Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Andre Ward essentially cleaned out the super middleweight division two years ago. In 2012 he won a superfight with light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson by TKO, and last year he won a decision against the big, hard-punching Edwin Rodriguez.
If George Groves wins a rematch with Carl Froch in early 2014, that would make him an intriguing new opponent for Ward. If Gennady Golovkin simply can't get the fights worthy of him at middleweight and moves up, that will give Ward the kind of superfight a star like him needs.
But neither of those fights would materialize until the second half of 2014.
Early in 2014, it seems pretty obvious that HBO will give us Andre Ward vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
That's a fight that the fighters and network have all appeared to want for quite a while now, but Chavez Jr. didn't exactly make a compelling case for himself as an opponent for a superstar like Ward in his return bout against middleweight journeyman Brian Vera last September.
I thought Vera clearly deserved to win.
One assumes Chavez would actually train harder for a fight with Ward than he did for the fight with Vera, when he had to repeatedly renegotiate the weight in the final days before the fight.
One assumes it, but I wouldn't bet on it with any confidence, either.