By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Unlike some religious athletes, Andre Ward doesn’t constantly mention his faith during interviews.
But the unbeaten WBA super middleweight champion felt he would’ve been remiss this week if he didn’t publicly take issue with what he felt were disrespectful comments made by Carl Froch. Ward referred to something he believes Froch said about Ward’s nickname, “S.O.G.,” an acronym for “Son of God.”
“If I’m not mistaken, something was said about me being ignorant for taking on that nickname,” Ward said. “So yeah, absolutely, I take offense to that. My faith is not a crutch. It’s my foundation. It’s everything to me, so when you hear something like that, yeah, absolutely, I take offense to that.”
Ward, 27, is a devout Christian who attends The Well Church in Dublin, Calif., at least twice per week with his wife and their three children. Froch refused to answer whether he mocked Ward’s faith, though he didn’t deny saying something negative about Ward’s nickname, which has appeared on the 2004 Olympic gold medalist’s trunks for every fight since he turned pro in December 2004.
“I think there’s two subjects you should leave alone,” Froch said, “and one of them’s religion.”
Ward (24-0, 13 KOs), of Hayward, Calif., and Froch (28-1, 20 KOs), of Nottingham, England, will fight Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. They’ll compete for Ward’s WBA and Froch’s WBC super middleweight titles, as well as Showtime’s “Super Six World Boxing Classic” championship cup (Showtime; 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.