"It just goes to show you the mentality of people and what they can stand and what they can't stand, okay. To speak on another man's money is really something that says a lot about the person...there are certain journalists that seem very consumed with what Andre Ward is doing, what he's saying, and they're consumed with just putting him down, but that's the only way they can get attention. But, you know, I guess when you still live with mommy, your judgment gets thrown off a little bit. Some guys need to be quiet, or otherwise, the exposure on you might start coming out," stated world-class trainer Virgil Hunter, who had a lot to say regarding the media and the manner in which certain individuals make it personal when it comes to covering not only his fighter, undefeated super middleweight king Andre Ward, but others as well. Check out what else he had to say!
BT: When it comes to Dre and the media, I've noticed lately that there seems to be some type of witch hunt taking place by certain individuals. Is that something that you've noticed as well, and if so, why do you think that's going on?
VH: Well, you know, it's kind of like I said in the press conference. He's our last gold medalist and I know for a fact that he took it personal over in Athens, Greece as each member of USA Boxing went down and he was the last one standing. If you noticed, the first thing that he did after he won the gold medal was wrap the flag around him, and he kept the flag around him. When he went into the Super Six, anybody with any sense in boxing knew this was a move by the Europeans to bring their fighters over here and introduce them to the American market and bring them over to these shores to make them superstars. And he took that personally. He voiced it personally. He said that he understood that he was just a fill-in, that his good friend Andre Dirrell was just a fill-in; well, he didn't know Jermain [Taylor] that well, but he knew that in the end, their whole plan was to have Kessler and Abraham in the finals, you know, and that's a no-lose situation for Sauerland, so he understood that and he made a personal vow and he also indicated perfectly that it wasn't going to go that way and that the best super middleweight is going to be an American; and he did that.
They want to say things about his personality, his character, because he doesn't dance to their tune. I mean, let's be real about it, African American representation in the boxing media is very small; it's almost non-existent, so he's at a disadvantage right there. Also, he doesn't have a country behind him. It seems like he has a country against him. But because he doesn't go and play the buffoon and go and shuffle and tap dance in front of these people, where people are very accustomed to seeing African American entertainers, or their fighters, and they think they're most comfortable around African American fighters when, you know, they do what the boss man say do. "You fight and we'll take care of your business." So when he comes and they realize he's not cut from that cloth, I think it rubs them the wrong way. I think in some respects, you know, I think it's a little resentment, but that's okay because you know he's on the right track, because the Bible says, "Woe be unto you if all men speak well of you," so something is wrong. So when he sees this and he understands what the Scriptures say, he knows that he's on the right track. It's just like the Scripture says, getting back to the VADA situation, "When you do good, do it in secret not for men to know, but for your Father in Heaven to know, who will exalt you in due time." So God sees what you do. You don't need the headlines; God sees what you do. You don't need the publicity and glory; God sees what you do and He will exalt you. So he understands these things very well.
But, at the same time, then they don't stop and think HBO sees something in his character; they see something in his dignity. Here's a young man who's on the broadcast team, who I know that the people involved with the team like very well, so they see something in his character; they see something in his dignity. They say, "Well, he doesn't have the personality to crossover with commercial success." Well, Jordan Brand disputes that because he has an exclusive deal with Jordan Brand, which is one of the highest endorsement deals that you can get. He has an exclusive deal with Shoe Palace and he has an exclusive deal with Everlast, so these are three reputable companies, with Jordan really being the flagship of every athlete; and this is the second one. He had one before he was champion, and this is the second one that he has, and they make it known that the way he carries himself is the type of athlete that they look for and the type of athlete that they want to represent that Jordan Brand. So he's also disputing them right there.
You know, you're not going to find him in the strip club. You're going to find him at home with his wife; he's been married since he's been 17 years old. He's defied all the odds of not just young African American couples, but couples of all cultures and nationalities who married so young and to be married over 10 years now and all his children are his, you see, and his wife and his family...you're looking at a real man and sometimes people resent that. They're more comfortable if you're broke. They're more comfortable to see you dangle your money around your neck or your wrist and they know the value of that is depreciating every day. They're more comfortable if you got some things on blast that, you know, they wouldn't do, but they find it very entertaining that you do; that you have this engaging personality. It's funny to me that the more sad it is, the more ignorant it is, that they think it's more engaging. Well, they're more comfortable with that.
So, you know, he's not going to be that man. He understands that there's life after boxing and he understands the majority of his life is after boxing, so what you see is what you get. I mean, he has the longest winning streak in boxing. When you talk about Andre Ward, you're talking about 12 years old, and he's 28 now, so you're talking about a 16-year winning streak. The last time I accurately counted was a year and half ago and I counted 139-0 since he last lost. Now that puts him up there with the very best. Not one time has he shamed his promotional company, not one time has he shamed his wife; he doesn't have to go apologize about nothing because he's a man. So there's some people who resent and don't understand that there are young men out there that are truly men and there are young men who are going to carry themselves with dignity and it really doesn't matter.
You know, just like the remarks Dan Rafael makes about his money. Why are you counting his money? You see, he did 1.3 million viewers; ain't nobody writing about that. 1.3! You know, Chavez only did 1.4. Okay, but he has a country behind him and we did similar numbers in a fight that wasn't promoted, wasn't really advertised, but he's done this and he had 1.3 million viewers. But when you have somebody starting to count your money, that's that old, you know, mentality; that reminds me of my grandfather when he had a nice car, but he couldn't drive it to work in the 50's and the 40's because the boss will start counting your money wondering how you got that nice car. So instead of you being happy for him, instead of you being...what justifies a man to make more than that and coming in out of weight, out of shape. I don't have anything against Chavez Jr., but he just came off of a suspension. Okay. Then he comes in and changes the weight 3 or 4 times. Then it's debatable even if he won the fight, so what justifies him making $3 million or $2.4 [million], and you're going to speak on Andre because he made $2 [million]. You're out of line with that. You're out of line, and you didn't even come to the fight, so you shouldn't comment on the fight. He goes everywhere else, but you didn't even come to the fight. So it just goes to show you the mentality of people and what they can stand and what they can't stand, okay. To speak on another man's money is really something that says a lot about the person; a lot about them. And I know Dan. He seems like a nice person, but in this situation, he's wrong and I don't have a problem telling him that. He needs to stay in his lane.
You know what? I can't pay attention to some of these guys who have their favorite gyms and their favorite coaches and spend their time trying to ridicule and put down fighters and everything instead of maybe investing their time in getting a piece of real estate, or an apartment, or at least a studio to get out of mommy's house. How on earth can that bother me because, number one, they're taking the time to invest in my kid. Whether they're saying something good or bad, they're taking their time, and some have even become consumed with Andre Ward. You know, you don't have to say anything good to be consumed with a person; you can say something bad and still be consumed. So there are certain journalists that seem very consumed with what Andre Ward is doing, what he's saying, and they're consumed with just putting him down, but that's the only way they can get attention. But, you know, I guess when you still live with mommy, your judgment gets thrown off a little bit. Some guys need to be quiet, or otherwise, the exposure on you might start coming out.
CLICK HERE FOR PART 1 - VIRGIL HUNTER ON ANDRE WARD'S PERFORMANCE: "I WAS QUITE PLEASED...I DIDN'T WANT ANDRE TO KO EDWIN...I WANTED HIM TO BEAT HIM UP"
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 - VIRGIL HUNTER OPENS UP ON HE AND ANDRE WARD'S HISTORY WITH VICTOR CONTE: "HIS FLAW IS HIS DESIRE FOR ATTENTION"
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