Virgil Hunter, the trainer of 2004 Olympic gold medalist and current WBA super middleweight titleholder Andre Ward, expressed praise for Showtime’s General Manager of Sports, Ken Hershman, whom it was announced last week will assume the role of President of HBO Sports.
Hershman will take over the position vacated by Ross Greenburg, who announced his resignation in July after having been at the helm since September of 2000. Hershman is slated to begin at HBO on Jan. 9.
Hershman is the mastermind behind Showtime’s Super Six World Boxing Classic, whose championship along with the vacant RING title will be on the line for Ward (24-0, 13 knockouts) when he meets WBC titleholder Carl Froch (28-1, 20 KOs) on Dec. 17 in Atlantic City, N.J.
“Of course, Ken Hershman afforded us a great opportunity, and for that, we’ll forever be grateful to him for it. We’re grateful for the Super Six, and I dread to think where we could possibly be if that tournament hadn’t materialized for us,” said Hunter.
“I mean, wow! We hate to think about it. That alone says it all for this camp. We’ve had a relationship with Showtime, and we haven’t had that relationship with HBO. So it’s sad to see him go while we’re affiliated with Showtime.”
In the tournament, Ward has out-pointed former four-time beltholder Mikkel Kessler, once-beaten contender Allan Green, Sakio Bika — the latter in a non-tournament bout — and also former middleweight titleholder Arthur Abraham.
Froch has out-pointed undefeated prospect Andre Dirrell, lost a close and thrilling 12 rounder to Kessler in the Dane’s home country, rebounded with a one-sided decision over Abraham, and out-boxed former light heavyweight champ Glen Johnson in an entertaining defense of his WBC title.
“It’s good to know that Ken’s is going to be around for the duration for of the tournament’s finale. But I wish him well, and they’re getting a good man,” said Hunger.
“He proved that he could hang in, and he proved that he could go through the adversity and the ups and the downs and the peaks and valleys. They’re getting somebody who is going to hang in there and see everything through.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com