By Ryan Maquiñana
Super middleweight champion Andre Ward will cancel his upcoming title defense against Kelly Pavlik and will need surgery to repair an injury to his right shoulder, according to a report.
According to ESPN.com, Cameron Dunkin, Pavlik's manager, learned about the developments from Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who is Pavlik's promoter.
"Bob called me up and told me the fight was out and said, 'What are we gonna do with Pavlik?' He said [Ward's promoter Dan] Goossen called him and told him that Ward needed shoulder surgery," Dunkin said.
Ward (26-0, 14 KOs), from Oakland, Calif., was scheduled to fight Pavlik on Jan. 26 at the University of Southern California's Galen Center in Los Angeles, but after incurring the shoulder injury in sparring with middleweight Tony Hirsch, the bout was in jeopardy. At the time, Ward's promoter Dan Goossen told BoxingScene.com/CSNBayArea.com that although Ward had received an MRI, results came back negative and that the reigning 168-pound king would not need surgery.
However, the proposed alternate dates of Feb. 23 and March 2 did not come to fruition, and now Ward might be sidelined until next September, according to a source close to the situation. Meanwhile, Dunkin still plans to get Pavlik (40-2, 34 KOs), a former undisputed middleweight champion from Youngstown, Ohio, another clash in the early part of 2013.
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.