Talkin’ Boxing with Andre Ward
- July 25th, 2011
By Scoop Malinowski
One of the premier champions in the sport today, Andre Ward made a surprise appearance at the Global Boxing Gym in North Bergen, N.J. last week. The 27-year-old WBA Super Middleweight champion (24-0, 13 KO’s) – and favorite to win the inaugural Showtime Super Six tournament against Carl Froch on October 29 – was in town taking care of some business with his sponsor Everlast. Ward took time out to discuss some current issues in boxing…
BoxingInsider: I heard you are giving Tomasz Adamek a strong chance to upset Vitali Klitschko and win the WBC Heavyweight title. Your comments?
Andre Ward: “He’s a former champion. I’m not predicting the upset but I’m saying he has a chance. He’s a former champion, he’s a very formidable fighter. So at that level everybody has a chance. There’s no fight that’s just a wash. So you gotta respect him even though he’s a smaller man. He has a chance. Klitschko is a great fighter too. It boils down to who is better on the night.”
BoxingInsider: No other esteemed ring observers or actual champions like yourself have given Adamek any chance against Vitali because he is too small.
Andre Ward: “If fighters listen to every time they said they couldn’t do something, then not many of them would go anywhere. They wouldn’t be champion.”
BoxingInsider: Buster Douglas would not have shown up in Tokyo…
Andre Ward: “So that’s part of the game. I’m sure he’s expecting to be the underdog. He’s a tough kid, proud kid.”
BoxingInsider: I heard you are a fan of Adamek.
Andre Ward: “Yeah, well I am.”
BoxingInsider: “What qualities do you like about Adamek?
Andre Ward: “I respect him. He’s a fighter I’ve watched throughout the years. I respect him. I respect the Klitschkos too. I’m a fighter but I also respect fighters. Because I know what it takes. That’s what it boils down to. It’s an exciting fight that I’m looking forward to.”
BoxingInsider: What is the key for you to beat The Cobra Carl Froch?
Andre Ward: “Continue to be Andre Ward.”
BoxingInsider: You are a 2004 Olympic gold medalist, WBA world champion, exciting style, superstar in the making. America needs that, we don’t really have that American boxing superstar right now. Your comment?
Andre Ward: “I don’t know if I’ll be a superstar or I’ll just beat superstars. I can’t make the powers-that-be like me. I can’t make people like me. But I can come in the best shape I can be and perform to the best of my abilities and it remains to be seen if they’ll accept me as a star. I may just be the guy who beats stars.”
BoxingInsider: Of all your fights, what is the best you ever felt in the ring? Your finest performance?
Andre Ward: “I think, as a professional, my crowning moment was winning the championship (WBA by technical decision/accidental head butt/cuts/11 vs. Mikkel Kessler in 2009). That’s the fight that kind of validated my work as a world class fighter and I think was a fight that got me in the door.”
BoxingInsider: It’s a surprise to see you here at the gym today, I did not expect to see Andre Ward at the Global Boxing Gym on a Thursday afternoon at the Mariusz Wach-Kevin McBride press conference. What brings you here?
Andre Ward: “I’m here with my sponsor Everlast doing a big photo shoot, so that’s primarily it, man. This is my second time here. I really enjoy this gym, it’s one of the best gyms I’ve ever seen. Very classy, nice, it’s got a great restaurant connected to it. I love coming here. And everybody’s always hospitable. And it’s just always a great time.”
BoxingInsider: Thank you for this interview Andre, I know you are busy, we’ll see you in October.
Andre Ward: “Yes you will, thank you.”
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