By Carlos Boogs
Sources have advised BoxingScene.com that an agreement is being finalized for former super middleweight champion Andre Ward (28-0, 15KOs) to face undefeated light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera (17-0, 12KOs) on March 26th in Ward's hometown of Oakland, California at the Oracle Arena, home of the world champion Golden State Warriors. The fight will headline a HBO Championship Boxing card.
Ward has only fight three times in the past three years due to legal disputes with his former promoter, the late Dan Goossen. Ward also suffered various injuries, including a recent knee issue that forced him to cancel a planned return as part of last November's undercard to the Saul Alvarez-Miguel Cotto Pay-Per-View.
The Super Six tournament winner recently signed a new three fight agreement with HBO that is supposed to culminate with a pay-per-view showdown against WBA/WBO/IBF light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in the fall.
Ward's last ring appearance took place in June of last year, when he secured a stoppage win over mid-tier contender Paul Smith. That was his first fight since a November 2013 decision win over Edwin Rodriguez.
Former Cuban amateur standout Barrera has won his last six bouts in a row by knockout and stopped Karo Murat in December to secure the IBF mandatory spot and a guaranteed crack at Kovalev. Barrera is risking his mandatory position by facing Ward.