Pound4Pound, Boxing News

  Ward vs. Abraham, Plus Arreola Press Conference

By Barbara Pinnella


A press conference was held on Tuesday at Sisley Italian Restaurant in Sherman Oaks to promote the main event on May 14th between Semifinalists for the Super Six Boxing Classic Andre Ward and Arthur Abraham. This fight will be held at the Home Depot Center and televised live on Showtime. The winner of this fight will move into the Finals, going against the winner of the Carl Froch/Glen Johnson contest. Ward will be defending his WBA Super Middleweight title as well.

Abraham attended the conference in a couple of ways; he was on video conference from Germany, and his duplicate (in life-size cardboard cut-out) joined the others for a photo opportunity – pretty funny! One of the promoters Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor Promotions queried why opponents don’t attend the conferences.

“What’s with you, Andre,” Goossen asked, “Every fight that we’ve done recently, we can’t have the fighter that you’re fighting willing to come here and stand before you for the open press conference, what is it? We have a damn video of Abraham standing in a studio in Germany!”

After a few more light-hearted – well, maybe – comments from Goossen, things got more serious as Ward summed up his job for the upcoming fight. “In my preparation I’m giving Abraham more respect than he probably deserves. That’s how I make sure that I’m on my A-game. Simply put, my job is to bring him back to where he was right after the Carl Froch fight – bring all the doubt back, bring all the confusion back. That’s my job, to put him there right away and then keep him there. On May 14th we’ve got 12 rounds to get to know each other.

“Being in this tournament I think I’ve had the opportunity to fight top guys back to back to back. If I wasn’t in the tournament I may have gotten a Kessler and then two or three regular fights and then maybe another big fight. But with this, I’ve had to grow up fast for the tournament or I’d have to go home early, and I didn’t want to go home early. I didn’t come this far for no reason. I think people forget that I have a family to feed. I need to win just as much as anyone else.”

Virgil Hunter, Andre’s trainer, was classy when he commented on Abraham being a no-show. “I’d like to say that Arthur is scared to face Andre face-to-face, but it’s a long trip over here. I understand.”

With regard to his fighter, Hunter replied, “We have a great game plan. More than anything we want to make sure we make a statement and give you something to write about.”

Abraham, through his interpreter, said that “I’m looking forward to coming to America, it will be great to be there and it will be a good fight. I don’t want to speak about what’s gone on in the past. I want to focus on Andre. I will use my heart, my fists, my body, and my hands to defeat Andre.”

Chris Arreola was also on hand, as he has a match against Nagy Aguilera. Chris looked wonderful. He has dropped more than a few pounds and looks lean and mean, and ready to take his role seriously. “In boxing, you’ve only got a short time with the window of opportunity, to capitalize on it. You guys watched the Klitschko fight, it was embarrassing. I don’t want to embarrass boxing. I’m sorry and I apologize to HBO, and to ShowTime, and to everyone that I showed my lack of dedication. Come the 14th you’re going to see a new Chris Arreola. I look forward to showing myself again.

“I’m a family man now,” he continued, “and that’s calmed me down. I’m good; I’m living life right now. I didn’t have to go back to Houston. I can train at home. I’m more focused and dedicated now.”

A big change came from reflection. “I stayed home and just thought about 2010 and what a horrible year I had, how crappy it was. 2010, 2009, it was all my fault.”

Arreola’s trainer, Henry Ramirez, had this to say about his charge. “The biggest fight with Chris has been outside the ring. The maturity is finally catching up with his physical ability.”

So, in a little over two weeks we will know who moves on to the Finals. All the fighters know what is at stake and say they are ready. We will see.

Kudos to Goossen Tutor Promotions for organizing the press conference. And, just have to add that, since I love to eat, wonderful meal!

Be safe and God Bless,
Viva La Raza,


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