By Jake Donovan
Plenty still lies ahead to remind Andre Ward of the terrific campaign he led in 2011.
The unbeaten super middleweight saw his career soar to new heights thanks to his success in the Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic, capped by his points win over Carl Froch last December. The feat coupled with his near-shutout of Arthur Abraham seven months prior earned Ward near unanimous honors industry-wide as 2011 Fighter of the Year.
An awards banquet to be held by the Boxing Writers Association of America in New York City this upcoming June will most likely serve as the final ceremony commemorating the honor. Hopefully, it will be preceded his 2012 in-ring debut.
The downside to his career-defining win over Carl Froch netting the lineal super middleweight crown in the process was Ward suffering a hand injury bad enough spend the past several months on the sidelines for physical rehabilitation purposes.
The injury played a part in delaying plans for a proposed superfight with fellow unbeaten super middleweight Lucian Bute. Also putting the brakes on such a showdown was the back and forth banter between camps over the fights location in the event it materializes.
Meanwhile, Wards peers march onward. Bute and Froch are set to square off on May 26 in Nottingham, UK. The fight is a big of a match as can be made in the super middleweight division while its leader remains on the sidelines, though those days could be ending much sooner rather than later.
Andre continues to progress and is anxious to return to the ring. Were working on some things now, but its much too early to talk about anything substantial, states Dan Goossen, who signed Ward shortly after his Gold medal-winning efforts in the 2004 Summer Olympics. We're a week or so away from really zeroing in on anything specific.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to JakeNDaBox@gmail.com. Tags: Andre Ward