The HBO-televised clash between RING, WBA and WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward and former undisputed middleweight titleholder Kelly Pavlik could be canceled due to impending right shoulder surgery for Ward, according to a report by ESPN.com.
Targeted for March 2 after having already been rescheduled from Jan. 26 to Feb. 23, Ward-Pavlik, which was to feature a heavyweight bout between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne on its undercard, is apparently canceled.
“It’s up to Goossen to talk about it, but he told me about what the situation was, and I told Cameron, who apparently spoke to [ESPN,]” said Arum. “It’s not for me to say, and but yes, Dan called me. And yes, he said that the fight was off for now, but everything else should come from Dan.”
Goossen is the event’s lead promoter handling both Ward and Arreola on a show that was set to take place at USC’s Galen Center in Los Angeles.
Ward is coming off an HBO-televised 10th-round knockout of RING and WBC light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson in September. Prior to that title defense, he dethroned Carl Froch as WBC 168-pound beltholder by unanimous decision in the finals of Showtime’s Super Six Super Middleweight Classic last December.
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.
Pavlik (40-2, 34 KOs) is coming off his fourth straight victory with a unanimous decision over Will Rosinsky in July. Pavlik burst onto the scene with a seventh-round knockout of then-undisputed and previously undefeated middleweight titleholder Jermain Taylor in September of 2007.
Pavlik was later dethroned as WBC and WBO 160-pound titleholder via unanimous decision by Sergio Martinez in April of 2010, and has since fought at or above 168 pounds.
Dunkin told ESPN.com that he might search for a replacement opponent for Pavlik.
GOLDEN BOY SIGNS BRONZE MEDALIST ANTHONY OGOGO
Golden Boy has announced the signing of 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, Anthony Ogogo, of Great Britain.
“I am delighted to be signing with the premier promoter in boxing, Golden Boy Promotions,” said Ogogo, a 24-year-old middleweight.
“So many great fighters have come before me at Golden Boy and in the coming years I hope to live up to the standard they’ve set. I can’t wait to get started.”
A talented soccer player who played for Norwich City FC when he was younger, Ogogo, of Lowestoft, England, found his true love in the ring, where he has been competing since the age of 12.
After winning a Junior Olympic gold medal and silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships, Ogogo earned a place on Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic team.
Outside the ring, the 24-year-old Ogogo is a former model and was also a cast member of the 2008 hit reality show, “Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack.”
“Anthony Ogogo has everything you look for in a boxer. He can fight, he has style and charisma, and he has amazing crossover potential,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.
“I have no doubt that Anthony has the skills in the ring and the personality outside of it to make him a global boxing star. We are proud to have him on our team, and this is just the first step in our growing commitment to British boxing.”
In London this past summer, Ogogo beat representatives from the Dominican Republic, Ukraine and Germany to win a bronze medal, thrilling his fans from throughout the United Kingdom.
“The year 2012 has been without doubt one of the greatest years of my life. To represent my country at a home games was an incredible experience, and the bronze medal I won will always be close to my heart,” said Ogogo.
“Following the Olympics, I’ve been looking to the future and considering a number of options, and feel that the time is now right to turn professional with Golden Boy.”
A date, venue and opponent for Ogogo’s professional debut will be announced shortly.
AL BERNSTEIN TO HOST SHOWTIME’S ‘BEST OF BOXING’
Hall of Fame announcer Al Bernstein will play will closes out his broadcast year when he serves as host of “The Best of Showtime Boxing 2012,” airing on the network starting at 10:30 ET/PT on Saturday night.
A familiar voice for more than 30 years as an analyst and play-by-play man on boxing broadcasts, Bernstein is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Bernstein is perhaps best known for his work at ESPN and Showtime, also having served as the boxing analyst for NBC’s coverage of the Olympics in both 1992 and 1996.
JONATHAN GONZALEZ MEETS DEREK ENNIS ON RANCES BARTHELEMY-ARASH USMANEE CARD
Puerto Rican power-puncher Jonathan “Mantequilla” González (15-0-1, 13 KO’s) will face junior middleweight rival Derek Ennis (23-3-1, 13 KO), of Philadelphia, on the Jan. 4 undercard of a main event featuring lightweights Rances Barthelemy (17-0, 11 KOs), of Miami, and Arash Usmanee (20-0, 10 KOs), of Montreal, Quebec.
“I’m very happy with the preparation,” said Gonzalez. “I’m in the best shape of my career, and at the end of the fight, the result will be a knockout.”
GEORGE TAHDOOAHNIPPAH FACES DELVIN RODRIGUES ON FEB. 15
Middleweight “Comanche Boy” George Tahdooahnippah (31-0-1, 23 KOs), a 34-year-old from Lawton, Ok., will pursue his fourth stoppage victory in his past five fights when he takes on 32-year-old Delvin Rodriguez (26-6-3, 14 KOs), of Danbury, Conn., on a Feb. 15 edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights from Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Conn.
“Kayode is a heavy-handed puncher who can easily bring his power up to the heavyweight division,” said Shaw. “Right now, my matchmaker, John Beninati, is looking at potential opponents, and we are confident Lateef will be successful moving up in weight.”
Kayode is coming off June’s draw with former light heavyweight titleholder Antonio Tarver, a verdict that became a no-contest after Tarver was suspended for a year by The California State Athletic Commission as a result of his positive test for the banned anabolic steroid drostanolone.
“We made a lot of headway campaigning as a cruiserweight. Considering the fact that we appeared more times on Shobox than any other cruiser in a decade,” said Kayode’s manager Steve Feder.
“In a division far more suited for the European market, ultimately our options since the Tarver debacle have diminished. At this point, the heavyweight division, which we fought our first nine fights in, seems to be calling. Lateef is in the gym and feels very strong at his new weight. We expect to preview back at heavyweight in February.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com