2012-09-08 Andre Ward w rsc 10 Chad Dawson, Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, USA - WBA/WBC/The Ring
With Brian Magee, the WBA ‘interim’ champion, due to challenge Karoly Balzsay for his WBA ‘second tier’ title, the fight was called off twice due to the latter suffering a back injury. In early November, Magee was awarded the WBA ‘second tier’ title, having already been booked to fight Mikkel Kessler on 8 December at the MCH Fair Centre Arena, Herning, Denmark. The fight duly took place, Kessler winning by a third-round stoppage.
Due to Ward’s long-term shoulder injury, the WBC vacated the title on 11 April 2013. Following that, Ward was named as their ‘emeritus’ champion and told that he would be the prime challenger when fully fit again. However, once the WBC decided that Sakio Bika would be meeting Marco Antonio Periban for the vacant title on 22 June, Ward effectively discarded the ‘emeritus’ tag on a matter principle. Bika had beaten Nikola Sjekloca (w pts 12 at the Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey on 16 February) in a final eliminator, while Periban had knocked out Samuel Miller (w co 2 at the Grand Oasis Resort, Cancun, Mexico on 16 March) to win the vacant NABF title.