Andre Ward says no to Nottingham, Carl Froch rematch in limbo
Andre Ward has told Carl Froch to start answering his phone if he is serious about facing him in the U.K. this summer for the WBA super middleweight title.
Ward and Froch, the WBA’s ‘super’ and ‘regular’ 168-pound titleholders, respectively, have been ordered by the organization to fight for a second time. However, while both men have agreed to the bout in principle, where exactly it takes place is proving a major stumbling block.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News HQ on Tuesday, Ward, the undefeated former RING super middleweight champion, confirmed he is willing to come to England for the showdown but not if it is in the Brit’s own backyard of Nottingham.
“The U.K. is one thing, Nottingham is something different,” said the 31-year-old American. “Now he’s saying: ‘Well, I came to America, you need to come to Nottingham.‘ The thing is this: Atlantic City, where we fought the finals of the Super Six, is thousands of miles away from my home. That’s a road fight. I live on the West Coast, the fight was on the East Coast, which was a six-hour plane ride for me.
“I’m not willing to come to Nottingham. I don’t think I should have to. But Wembley Stadium, the U.K. as a whole? I’d love to come. There have been talks but Carl is away on holiday and isn’t answering his phone. We’re waiting on you, Carl. If you want to fight, and you want to avenge the loss, or attempt to avenge the loss that you say you desperately want to avenge, you need to pick up the phone and we need to try to figure it out.
“I’ve accepted his invitation to come to the U.K. but it’s going to be on the right terms. I’m not just going to take anything. It’s going to be by mutual agreement if I’m in the U.K..”
Ward (27-0, 14 knockouts) beat Froch (33-2, 24 KOs) in December 2011 via a wide points decision. But Froch’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, admits that a return against Ward – particularly away from his beloved Midlands – is not a priority for the 37-year-old Englishman.
“Andre’s right, we’ve been talking to Roc Nation,” said Matchroom chief Hearn. “It wasn’t really a fight we were anticipating for Carl. He is desperate for the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight in Vegas but injury ruled him out of that one in March.
“We know Andre is happy to come to England but we want it at the City Ground in Nottingham and he doesn’t want to come to the City Ground. That’s been one of the big holdups. He says he’ll come to another venue but not Nottingham.
“But, to be honest with you and to be completely truthful, if we are going to fight Andre Ward we want as much advantage as possible. It’s a really tough fight. Ward is arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. We want to get as many advantages as we can.
“Ward hasn’t fought for nearly two years. He hasn’t officially got a network in America. I understand why he is now calling out Carl and there is definitely potential in the fight. But I am trying to find a fight that makes Carl, who has had a stellar career, turn around and say, ‘I’d love that.‘ That’s at the City Ground and we’re trying to persuade Andre to come.
“But we are running out of a time and a guy called Chavez Jr. fights in a couple of weeks and after that we will be desperate to try and make a fight with him.”
Harry Pratt is on Twitter: @gharrypratt