Deferring to the recommendation of a noted Bay Area orthopedic specialist after receiving a second opinion on his injured right shoulder, reigning WBA/WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward underwent successful surgery, which will keep him out of action for an indefinite period and has forced the postponement of his highly-anticipated title bout against Kelly Pavlik for a second time. Photos by Squint Photos.
Originally scheduled as an HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event from the Galen Center on the campus of USC on January 26, the bout was rescheduled to March 2nd after the 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist, “Super Six” World Boxing Classic tournament winner and 2011 “Fighter of the Year” felt pain in his right shoulder after throwing a punch at sparring partner Tony Hirsch during training in Andre’s hometown of Oakland. The original MRI revealed a significant amount of swelling and inflammation, but no injury to the rotator cuff.
However, after a period of rest and rehab resulted in little improvement, Andre sought a second opinion from Dr. Michael Dillingham, for 25 years the team orthopedic surgeon for the San Francisco 49ers and currently for the San Francisco Giants. A subsequent MRI revealed a small tear in Andre’s right shoulder capsule and, this past Friday, surgery was performed by Dr. Dillingham at the SOAR Surgicenter in nearby Burlingame. Assisting the doctor on the surgical team were his partners Ken Akizuki (team orthopedist for the Giants) and Joe Donahue (former 49ers assistant team orthopedist and current team physician for Santa Clara University).