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Conference Call Recap: Ward vs. Smith

Photo: Squint Foto

Photo: Squint Foto

Here’s a recap of the notable quotes from Monday’s conference call for this weekend’s non-title matchup between reigning super middleweight champ Andre Ward and former title challenger Paul Smith:

Eddie Hearn, Smith’s promoter:
“If there’s ever a time to fight Andre Ward, it’s right now. And Paul Smith, who has had a stellar career and a real resurgence in the last couple of years, has massive confidence through the Arthur Abraham fight. He’s an intellectual fighter who studies the sport. And we’ve taken this fight 100% to win this fight. We appreciate how tough this fight is. But I think Paul Smith is a very, very live fighter in this fight on Saturday night….Andre Ward, as I said, is a magnificent fighter, but right about now, he’s inactive, and of course the pressure to perform as well exists.”

Paul Smith, former title challenger:
“I was an Andre Ward fan. I’m sure I’ll be an Andre Ward fan after it. But inactivity isn’t good for any fighter and any fighter will tell you that and you have to stay busy and all the trainers and the gym, it’s totally different….I need every advantage I can get. You know, as Eddie said before, every advantage I can get in this fight and the advantage that’s come from this one is Andre Ward’s inactivity and that’s what I can capitalize on Saturday night.”

Andre Ward, world super middleweight champion:
“I don’t want to talk too much about these guys (Triple G and Kovalev) because all I can think about is Paul Smith. And that’s no cliché. I’m glad he (Smith) started talking this week because I was getting a little worried. I hadn’t heard anything coming out of the UK. So I’m happy he did that. It’s not that I needed any more motivation but a little bit extra…. I never buy into the headlines that say boxing is dead. I feel like boxing has been around for many, many years, obviously long before, I was born and it’s going to be around long after I leave. I just think boxing is one of those fixtures all around the world that will never go anywhere.”

David Itskowitch, Ward’s promoter:
“With respect to plans for Andre, we’ve kicked around some ideas as a team, here at Roc Nation and with his management team, James Prince and Andre himself. A lot of what we do will be dictated by how Andre feels coming out of the fight on Saturday night, how we feels about his weight, how he feels about the performance that he gave, obviously how he looks. So we have a few different paths that we’ve been talking about. Saturday night will go a long way towards helping us to dictate what path we go.”

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