Unbeaten Andre Ward took a verbal swipe at rival champion Carl Froch of England on Sunday in his first public appearance since having seven stitches removed from a cut above his right eye.
Ward will fight Froch on December 17 in the Super Six super middleweight boxing tournament final at Atlantic City, New Jersey. The unification showdown was set for October 29 but postponed after Ward was injured last month.
"The guy I'm fighting is doing a little bit too much talking," Ward said on Sunday. "He's a very arrogant guy and really needs to be humbled."
Ward, 24-0 with 13 knockouts, holds the World Boxing Association title while Froch, 28-1 with 20 knockouts, owns the World Boxing Council crown.
A doctor removed the stitches from Ward on Friday and the fighter will return to sparring at the end of October.
"Once I realized the cut wasn't career-ending or career-threatening, and it was just something that kind of happened, I was feeling a lot better," Ward said.
"Especially once I got a new date and a new time, everything settled down a little bit."
Ward was cheering on his hometown Oakland Raiders before an NFL game against the New England Patriots, having spoken to his gridiron heroes on the eve of the contest at the invitation of coach Hue Jackson.
"I hope I encouraged them," Ward said. "They also inspired me. They looked primed and ready to go."