By Rick Reeno
Virgil Hunter, the trainer for WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward (26-0, 14KOs), took offense to some of the recent comments that appeared on BoxingScene.com from IBF/WBA 'regular' champion Carl Froch (31-2, 22KOs). Ward will defend his title against Edwin Rodriguez (24-0, 16KOs) on November 16th, while Froch returns a week later to face his domestic rival George Groves (19-0, 15KOs).
During an appearance on Sky Sports, Froch took aim at Ward: "Andre Ward is a strange one, he's been injured for a while and now he's talking about doing light-heavyweight. It's difficult for him to get fights because he's so effective at what he does. He's a very, very awkward fighter. He knows how to win. I'm not going to say he's not a good fighter, he's beaten me, but he's not exciting. The TV broadcasters haven't quite got hold of him. HBO in American don't really get excited when they talk about Andre Ward."
Hunter tells BoxingScene that Froch is "haunted" by his decision loss to Ward in the Super Six tournament final, which took place in December of 2011.
"Froch needs to get over it and get on with it. I don't know why he feels the need to talk about Andre. He has a fight with George Groves, but in every interview, every time the mic is stuck in his face - he starts to sound like a broken record. He admits that he can't solve Andre Ward, but at the same time he wants to demean him as a fighter. The question really is, why don't he want a rematch? He wants to have a rematch with everyone else, like Mikkel Kessler. He clamored for that rematch and now he's asking for another one," Hunter told BoxingScene.com.
"I think what really bothers that kid is that he knows Andre did what he did to him with a broken hand. I think there is something deep down inside that haunts him every day and eats away at him, but at the same time he is afraid to step forward and right the wrong. He is full of excuses. He talks about Andre not being a draw, but Froch fights in Nottingham and fights in Nottingham, and the only reason he went to the O2 is because Kessler showed up. Kessler was the draw, the fact that he was fighting Kessler is the reason that he got in the O2. If Andre came to England, it would go to Wembley because it would be bigger than the O2."
"He says Andre is not exciting and he can't punch, but what is it about Andre that frightens him so much that he can demands fights with all of these former champions, but he dreads a rematch with Andre Ward. If he thinks he can really win, it shouldn't matter where the rematch takes place. He should just admit that he won't be able to beat him. He should just go on and enjoy his career."
"But, he will always be second-tier in his career - if can't go back and right that wrong. He will retire with that hanging over his head and it won't be a good feeling. It's better to come forward and get devastated again and live with it. Ricky Hatton set the best example. He got the demons off of him. He said 'look, let me find out if I still can do this, if I still got it." When he fought Senchenko, he lost the fight but he was satisfied that he was still able to find out. I think that's the same thing this kid should be doing - find out. We're not begging him for a fight, because we're way ahead of him."
"Nobody in England has made us an offer. Nobody has said 'Carl wants to fight you.' And now he's talking about fighting Golovkin or Chavez Jr. And when he talks about HBO not being excited about Andre...he forgets that Andre is a commentator for HBO and they are behind him 100%."
Hunter is picking the undefeated young gun, Groves, to pull off a big upset by defeating Froch - but Hunter is not viewing a Groves victory as an upset.
"I think he should focus on George Groves, because I'm picking him to beat Froch and I don't consider it an upset. I think Groves is a better fighter. I think Froch caught Mikkel Kessler on a downslide. Kessler has not been the same fighter since we beat him. That's the bottom line. Groves has the tools to beat him. I think he is going to use our blueprint to beat Froch. We had a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C. We beat Froch with our Plan C because Andre broke his hand. If we fight him again and use our Plan A - we will stop him," Hunter said.