Boxing


Andre Ward On The Way To Greatness, Carl Froch Vows To Come Back Stronger

Andre WardBy James Slater: Fans witnessed a near boxing masterclass last night in Atlantic City: one put on by the magnificent Andre Ward. In winning The “Super Six” grand final with what should have been a near shut-out over an always-game Carl Froch (once again, we were also unfortunately given some utterly crazy scoring, with two judges giving Ward a slim margin of victory at just 115-113!), 27-year-old Ward proved how special a fighter he really is.

Hard to hit, blindingly fast of hand and possessing underrated, stinging power (check out Froch’s marked up face after the fight for proof), Ward won by ten rounds to two on this writer’s card. Now clearly the best 168-pound boxer in the world (Ward would, in my opinion, beat Lucian Bute, the only other fighter who could dispute Ward’s super-middleweight dominance, with relative ease) “S.O.G” has said himself that last night’s superb win “is only the beginning.” It’s scary to think how good Ward, 25-0(13) could become.

The immediate future will likely see Ward face WBC mandatory Andre Dirrell, but after that there could be some bigger fights for him (if there is anyone at 168 who can come close to testing Ward). It’s tough to see anything but a few good years of dominance for the deeply religious man from Oakland.

As for Froch, he has lost just twice as a pro and cannot be written off as finished. Vowing to “come back stronger,” the 34-year-old says he would love a rematch with Ward (unlikely to happen but you never know) and that there are “other big fights out there.”

“I don’t want to put myself up there with Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali, but they got beaten and came back,” Froch said post-fight. “I’ve been beaten before and I’ve come back stronger. I was in against a very, very tricky, very slick and awkward very good fighter. I take nothing away from Ward - he’s very good at not getting hit.

“He kept him self in the safe zone. I was unable to unleash my power punches consecutively on him. But that is credit to Ward for doing what he did in there. That’s what boxing is about, not getting hit.”

Indeed, Ward lives by the adage “hit and not get hit” - perhaps better than any active fighter this side of the sublime Floyd Mayweather Junior. That’s high praise indeed, but the display put on by Ward in winning The Boxing Classic is worthy of such praise. We have a new superstar in our midst!

Purists will have absolutely loved last night’s display of beautiful boxing. No fans will have appreciated that wholly awful scoring on the part of two of the judges, though. Again, how close were we to a complete travesty? Had Froch been given one more round by these two officials we would have seen a draw last night!

Article posted on 18.12.2011



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