By Luis Sandoval
Current WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward recently spoke to BoxingScene’s official audio show - "The Boxing Lab" - regarding the circumstances which forced him to postpone his upcoming fight with WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch.
As one of the finalist in Showtime’s Super Six Tournament, Ward was forced to pull out of the fight which was original scheduled for Oct 29th after he suffered a cut during a sparring session in training. Fortunately for Ward, cameras for Showtime’s documentary series Fight Camp 360 were on hand to capture it all as it transpired.
Anytime a fighter pulls out of a fight unexpectedly, questions always arise as to how legitimate an injury really is. In the past we’ve seen fighters pull out of a fight only to have the legitimacy of the injury openly questioned and doubted.
So when Ward was asked if he was glad Showtime was there to document it all, he said:
“Absolutely. I mean, that was my doing because we don’t let Showtime tape our sparring. So as soon as I got cut I told my coach, I said ‘go get them’. And he called them in and they were able to get the raw footage.”
“I wanted the people, I wanted Froch’s camp, I wanted everyone to see the raw footage for two reasons” explained the Oakland native. “One, so there wouldn’t be any speculation because there’s always speculation in a situation like that. And then two, so the fans can see me and my team in the most vulnerable state and just see that this is the reality of the sport of boxing.”
His fight has since been rescheduled for December 17th but one thing that still hasn’t been determined is what caused the cut in the first place.
“I’ve never been cut in sparring like that before. Honestly, I can’t tell you one thing that caused it” said Ward. “There was no elbow, no head butt. You know, I was just in an exchange and came out of it bleeding.”
Andre hasn’t let this setback affect his training and preparation for this fight. One thing of concern when there is an unexpected break in training camp is that a fighter may over train or get off course. Ward reassures he’s pacing himself correctly and still staying physically in shape.
“You obviously can’t be in the same mode the whole time so you have to pull back a little bit in terms of intensity but I’m always training. I’m always getting my body prepared and ready” said Ward. “I haven’t missed a beat but physically, you can’t keep the same intensity cause you’ll burn out before a fight and you don’t want that”.
Showtime will air the Fight Camp 360 episode which will include the footage of Ward’s cut on November 30th.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @truewest007 and you can listen to Boxingscene’s official audio show The Boxing Lab every Tuesday from 6-8pm PST with Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval and Ryan Burton