Swelling in his right knee has limited Andre Ward in training and has now ultimately forced him to withdraw from the November 21st Cotto-Canelo card, a fight that was to mark Ward's official debut at light heavyweight. Ward's promoter, Roc Nation Sports, cites significant inflammation and constant pain that has been hindering Ward's mobility.
"I'm extremely disappointed that I'm missing this opportunity on Nov. 21, but at the same time, I'm encouraged," Ward said. "Anytime I have had a minor or major setback in my career, by the grace of God, I've come back stronger, and this will be no different. I'm looking forward to a big 2016. Thank you to all my fans for your support and patience."
Ward's scheduled fight with Alexander Brand was supposed to kick off the first of three fights under his new HBO contract, with the last fight being lined-up to be the big one against light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev. But now that schedule appears to need some adjusting.
"Andre's injury is a huge disappointment, not only to him, but all of us involved with this promotion," said David Itskowitch, COO Boxing of Roc Nation Sports. "We have no doubt that Andre will come back stronger than ever once his knee heals and that he will be a force in the light heavyweight division."
Roc Nation Sports is now hoping to find another fight to replace Ward-Brand so they can keep their PPV broadcast at four fights total.