Boxing


Carl Froch Says He’ll “Walk Through Andre Ward’s Feather-Duster Punches”

By James Slater: Understandably feeling very, very confident at the moment, having seen off his “Super-Six” semi-final rival Glen Johnson - in the process proving once again he is the best British fighter in the world today - WBC 168-pound champ Carl Froch is convinced he’ll defeat Andre Ward in the final.

“The Cobra,” for so long a criminally underappreciated old-school warrior, put on yet another great, all-action performance against the ageless “Road Warrior,” and to my mind he should be ranked above his fellow British world champions Amir Khan, David Haye, Nathan Cleverly and Ricky Burns. Not because he beat Johnson, but because the 33-year-old Froch has consistently met the very best in his weight class.

This routine of facing the very best will continue in Froch’s next fight, when he will square off with unbeaten, highly skilled WBA super-middleweight champion Ward. Now looking ahead to the grand final of “Super Six,” Froch believes he will have to impose his amazing physical and mental strength on Ward so as to come out a winner in the final.

“This guy is an Olympic champion, very fast, very skilful, but to be honest I did a better job on [Arthur] Abraham than he did,” Froch said to Sky Sports when speaking of Ward. “His biggest asset is his fast reflexes but he’s not a big puncher, so he’s going to have trouble keeping me off him. I’m going to walk forward, impose my strength and power, stick it on him and walk through his feather-duster punches.”

Froch did add that, Ward’s lack of power aside, the meeting will produce “a top fight between two top-level fighters.” And fans everywhere are gearing up for this one in a big way. Froch is certainly the harder hitter of the two, but Ward is both stunningly accurate and fast. The final may well produce a fight that turns out to be a classic Boxer Vs. Puncher encounter. However, Froch can box smartly himself, as he proved against “King” Arthur.

Some fans felt Froch would box smart and not get too involved with Johnson, yet he instead had what was arguably his second toughest fight behind his close points loss to Mikkel Kessler. Currently getting treatment for a sore ear that is leaking due to an infection, Froch may well have added more miles to his clock with the quite gruelling win over the teak-tough 42-year-old.

Then again, Froch said he felt he won on Saturday without really getting out of second gear. We’ve come to expect Froch to have to go through a tough time to get the win, such is the way he usually fights - but maybe by his terms, Saturday’s win was a relatively straightforward one. But will Ward prove to be too fresh and too fast come the final?

It’s true Ward, 24-0(13) is no big puncher, but he did manage to bust up Kessler when he fought him, and it’s likely he will not have too many problems connecting on Froch’s jaw. Froch possesses a truly fine chin, though, and it would be a massive shock if Ward were able to put him down. But Ward will have taken notice of the number of times Johnson was able to land his right hand on Froch, and he will no doubt try the shot himself. Could Ward land enough to cut and mark up his rival?

Ward’s own chin hasn’t been too severely tested itself it must be added, and Froch could be the man to test it. This upcoming fight really is the acid test for both men, and the winner will have achieved near superstar status. Unless Froch can reveal chinks in Ward’s armour and tell us things we never previously knew about “S.O.G’s” ability to take a shot, this fight has the look of a hard distance fight. The location of the bout will be an interesting factor: will Ward get home advantage once again? Will it be fair if he does?

Wherever the fight takes place, and whoever emerges triumphant, fans everywhere can expect a great fight.

Article posted on 06.06.2011



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