The stacked "Cotto vs. Canelo" undercard continues to swell, as multiple sources report that Andre Ward will make his light heavyweight debut on the card opposite Colombia's Alexander Brand.
Though the fight has not been finalized, Kathy Duva confirmed that contact has been made and Dan Rafael states that an official announcement could come later today.
I'm told @andreward will face Alexander Brand (24-1, 19 KOs), who lost to Badou Jack by split, on #CottoCanelo card. Wed announcement likely— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) October 28, 2015
Nevada commission initially declined to approve Brand as opponent for Ward, had rightful change of heart. #boxing— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) October 28, 2015
Brand (24-1, 19 KO) faced Jack back in 2012 in an eight-round fight, the eleventh of the latter's career. He's since won seven straight in his home country, four of them by knockout. Interestingly, despite being Ward's first opponent at 175, Brand is a career super middleweight who's never weighed in above 169 pounds.
Ward (28-0, 15 KO) will be fighting for just the second time since November of 2013. This past May, he dominated England's Paul Smith for an easy stoppage win.
The fight joins an undercard already occupied by a WBC super featherweight title fight between Takashi Miura and Francisco Vargas, an IBF super bantamweight title fight between Randy Caballero and Lee Haskins, and a clash between Jayson Velez and Ronny Rios.
Brand seems reasonably dangerous, but shouldn't prove much of an obstacle on Ward's path to Kovalev. But who knows? Maybe he can make unheralded Colombian punchers a thing again.