By Bill "Two Scoops" Emes
Abel Sanchez, the trainer of IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (27-0, 24KOs) and several others, is siding with HBO's decision to reject several potential opponents that were presented to face Andre Ward (26-0, 14KOs) on their network. Ward has been inactive since last September's TKO of Chad Dawson. During training camp for an early 2013 return, Ward suffered a shoulder injury which required surgery.
Ward was slated to return on September 28 but the fight is now pushed back to November 16, which gives the boxer and HBO more time to agree on an opponent.
Sanchez understands that Ward might want an easier opponent because he is coming off a long layoff and shoulder surgery, but that doesn't mean HBO has to pay for it.
"The public is now demanding better fights. The public is now demanding fights that are entertaining and will keep you glued to the TV. And I think with Andre asking for these easy fights, the public is having a hard time with that. We're in the entertainment business and if you don't want to entertain then you shouldn't be on TV," Sanchez told BoxingScene.com.
"The network doesn't see that any of the names that he's presenting are good enough to give their viewership what they demand. You have to understand that he's coming off of an injury too. Taking that into consideration, maybe he shouldn't fight on HBO. Maybe he should fight on ESPN or Fox Sports and get a tuneup fight and build back up...as they do in other sports, [in] the minor leagues. I hope that he fights this year, so that he's ready next year for what's discussed [a fight with Golovkin]. But that's up to Andre."