RING, WBA and WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward, who successfully underwent surgery on Jan. 4 to repair his injured right shoulder, returned to the gym for light training last week after receiving clearance to do so from his physician.
The injury to Ward, 29, forced the cancelation of his scheduled March 2 HBO-televised defense against former undisputed middleweight titleholder Kelly Pavlik.
Ward had felt pain in his right shoulder after throwing a punch at sparring partner Tony Hirsch during training in Ward’s hometown of Oakland. The original MRI revealed a significant amount of swelling and inflammation, but no injury to the rotator cuff.
Ward’s workouts are limited to shadowboxing and cardio exercise for now.
Ward (26-0, 14 knockouts) is coming off an HBO-televised 10th-round knockout of RING and WBC light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson in September, this, after having dethroned Carl Froch last December as WBC 168-pound beltholder by unanimous decision in the finals of Showtime’s Super Six Super Middleweight Classic.
A 2004 Olympic gold medalist, Ward became the first man to stop Dawson, whom he floored during the third, fourth and 10th rounds. Ward fought through a broken left hand to defeat Froch and was later named Fighter of The Year for 2011 and the recipient of the Sugar Ray Robinson Trophy from the Boxing Writers’ Association of America.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]