World super-middleweight champion Andre Ward said Thursday that he has a tear in his right shoulder that will require surgery, explaining why he had to cancel his defense against former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, ESPN.com reported.
Ward and Pavlik were scheduled to meet Jan. 26 in the first major HBO fight of 2013 at the Galen Center on the USC campus. But after Oakland's Ward injured the shoulder during a sparring session in late November, the fight was postponed.
Promoter Dan Goossen and HBO planned to reschedule the fight on March 2 at a venue to be determined because the Galen Center was not available on the new date. But the fight was called off Wednesday when Goossen notified Pavlik promoter Bob Arum that Ward would not be ready.
One day later, Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) revealed in a statement that he has a "small tear in my shoulder capsule. ... I can either rest it and see if it heals itself or speed up the process by surgically repairing it, and be stronger than I was before the injury, and that's what we opted to do."
Arum said Pavlik his will take a fight in the interim, and added it's unclear whether Pavlik (40-2, 34 KOs) will be Ward's next
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.