The fight isn't signed, sealed, and delivered just yet, but for all the world it appears we'll be seeing Andre Ward face Kelly Pavlik on January 26 on HBO, and Ward balks at those who balk at the matchup:
"It’s like, Kelly Pavlik, some people may balk about the fight and say, ‘He’s finished,’ but I know better than that. [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum has done a great job of keeping Kelly busy, just keeping him busy until something like this came aboard, and you can believe that a former world champion like Kelly Pavlik, with him getting another shot at the title, he’s going to be prime and ready. We’re going to be ready, and it’s going to be a tremendous show."
Ward also believes that Pavlik didn't look any worse than he ever has in his last fight, when he beat Will Rosinsky over 10 rounds on July 7 in California. Pavlik (40-2, 34 KO) is perceived by many to be either shot or just plain past his peak days, and not the same fighter at 168 pounds that he was at 160, where he won the world championship in 2007 and held it until 2010, when he lost to Sergio Martinez.
Ward could just be trying to sell the fight to a doubting audience, but he's on record as saying he thinks it's a good fight, and that Pavlik is a good opponent, which at least means that the fight is probably going to happen, unless Pavlik backs out, which isn't unfathomable. The last time Pavlik had a major fight in the works, it was against Lucian Bute in late 2011, and that fell apart when Pavlik pulled out of the negotiations.