Fight fans barely had any time to get excited over Andre Ward’s next appearance on the Miguel Cotto-Saul “Canelo” Alvarez undercard before it all started falling apart.
Ward, who was scheduled to face Colombian Alexander Brand on Nov. 21, is reportedly dealing with swelling in his knee and will withdraw from the bout, an unnamed source close to the situation told ESPN.
“He hasn’t been able to get the swelling under control, and it has prohibited him from training the way he needs to,” a source told ESPN. “It’s nothing serious, but the fight is in two weeks, and everyone had to make a decision.”
A longtime kingpin at super middleweight, the WBA titleholder was set to make his light heavyweight debut as the first appearance of his three-fight deal with HBO, which was announced a week ago. It would have been Ward’s second appearance in 2015, and just his third appearance since 2012.
He was hypothetically scheduled to fight sometime in April 2016 following this bout, culminating in a light heavyweight showdown with three-belt champion Sergey Kovalev sometime next fall, ESPN reports. Undefeated at 28-0, there’s no word on how the sudden injury will impact his future schedule with HBO.
Neither Ward nor his representatives at Roc Nation have confirmed the injury, which is just the latest obstacle plaguing one of the more decorated fighters this generation has offered.
The card, fortunately still headlined by a seemingly can’t-miss clash between two of the best sluggers in boxing’s recent history, takes place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.