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Andre Ward will undergo shoulder surgery next week

ward343By Scott Gilfoid: Dan Rafael of ESPN is reporting that WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward will need shoulder surgery to repair his injured right shoulder that he hurt in sparring. Ward was supposed to be fighting Kelly Pavlik in February, but that’s not going to be possible now and the fight is now been canceled.

In a statement, Ward said that he has a small tear in his right shoulder capsule and the options available to him were rest and rehabilitation or surgery. Ward chose to have surgery, as the chances of his shoulder returning to full strength were a lot better than if he just rested it. Ward will be having surgery in Northern California next week.

The injury mean of course that the fight with Pavlik won’t be happening, and it also means that Ward will only be fighting twice in 2013 instead of three times, which is the number that he wanted.

Ward is targeting the winner of the Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler fight. However, if that fight does take place it’ll likely need to be held late in the year because Ward will likely chose to defend his WBA/WBC titles in his first fight back before taking on the tougher task of facing the winner of the Froch-Kessler fight.

Aside from Kessler and Froch, there are not too many good options for Ward in the division. Andre Dirrell, one of the more talented fighters in this weight class, is still trying to get his career back in gear, so he’s not an option. The other top fighters like Edwin Rodriquez, Arthur Abraham, and Thomas Oosthuizen, aren’t really big fights.

Those are all mismatches for Ward. There are a couple of young contenders in James DeGale and George Groves, but those guys aren’t in the class of Ward, and it’s doubtful that their promoters would be willing to feed them to Ward for him to beat. There are just not a lot of good fighters at this weight that are in Ward’s class, and so he’ll have to take what he can get.

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