stiverne, is unknown at this time. Arreola was forced to withdraw from a bout against Mike Mollo on the undercard of Victor Ortiz vs. Josesito Lopez this past June and has not been in the ring since February.
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