Andre Ward suffered a cut in training that required seven stiches to close, forcing the postponement of his October 29 World Boxing Classic Super Six Final against Carl Froch.
Ward, the WBA super middleweight champion, and Froch, the WBC titlist, were to meet in the championship round of Showtime's inaugural World Boxing Classic in Atlantic City.
The fight has not yet been rescheduled.
"I'm extremely disappointed about this cut," said Ward, in a statement emailed to the media. "We used every precaution, including headgear with a face bar and it was just a fluke situation. My sparring partner and I were involved in an exchange inside and the next thing I knew, I was bleeding. That is the most frustrating thing about this—I don't have an explanation for how it happened. This is very frustrating for my camp and I, and I knew that if the shoe was on the other foot and Froch suffered an injury, I would be extremely disappointed."
Froch showed more than frustration in his statement:
“This is absurd and unprofessional. Ward needs to get his act together,” said Froch shortly after hearing the news. “Of course, you’ve got to take the medical advice seriously, but for a cut to put you out of a fight a full five weeks before the event is ludicrous. If it were two weeks out from the fight, maybe I’d understand. But he’s got 35 days to deal with it. To me, he’s showing his weakness. Nothing changes for me. I’ll be ready if and when he shows up.”
Here's more information, according to a release by Showtime:
The Showtime Sports documentary film crew FIGHT CAMP 360°: Inside The Super Six World Boxing Classic was filming for the next episodes of the acclaimed series at the time of the incident at Ward’s gym in Oakland, Calif. The camera crew joined Ward on an impromptu flight from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, where Ward received seven stitches from leading plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Wallace to close the cut. Ward was informed by Wallace that he would be unable to fight as scheduled on October 29 and that he will remove the stitches next Thursday, Sept. 29. The next episode of FIGHT CAMP 360° is scheduled for Oct. 8, 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME®.