Some Ideas For Andre Ward's Next

WardDawson TJHogan11Are you as struck as we are with the look on Ward's face in this moment? Look how focused he is. See how dialed in he is, how hyper-aware. Who on this list could best test SOG, readers?(Hogan)

It’s the best of times and the worst of times for Andre Ward. How to capitalize on his great win over Chad Dawson and continued dominance? I don’t see a single clear path for him. Playing his manager/promoter, I’d place these 20 names in front of me as options. In no particular order of significance but asterisks are next to genuinely viable options for next couple of opponents.

· Tommy Oostuzien (May be the best unknown, albeit untested ‘68…I’m feeling this kid.)

· Tavoris Cloud (Stock went way down with desultory performance vs Campillo, but not exactly a chump to test the 175 waters.)

· Gabriel Campillo (Excellent boxer at ’75 and deserves a break after three robberies. If he had pop, he’d be king.)

· Kelly Pavlik (Big money marketable fight if he stays off the sauce, in Oxnard, and earns a respectable ’68 scalp first.)

· Chavez Jr (If Chavez beat Martinez this would have been a serious PPV early next year, and maybe the #1 option. Chavez is game; his handlers not so much.)

· Lucian Bute (He beats Grachev (who starched ultra-gifted Sillakh) and somehow avenges his loss to Froch, this shoots to the top of the heap.)

· Andre Dirrell (Matrix would sign to fight his bro first. But he’s so talented, he’s one of the few with the style, size and ability to trouble anyone, even SOG. But his mental game is soft as overripe melon.)

· Tony Bellew (Go to England and raise your profile there. A solid ’75.)

· Nathan Cleverly (Same as above. But undefeated and no joke.)

· Isaac Chilemba (Decent ’75, but maybe #17 as far as options go.)

· Beibut Shumenov (He’s not as bad as people say and seems to have a gift for marketing.)

· Denis Grachev (Say he starches Bute; that’s two big scalps in a row.)

· Ismayl Sillakh (Major talent. Thought he was the truth. Would’ve been great option hadn’t he gone all house-of-cards on us.)

· Mikkel Kessler (Don’t need to see this rematch unless Mikkel does big things @ ’75.)

· Lateef Kayode (Not joking here. Ward would beat him now, giving up 30 pounds. Why not give up 15 and do it. People will tune in.)

· BJ Flores (Same as above. Also just think he’s kind of a fraud and wanna see his XL commentating head get dented.)

· Marco Huck (Say Ward did this really soon, it would have echoes of Jones-Ruiz. It’s a very compelling and dangerous yet winnable fight for Ward @ 175, while giving up significant size and weigh to the rough and tough, heavy-handed cruiser.)

· Gennady Golovkin (Why not, while the iron is hot? I think Golovkin could hang…despite looking like a junior middle…But would be thrilled to see him versus Martinez or do that fight with Pirog, which was my favorite 2012 match-up of up-and-comers, albeit titlists.)

· Dmitriy Pirog (For no other reason, Pirogi owes me for beating that drum like few others. Seriously, would love to see it, as Pirog works well on the inside, has good size and I just believe in him…but, yes, let him first prove himself @ ’60.)

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-gibola :

or Carl Froch in Nottingham? Froch may just have a surprise for Ward in front of his own fans if the Bute fight was anything to go by. Would Andre take it? No way. Oakland yes - the UK? No. It's the fight I would most like to see although Ward-Cloud/Cleverly would be entertaining fights as bith guys throw a ton of punches.