Super middleweight champion Andre Ward and former middleweight king Kelly Pavlik appear headed for a February 2013 showdown on HBO, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, who says that Pavlik's promoter Bob Arum and manager Cameron Dunkin have confirmed the discussions.
Ward (26-0, 14 KO) is coming off of a dominant win over Chad Dawson on September 8 in Oakland, his first HBO fight. The network is solidly behind him, and there just aren't many super middleweights out there to challenge him anymore, and he seems lukewarm on the idea of going up to light heavyweight for the time being.
That makes Pavlik (40-2, 34 KO) a very attractive option, as he's got some name value left, and has gone 3-0 this year, including a win over Will Rosinsky on HBO in July. There is the theory that guys like Pavlik simply can't "get up" for bouts like Rosinsky, or Pavlik's two fights against club guys (both stoppage wins) earlier this year, and that he'll need a major challenge in a big main event to look like himself again, if he can look like himself again.
Ward would certainly fit that bill, and truthfully, this is the type of fight Pavlik might as well take. It's good money, since he sees himself as worth big money, and fights come no bigger than taking on the legit world champion of your weight class. I consider the chances of Pavlik upsetting Ward to be very, very slim, but it's probably the right fight for both guys.