Now that the Super Six Tournament is back in full swing, and the bout between Andre Ward and Allan Green has been rescheduled to June 19th in Oakland, Ca, the Ward camp has rescheduled their time table for preparation and should be back in full swing in a few weeks.
“We should be back in the gym in late April,” said Virgil Hunter, Andre Ward’s trainer. “Andre is doing things in rehabilitation to ensure that his knee will never flare up again.”
There was much commotion about the reasons for the delay. Ward pulled out of the originally scheduled April 24th fight because he re-aggravated an ACL injury. The Green camp sensed foul play, saying Ward was ducking Green, and has been doing so for some time. Green went on to take shots at Ward using harsh words that Ward, and Hunter were not too fond of.
Virgil Hunter spoke with TSS to set the record straight about Green’s words. Hunter says that the trash talking has raised the intensity in his fighter Andre Ward.
“Andre Ward is a man of integrity and principle. The knee injury is a reality. Green has been quoted as saying that we are trying to pull out of the fight. But all of that is just not factual. Everyone wants to be respected as a man of principle and integrity and when that gets called into question, it gears you up a little,” Hunter said. “It just gears you up even more.”
When asked if all of the name calling and acquisitions have turned the fight between Ward and Green into something more personal, Hunter disagreed. But he invites Green to keep throwing verbal blows at his fighter.
“It is not personal, or a dislike situation. I am actually glad that there is doubt. I am glad that Green has been quoted as saying the things he is saying because it makes my job easy. I have a kid (Ward) who thrives and feeds off of that.”
When the postponement was announced, Allan Green stated that Ward was been avoiding a fight with him for sometime. Green stated that if Ward was fighting another opponent, the Oakland native would do what is necessary to get into the ring on April 24. But since Ward is fighting Green, the bout is being delayed as much as possible.
“Well unfortunately we have to expect what he says. We have to take the accusations, the finger pointing, and the insults,” Hunter responds. “We have to take the darts he is throwing at its proper context. If he feels like he is the reason for the delay then there is nothing we could do about that.”
Hunter says Allan Green’s self-belief does not bother the Andre Ward camp. He urges Green to keep talking.
“No, we want him confident,” Hunter said. “Because when it is all said and done, we want him at his best. We want to beat him at best. I admire the confidence in him. I think he doesn't belong in this business if he doesn't have confidence.”
Despite all of the hoopla surrounding the delay of the fight, and the new date finally set for June 19, Hunter refuses to give a prediction on the result. Instead he sends a more philosophical message that Green must be prepared for come fight.
“I think when Allan Green is alone at night, lays down, and looks up at the ceiling, and really concerns himself with this contest coming up, he will get his answer of the outcome. I don't want to speculate on the outcome of the fight. All I will say is that the outcome of the fight will be paid in full.”
When asked to give an explanation about the “paid in full” phrase, Hunter said, “It means when the fight is over we will not be indebted to you in any way, form, or fashion. We will cash your check for you. Andre has been getting this stuff since he was nine years old. He has been misunderstood since he was nine years old and he has responded in kind to everybody that has come his way. He has not failed to pay anybody in full yet. He has paid everybody their money back with interest.”
Hunter says that Ward makes opponents feel helpless in the ring, almost to the point where they have to flush out their entire team and bring in a new one.
“Look at Edison Miranda. When he fought Pavlik, he lost but kept his trainer. When he fought Abraham he lost but still saw fit to stay with his trainer. But when he lost to Andre, all of sudden he gets rid of his trainer. It is the same thing with Mikkel Kessler, when he lost to Calzaghe, not one time did he mention he was going to get rid of his trainer. But after he loses to Andre, all of a sudden things are changing.”
To further his stance, Hunter continued on to convey that “Ward makes you feel so helpless in a fight. The opponent knows right away that you are in a situation of helplessness. The fighter does not want to experience that again. So he loses confidence in the person in his corner. It is very, very, scary for a fighter to feel helpless in a fight. I happen to think Kessler should have kept his coach. But he felt helpless so he had no choice to but to switch. So it is not the corner. It is the fighter losing confidence in his corner.”
“Andre makes you feel that way. Some people categorize it as being tricky, or being slick, but I'll say it once and I'll say it again; Andre has been hardened to such a point that things look slow motion to him. There is nothing you could do to train for it. You have to pretty much submit yourself to that.”
According to Hunter, Ward has not lost a fight since he was 12 years old. That is a 150 fight winning streak in his book. When I asked Hunter to break down how Green might attack Ward differently than anybody else, he did not seem to be concerned. Hunter says Green cannot fully prepare for Ward no matter how hard he trains.
“Look, Allan Green is being taking very seriously and he has world class brain trust, but they can't fight for him. They could tell him what to do. I am sure that John David Jackson's experienced eye will recognize many things (that Ward does.) But if he (Green) has not been exposed to it before, you can't get it done in 36 minutes. You can't prepare for it.”
”I can't worry myself with what they are going to do. Not one time, have I thought about what the opponent wants to do. I respect Allan Green as a fighter. But we are all creatures of habit. There are a lot of things that he does the same way. He has not faced the type of competition that he needs to overcome what we will present to him.”
The Ward camp will be in Oakland. And they will bring in Danny Jacobs for sparring as well as a few other prospects.