When you’re the reigning trainer of the year and Andre Ward is your star pupil, you will have your fair share of headlines and speculation. Especially after Ward’s dismantling of Chad Dawson, Virgil Hunter again is one of the hottest trainer’s in boxing. He’s also in the middle of a hot topic everyone in boxing is talking about.
Entering the fight it appeared that Chad Dawson posed a threat to Ward’s WBA Super Middleweight championship and his perfect record. That idea couldn’t be any further from what actually ensued. For the 10 rounds the bout lasted Ward was never in trouble, it was poetry in motion. Hunter, like always had his fighter fully prepared, “We had a basic game plan that we had laid out and he didn’t venture any further than that. It was implemented to get the job done that we had intended to get done,” Hunter said.
It was obvious from the start of the fight that Ward was looking to take away Dawson’s jab. I asked Hunter if that was part of the plan going in, Virgil responded, “Correct, we worked in camp to take away his jab. We didn’t think it would be very difficult to do after we made a determination of how he throws it and where he likes to throw it. We made a few adjustments as far as his positioning for different areas in the ring. To make him throw it where we wanted him to throw it and we were ready to be successful”.
The one single punch that worked beautifully for Ward all night was his left hook placed over Dawson’s jab. Dawson had no answer for it and his chin couldn’t withstand it as that punch sent him to the canvas twice. It was something expected, “The determination of where he (Dawson) positions his right hand in a certain place. We baited him a few times to validate it and we validated it so we went with the hook,” Hunter added.
Dawson who is the Ring Magazine and WBC Light Heavyweight champion came down a class to take on Ward. With how his chin stood up to Ward’s punches, many insiders thought the change in weight affected Dawson negatively. Hunter thought otherwise emphatically stating, “It’s obvious the weight wasn’t a factor, he was 10lbs heavier than us the night of the fight. The weight wasn’t a factor at all. If the weight was a factor, if he was having problems with the weight he wouldn’t have put 20-22 pounds on. He was the same Chad he’s always been.”
After Sergio Martinez’s one sided beating of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. this past weekend, the world wants to see Martinez and Ward get it in the ring. The problem is that Sergio is at 160 and Ward at 168, so who will move the weight class. In reference to Ward going down Hunter stated, “There’s no way he can go down to 160. He started out at 160 and that’s not a healthy weight for him. Andre has a race horse build; he doesn’t have any bulk on him. There’s just nothing there for him to take off so there’s no way we can make that weight.” Virgil also mentioned that Ward making 168 is no cakewalk. With that being said, I brought up the idea about a possible move to take a few fights at Light Heavyweight. Hunter’s opinion was, “175 right now is not necessary. You look at the situation if it was right, to take a fight at 175. When we go to 175 we intend to stay there. So it’s not like we are going to fluctuate back and forth.”
As far staying at Super Middleweight to clean out the division, that seems like the way to go. “I think there’s a few fights there at 168 if people step up to the plate. I’ve said it before, you have a lot of people who keep his name in their mouth but when it comes to fighting they don’t want to make him an offer. It would be interesting to see what Bute does in the rematch. Kessler is getting ready to fight for a title. Froch is still out there. He’s indicated every now and then that he would like to get redemption, so there are still fights out there”, Hunter proclaimed. So what is next for Andre? Will he get back in the ring soon, and if so, who are there any candidates. “I’d like to fight well before 6 months. We haven’t come to any agreement or conclusion on who to fight next. I’m sure that will be talked about with the brain trusts within the next couple of weeks or so. Right now there’s nobody on the table. We haven’t discussed with Goosen Entertainment on anything like that yet,” Hunter added.
Though it’s a great reason to be in the news, Ward’s big win over “Bad” Chad Dawson isn’t the only reason Virgil Hunter’s name is swirling the Internet. There are reports that Hunter may possibly be taking on Amir Khan into his stable. You may have read that an agreement has been reached and everything is in motion, but we here at ThaBoxingVoice have the real scoop. “Those are just rumors. I haven’t seen anything contractual yet,” Hunter said. He did say that he spoke with Khan about it. I won’t lie I won’t be surprised if it would happen eventually. But the notion that it’s a done deal as reported by others is false. I tried to nudge out of him if it’s a strong possibility and Hunter responded by saying, “Depends on how things work out if something like that materializes. But nothing like that has come up”.