By Luis Sandoval
WBC Super Middleweight champion Andre Ward suffered a shoulder injury that forced a scheduled fight with him and Kelly Pavlik to be called off after originally only being postponed. In a surprising move, Pavlik announced his official retirement from boxing shortly after and ended any possibilities of him and Ward ever fighting.
Ward, who is recovering from surgery to his shoulder, was in Sherman Oaks, CA at the Chris Arreola-Bermane Stiverne press conference and was asked about his thoughts surrounding Pavlik’s retirement.
“I'm happy for him. It's a tough business. It’s a tough way to make money. It’s a tough way to provide for your family. And fighters, they get in there and over time and over years they take punishment. So for him to be able to get out on his own terms, I'm happy for him. I don't know how long the retirement is going to last but if he stays retired, I'm happy for him” said Ward.
Pavlik, who was on the comeback trail, was longing for a big fight and finally got his wish when a fight with Ward presented itself. While Ward’s injury would undoubtedly postpone the fight until later in the year, Pavlik decided not to wait and instead called an end to his fighting career.
Ward admits he was a bit surprised Pavlik did not hold off to fight in a big fight before walking away from the sport.
“It was a little surprising. [But] I mean you got to understand that Kelly is 30 years old now [and]he's been boxing since he was 9 [so] I understand. You know people say he's only 30, why would he retire but he gets tired man. And if the right opportunity is not there where he can't get motivated, then sit it on down. Spend time with your family. So I'm happy for him” Ward would tell BoxingScene.
There is no specific date as to when Ward will return but he has already started his rehabilitation and hopes to be in the hunt for his next fight in about 2 months. With Pavlik now completely out of the picture, Ward will need to find a new opponent.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.Tags: Andre Ward , Kelly Pavlik , Ward-Pavlik , Ward vs. Pavlik