By Steve Mabbott: WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward injured his right shoulder while working out to get ready for his now cancelled January 26th clash against former WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik. The good news is that the 28-year-old Ward didn’t suffer any tears of his shoulder and won’t need surgery.
The bad news is that his shoulder is swollen and his fight with Pavlik will need to be postponed. According to Dan Rafael, the makeup date they’re looking at right now is February 23rd. However, you can never tell with a shoulder injury. It could go past that date if the shoulder fails to heal quickly, so that’s just a tentative date.
Ward has been looking unbeatable lately. He recently beat Chad Dawson by a 10th round stoppage, and before that Ward won the Super Six tournament last December. However, being the top guy in the division has made Ward someone that the other top fighters are seemingly reluctant to tangle with. One problem that Ward has is that despite being the number #1 fighter in the division, he’s not a pay per view attraction, and he’s not famous in Europe.
If Ward was a big PPV star like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, the other super middleweights wouldn’t hesitate in fighting him. But right now you can sense a reluctance to get in the ring with him. Perhaps this is why we saw Ward taking on Dawson in his last fight, and now Pavlik. The guys that Ward should be fighting are past victims Arthur Abraham, Mikkel Kessler and Carsl Froch or even Lucian Bute.
Pavlik seems to be gambling by taking this fight with Ward. It’s a real long shot that Pavlik wins this fight, and he’s got to know that, but it looks like he’s willing to take that risk because of the huge payoff if he wins. If Pavlik losses, it’s like so what. No one expected him to win in the first place. But a victory would be huge for him because he can then move onto to taking on one of the top fighters like Froch, Kessler or Abraham.