OAKLAND (June 9, 2010) Ė Andre Ward participated at a free open workout Wednesday at Kingís Gym here.
On Saturday, June 19, on SHOWTIMEģ (10 p.m., ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast), Ward (20-0, 13 KOs), of Oakland, will make the first defense of the World Boxing Association 168-pound title against world-ranked Allan Green (29-1, 20 KOs) of Tulsa, Okla., in a Group Stage 2 bout in the Super Six World Boxing Classic at the Oracle Arena.
The event is promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions, TNT Boxing and Dibella Entertainment and sponsored by Corona, Oakland Tribune and River Rock Casino..
What Ward said Wednesday:
(On the tremendous fansí support in Oakland)
ďItís a lot of responsibility. Too much is given, much is required. The fan base is growing, the media attention is growing and this is what I signed up for. Iím embracing it, learning how to deal with it and just thankful to be on a platform and a stage like this and eager to just keep working and be aggressive.íí
(On what kind of fight he is expecting from Green)
ďAt this stage and this level you have to be ready for everything the opponent has to bring. In my mind Iím preparing for a very physical and very grueling fight. And if there is anything left, then thatís fine. Thatís what Iím prepared for, to do whatever needs to be done to keep my title. I never wanted to be a guy who won a title and then lost it his first defense. I want to be a guy that reigns for a long time.íí
(On trainer Virgil Hunter and his strict regimen)
ďWe had our days of him being the task master when I was younger, with him implementing the standard of what he was looking for in me. Every time I would come to the gym or anytime I would run and work out, he expected the highest level out of me, but fortunately he doesnít have to push me like that (any more). He encourages me; heís a man of wisdom. We work well hand in hand. Honestly, we donít have to say much when we train. Donít get me wrong -- we talk strategy, but we can look at each other and know what the other one is thinking. Weíre always on the same page. Itís a tremendous relationship. Itís more than just trainer and pupil. Itís like a father and son relationship.íí
ďI want to just give a big thank you to the fans. I thank them for the support. I donít take these media days lightly when people show up. They can be doing anything right now but they come down and take the time out of their day. I want to say thank you to the media, even the ones who maybe arenít too particular(ly fond) of me. I mean I understand that. Itís no big deal. I just appreciate the support I get and I want to be worthy of it. I want them to know that I see you; Iím speaking of the fans. I want to continue to do my part to put on great performances and also represent myself outside the ring in a respectable wayíí