Andre Ward must defend his WBA title against Mikkel Kessler or Brian Magee
Andre Ward has been ordered by the WBA to take on the winner of Mikkel Kessler v Brian Magee by July next year.
Last Updated: 05/11/12 3:02pm
Ward, who also holds the WBC super-middleweight belt, is the WBA's 'super' champion but is yet to make a mandatory defence.
Magee is the current holder of the regular title but will be a huge underdog when he takes on Kessler in Denmark on December 8.
The WBA's decree therefore offers Kessler the chance of a re-match with Ward after the Dane was stopped on cuts in the 11th round of their World Super Six clash in 2009.
Ward, who remains unbeaten after he knocked out Chad Dawson in September, is set to return to the ring on January 13 with talks ongoing with former unified middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik.
The news could scupper Carl Froch's plans for a rematch with Kessler next summer, preliminary talks for which have already taken place.
The Cobra is hoping to get the chance to avenge the only losses on his record - to Ward and Kessler - before his career is over.
A possible scenario would see Froch beat Yusuf Mack on Saturday week and then Lucian Bute for a second time in the spring, before taking on the winner of Ward/Kessler later in 2013.