Today was Media Day at King's Boxing Gym down in Oakland, CA for the Super Six Finals between Andre Ward and Carl Froch. Ward and his promoter Dan Goossen sat down with me and the rest of the media to answer a couple questions about his upcoming fight.
Training with the cut
Ward says that he is in full-fledged training and that he frequently forgets that he has a cut. He is back sparring and hasn't seen any problems so far. If it opens up during the fight, Ward says that it is not ideal, but he has fought with a cut before and he is just going to deal with it. He goes on to say that there isn't going to be a change in the gameplan and that he is not worried about the cut.
On the injury
"Fighters always have things going on with their hands, their backs...When it is something where I can't be at my best, not a small injury but something that's significant, we're not going to go forward because I don't think my opponent should want me to get in the ring not 100%...Of course you can expect the other side to start throwing rocks, start accusing you of this and that, but in a sense it almost fuels them, makes them feel like you are scared. Allan Green made that mistake and Carl Froch is doing the same."
Goossen on Ward's potential
"Mayweather, Pacquiao, none of these guys were big sellers until they got to that point, Andre is getting to that point okay...The way that I look at, we have seen 50 to 60 percent of Andre Ward's ability in that ring at this point. I think there is so much more that he can achieve inside the ring and outside of it."
The type of fight Ward expects to see
"I think [Froch's] biases going in based on some of his comments are he thinks that I'm just going to running around the ring just trying to get away. He's going to find out that that's just not the case. What he does after that, I don't know. Just like any 12 round fight, there are ebbs and flows, back and forth in terms of your strategy. He can get hit on the chin one time, and decide to do something different...I'm physically stronger than he realizes and I'm hitting a lot harder than he realizes as well. He's going to try to take my heart."
On Froch getting under his skin
"He is pretty annoying. I take nothing away from him, he's a good fighter and I have nothing negative to say about him. Froch is going to be Froch and I'm going be me. I'm going to go in there and do what I got to do...What he is trying to do is not working, it's annoying. It is definitely fun fighting guys like him because of the way he talks. If you think that it's going to take me out of my game and cause me just to lose it, that's not going to happen.
Reporter: Do you get testy in the Showtime face-to-face thing?
Ward: A little bit (*big smile*)"
About talking to Andre Dirrell for tips:
"We haven't talked to Dirrell one time about Carl Froch, I didn't even reach out to him about Abraham. [Dirrell] gave me some tips about [Abraham] just as we were talking. We are two different fighters, a lot of people compare us but we are different in a lot of ways. Speed is a big factor and is weighing heavy on Carl's mind."
About taking on Dirrell in video games
"We have been talking about playing online for I don't know how many years, but he's way more of a gamer than I am. I play causally. Me being as competitive as I am, after this fight I'm going to practice, get some games under my belt and get sharp. I want to beat him. Even in an online football game (Ed Note: Madden), I want to beat him."
Potential Fight with Lucian Bute
"It remains to be seen."
My General Thoughts
Andre Ward has got the media part of the boxing game down. He never seems uncomfortable with the questions and seems perfectly willing to answer any question put in front of him from any source. He's got a very warm personality and is very friendly even to the people asking him questions that are thinly veiled criticisms. In terms of the cut, it is healed but it is definitely visible. It is on right eye, which would be further back in a traditional stance and more difficult to hit with a simple punch like a jab. It doesn't look great in the picture but it blends in with his eyebrow pretty well. Froch is going to target the cut and why wouldn't he. I'm looking forward to this fight, it should be part of a great December for boxing!