While promoters continue working to finalize a match between The Ring, WBA, WBC and super middleweight champ Andre Ward and recovering former WBC, WBO and The Ring Magazine middleweight titlist Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik, reports have surfaced that the Bay Area native may have to again battle the “Viking Warrior” Mikkel Kessler as a mandatory challenger some time in 2013.
Ward (26-0, 14 KOs), who was born in San Francisco and became the first American to capture boxing gold in eight years as a light heavyweight at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, defeated Kessler (45-2, 34 KO) in the 11th round due to cuts on the Dane’s mug caused by unintentional headbutts in November 2009.
“I did not think it was possible to be more motivated to beat Magee and become world champion again on Dec. 8, but now I have found a reason,” said Kessler, 33. “Andre Ward knows that he owes me a rematch. That was not the real ‘Viking Warrior’ in the ring on that night. I was at my best against [Carl] Froch and Allan Green, and I will be at my best against Magee. Now I just have to regain my title on Dec. 8, and then we will have the rematch. Ward had better get ready.”
“The Son of God” most recently threw fists to retain his belts in a 10 round battering of formidable Ring Magazine and WBC light heavyweight titleholder “Bad” Chad Dawson on September 8 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Prior to dominating Dawson (31-2, 17 KOs), Ward unified two belts and won The Super Six World Boxing Classic when he trumped Carl Froch by unanimous decision on December 17 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
The 28-year-old Ward, voted in the wintertime as the 2011 “Fighter of the Year” by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), has unbelievably not vacated the squared circle on the losing end of a bout since he was a 12-year-old amateur.
“The Son of God,” currently rated by Ring Magazine as the third pound-for-pound boxer in the world, is now in position to become a national superstar and household name like fellow American gold medalists Muhammad Ali, “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya.
Roger “Pit” Perron is a venerable boxing trainer from Brockton (Mass.) who now works with Mike and Rich Cappiello at their gym, Cappiello Brothers Boxing and Training.
Perron praised Ward and predicts “The Son of God” will outclass all challengers for the foreseeable future.
“Ward clearly sticks out in the division,” said Perron, 75, who worked with International Boxing Hall of Famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler at the Petronelli Brothers Gym. “He had just a great performance his last time out. There’s no telling when, or if, he’ll next lose.”
Conversely, Pavlik (40-2, 34 KOs), who on June 8 bludgeoned a mouthy Scott “Cujo” Sigmon en route to a seventh round TKO victory, battled for the third time in 2012 in July when he earned a unanimous decision triumph over “Power” Will Rosinsky on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” card at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
To date, “The Ghost,” whose only losses as a professional came at the hands of legendary pugilist Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2-1, 32 KOs) and 2010 “Fighter of the Year” Sergio Martinez (47-2-2, 25 KOs), has maintained his pledge to remain active and avoid trouble.
Pavlik’s aggressive schedule is prudent and extremely encouraging.
Nevertheless, on talent alone, Ward will overwhelm Pavlik when they meet in roughly three months.
In regard to Kessler, the “Viking Warrior” is slated to clash 37-year-old Irishman Brian Magee for the vacant WBA (Regular) Super Middleweight crown on December 8 in Herning, Denmark.
Provided Kessler handles Magee (34-4-1, 24 KOs), perhaps “Ward had better get ready.”
Kessler is a solid pugilist with a lot of grit.
Unfortunately for the “Viking Warrior,” Ward is a prizefighter for the ages whose immense abilities are finally being recognized.
In actuality, Mikkel Kessler “had better get ready” and hope he doesn’t get knocked onto Queer Street by the great Andre Ward in June.by