By James Slater: Heaven knows, the Showtime “Super Six” Boxing Classic has suffered its share of pull-outs, postponements and replacements since its 2009 introduction, and now we have yet another glitch – ahead of the grand final no less.
Andre Ward, unbeaten and set to face Carl Froch in the final on October 29th, announced late last night (UK time) how he had suffered a cut in sparring; one bad enough to require seven stitches.
“Bad News: I sustained a cut in sparring a few hours ago….. Flew to LA to see the Doc. I got seven stitches. I will let you know the new date soon,” Ward wrote on Twitter.
Froch, when he heard the news, was understandably very upset. “The Cobra’s” promoter, Eddie Hearn, went further, demanding photo evidence of the injury.
However, in a news piece that has appeared on Ringtv.com, Ward’s trainer, Virgil Hunter confirmed his fighter suffered a cut over his right eye. The injury was suffered whilst Ward was sparring with Brandon Gonzalez. Hunter also said the whole incident was filmed by Showtime’s cameras, and that the spar session should be featured in the next episode of Fight Camp 360.
There seems little doubt then, that Ward’s injury is legit. Hunter said his fighter was treated by former Vitali Klitschko doctor ( who patched Klitschko up after the bloody loss Vitali suffered at the hands of Lennox Lewis) and that the plan is to have Ward’s seven stitches taken out next week. Hunter added that “in my heart the fight will be done this year.”
Of course, at this early stage, no-one knows how long Ward will be kept out of action for.
Meanwhile, Froch, said to be “ready to go” already even though the fight was not going to happen until the end of next month, is mulling over the idea of taking a hometown fight as he awaits Ward’s recovery. If Ward is going to be out for a significant amount of time, say until next year, the word is Froch may take a fight against a top ranked 168-pounder in Nottingham in either October or November. Clearly, Froch does not want to waste the long weeks of work he has already put in for the Ward bout.
Unfortunately for the fans, if the “Super Six” final does not now happen until early 2012, the long, drawn out tournament will have taken close to two and-a-half years to reach its conclusion. The tourney looked like such a great idea on paper (and there have been some excellent fights during the thing), but the snags and the glitches that have occurred will, I feel, force all those concerned to have serious doubts about staging another one.