Andre Ward is upset with the WBC for stripping him of his title, and he's saying thanks, but no thanks for his champion emeritus status at 168 pounds in the WBC.
Ward released a statement regarding his carefully thought-out decision to abandon his emeritus status. It is provided in full by the World Boxing News' Phil D. Jay. Here is an excerpt:
After careful thought and consideration with my family and team, I have decided to relinquish my WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Emeritus Title.
...I think the fans know and appreciate that I am the Super Middleweight Champion of the World, and I trust that I will continue to be recognized assuch. I am back in training again, feeling great, and excited about my return to the ring.
All of this stems from a surgery (h/t Dan Rafael of ESPN.com) the 29-year-old Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) had on his shoulder in January of this year.
He originally injured his shoulder in November of 2012 while training for a Jan. 26 title defense against former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik. At the time of the injury, he followed doctors' advice of rest and rehabilitation for his injury, but after he failed to see improvement, he sought a second opinion (per Rafael).
That is when a small tear was discovered and the surgery was set in motion. During the process of his recovery, the WBC decided to strip him of his champion status, which he had held since December of 2011 when he beat Carl Froch.
The WBC not only cited his shoulder injury, but also the broken hand he suffered while beating Froch and the absences from the ring these injuries caused.
In his statement, Ward says he spoke with his manager and lawyer and they feel the WBC did not have the right to make the move, or that due process was done.
Sakio Bika and Marco Antonio Periban will battle for the vacant WBC title, according to Jay.
As for Ward, who is still The Ring's and WBA's super middleweight champion, he recently said that he'd like to get back in the ring in September and have two fights this year.
If this proves to be the case, the WBC could potentially regret ever making this needless move in the first place.
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