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Andre Ward still searching for return opponent in November

Andre Ward is looking to get into the ring on November 16, and he and HBO are working to make that happen. But is anybody out there?

Ezra Shaw
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Andre Ward tried to get Dimitri Sartison as an opponent for his first and only fight of 2013, but HBO turned that down. So Ward and his team, along with HBO, tried to secure a fight with Edwin Rodriguez, who recently signed with Al Haymon. That fell through, because HBO doesn't do business with Haymon fighters.

Ward, though, says that they did make Rodriguez a good offer and he turned it down. This has left the super middleweight king still hunting for an opponent, and the pickings may be very slim indeed. With Carl Froch busy with George Groves, Mikkel Kessler coming off of a loss, Robert Stieglitz not seeming interested, Rodriguez turning the fight down, and HBO apparently reluctant to turn down fighters like Sartison, it really begs the question: who can Ward fight at 168 pounds?

Unless Andre Dirrell suddenly surprises anyone who has actually paid attention to Andre Dirrell and steps up to fight his pal -- which he was contractually obligated to do once already and took a looping, winding road to get away from it -- there's just nobody currently at 168 who is available that seems to fit the bill. And down at 160, Gennady Golovkin is facing Curtis Stevens; Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, thought to be a potential opponent for Ward at some point, has moved his fight with Bryan Vera back to September 28, which would take him out of the running for November; and after that, well, what is there out there? Caleb Truax? Andy Lee?

Ward (26-0, 14 KO) is confident that he'll have an opponent soon, though, and tells FightHype that he hopes to have it done by next week. Maybe they can pull Kelly Pavlik out of retirement? This has all been something of a disaster, trying to get Ward back into the ring with a decent opponent. And the "funniest" thing about it it is, he's so good, and has been so dominant, that everyone is basically arguing over who gets to get all but shut out by Ward. There does not appear to be anyone available and willing and HBO approval-worthy that makes for any better a fight than one we see and go, "Yeah, that's understandable, I guess."

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