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The Conundrum Of Andre Ward's Next Fight

Who will Andre Ward face in his next fight? (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Who will Andre Ward face in his next fight? (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Bongarts/Getty Images

Andre Ward has put himself in an interesting position for his next fight. After winning the Super Six tournament, with a broken hand no less, Andre Ward became the top-rated super middleweight. His dominating performances over Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler combined with his less-than-thrilling style, make the list of potential exciting opponents quite small. To further complicate matters, most of the top super middleweights already have fights lined up, crossing them off the list for a June fight.

Obviously, Lucian Bute and Carl Froch are unavailable because they are fighting each other and Robert Stieglitz has a fight lined up with George Groves. A Mikkel Kessler rematch is out of the question as well because the Dane has a fight lined up with Allan Green.

In terms of actual opponents, I really think that Ward has three options. First, is try to take on one of the Dirrell brothers. Anthony is already the WBC mandatory and that might be a fight that Showtime could be interested in. Andre Dirrell has had one comeback fight against Darryl Cunningham, which was a two-round blowout. The only other fighter on the BLH super middleweight ranking that generates any semblance of interest is Adonis Stevenson and that is mostly because he is Canadian.

I hate to say this but it seems like moving up to 175 might be the best option. Ward could take a light touch at 175 because it would be his first fight at the full light heavyweight limit (not sure about the contract weight for the Pudwill fight). A fight against any of the decent European light heavyweights would be interesting especially if Ward went to their backyard.

The final option would be to just take a sham fight, think Shelby Pudwill, and just wait for either Bute or Kessler. Unfortunately, I think that this is the most likely outcome for Ward, because it is the safest and the easiest option. Given his current options, which possible matchup is the most likely and which one is the most intriguing?

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