NEW YORK – Andre Ward, the WBA Super Middleweight World Champion and Super Six finalist, sustained a cut above his right eye during a sparring session on Thursday, Sept. 22. As a result, the Super Six World Boxing Classic Tournament Final and world title unification fight with fellow Finalist and WBC World Champion Carl Froch has been postponed. The announcement was made jointly today by Ward’s promoter, Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor Promotions, Froch’s promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, and Ken Hershman of SHOWTIME Sports®.
The Final was scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29 in Atlantic City, NJ. The promoters and Hershman are working together to identify a new date for the significant matchup.
The SHOWTIME Sports documentary film crew FIGHT CAMP 360°: Inside The Super Six World Boxing Classic was filming for the next episodes of the acclaimed series at the time of the incident at Ward’s gym in Oakland, Calif. The camera crew joined Ward on an impromptu flight from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, where Ward received seven stitches from leading plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Wallace to close the cut. Ward was informed by Wallace that he would be unable to fight as scheduled on October 29 and that he will remove the stitches next Thursday, Sept. 29. The next episode of FIGHT CAMP 360° is scheduled for Oct. 8, 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME®.
Ward said: "I'm extremely disappointed about this cut. We used every precaution, including headgear with a face bar and it was just a fluke situation. My sparring partner and I were involved in an exchange inside and the next thing I knew, I was bleeding. That is the most frustrating thing about this—I don't have an explanation for how it happened.
“This is very frustrating for my camp and I, and I knew that if the shoe was on the other foot and Froch suffered an injury, I would be extremely disappointed.
“We were in full camp and counting down the days until October 29. At this point, I'm looking forward to healing up and getting a new date to finish what I started and become the Super Six Champion.”
Ward continued, “I'd like to express my apologies to SHOWTIME, the fans and the Froch camp, but this is part of boxing. Ward and Froch will still get it on but, unfortunately, the date just has to be pushed back."
“. Ward needs to get his act together,” said Froch shortly after hearing the news. “Of course, you’ve got to take the medical advice seriously, but for a cut to put you out of a fight a full five weeks before the event is ludicrous. If it were two weeks out from the fight, maybe I’d understand. But he’s got 35 days to deal with it. To me, he’s showing his weakness. Nothing changes for me. I’ll be ready if and when he shows up.”
"Not much you can say,” said Goossen. “Andre was cut, he got stitched up, and he'll be back as soon as possible.”
“Injuries in boxing are inevitable at this, the highest level of competition,” said Hershman, the man behind the groundbreaking tournament. “As we’ve done since this tournament’s inception, we’ll forge ahead. We are seeking available dates at this time and hope to have an announcement shortly. Rest assured, we will deliver this dramatic final tournament bout, one that is surely the biggest fight in this division’s history.”
Said Hearn, “Obviously it is frustrating. Carl’s camp has gone perfectly and we were ready to unify the titles on October 29. Carl is in the shape of his life but he is a true professional and will take this in his stride and be ready for victory on a date given in 2011.”