Advertisement
Advertisement

Andre Ward Solidifies Status With Super Six Championship

by David P. Greisman

Atlantic City, N.J. - As promised, Carl Froch would not be knocked out by Andre Ward. As promised, Andre Ward would not be knocked out by Carl Froch.

But it was Ward who could do nearly all he wanted to do. And it was Froch who could do nearly none of what he’d sought out to do.

Ward stymied Froch for much of 12 rounds en route to a unanimous decision victory, taking the decision by a scorecard of 118-110 from John Keane and surprisingly close tallies of 115-113 from both Craig Metcalfe and John Stewart.

“He was very tricky,” Froch said after the fight. “He was slick and elusive and did a good job of keeping himself out of harm’s way. It was quite hard to hit him. The name of the game is to not get hit, and he did that well.”

The victory made Ward the winner of Showtime’s two-year “Super Six” tournament among many of the top super middleweight fighters, and also unified his World Boxing Association title with Froch’s World Boxing Council belt. It came in front of an announced attendance of 5,626, though the crowd appeared to be half that.

Nevertheless, the victory underscored that Ward is the best at 168 pounds and pushes him ever closer to a showdown with Lucian Bute, the other top fighter in the division and a man who was left out of the competition.

“I had a supernatural run with the Olympics, and me coming to the tournament as a young pup was supernatural as well,” Ward said afterward. “We told you that this was what we wanted to do. We wanted to fight on the inside and on the outside, and we pulled it off tonight. We were able to beat him to the punch, and that’s what won us the fight.”

Ward made it his fight. That meant the fight had some beautiful moments from Ward. That also meant some very ugly moments.

Ward and Froch came out more tentative than tactical in the first, neither throwing at the outset, then both choosing to work behind the jab. Froch landed a right hand to the body in a clinch, followed by a uppercut, and Ward responded with a clean left hook as they were breaking from each other. Ward landed more often in this opening stanza, ducking or moving away from Froch’s jabs and right hands.

Ward returned to that left hook in the second, throwing it whenever Froch was backing away from a clinch, and also using it as an occasional counter when Froch approached. Each continued to jab, and Froch threw in a few thudding body shots, though not enough to even the fight up.

Froch had more success in the third round, which started out slow but had its momentary lull broken by a Froch left hook, then a right hand to the body, then another. Two of the three judges scored the third for him, 10-9.

Ward worked effectively on the inside in the fourth, taking that round from two of the three judges. He muscled Froch to the ropes, landing hooks, and then put together a three-punch combination as Froch moved away.

Froch’s face in the fifth clearly showed him to be perplexed, and after the fight he admitted to being so.

“It was a bad night for me, obviously,” Froch said. “I couldn’t get anything going. That’s obviously due to Andre Ward. He’s very slick, slippery and he’s tricky in close. I wanted to put shots together, but he ducks and he slips and he slides. I tried desperately to get shots off. I never found myself in the zone. He was either too close, smothering me, or too far and out of reach.”

If Ward had been neutralizing Froch with defense in the first five rounds, then he also punished him with offense in the sixth, landing several right hands and left hooks that left Froch reeling.

Ward seemed to take his foot off the gas in the seventh. Afterward, it was easier to understand why.

“I hurt my left hand in training and I couldn’t say anything about it,” Ward said. “I hit him on the top of the head in the sixth round and hurt it. But we fought through it.”

Froch looked winded. He had no snap on his punches, rarely was landing cleanly, and was unable to take Ward off his game plan.

“I was a little surprised how slow Froch was,” Ward said afterward. “I noticed it right away.”

The fight soon degenerated into ugliness in rounds eight and nine, both of which were full of clinching, wrestling, body shots and rabbit punches.

Though Ward appeared to be pulling away, Froch came out with more energy in the 10th, showing the grit he’d also demonstrated in his come-from-behind win over Jermain Taylor and his back-and-forth battle with Mikkel Kessler.

It was still Ward’s round in the eyes of two judges.

Round 11 was a foul-fest, largely due to Ward. Froch threw far more punches, taking the round on two of three cards. Ward seemed more interested in clinching, holding, digging his head into Froch, driving him to the ropes and then throwing body shots.

Needing a knockout or multiple knockdowns to win, Froch came out in the last round in pursuit of Ward. A landed left hook was acknowledged by Ward nodding his head. Froch grew frustrated with Ward’s holding, seeking to throw Froch off him and then driving his left forearm into Ward’s face and throat.

Froch’s comeback never came.

Froch had an impressive run through the second half of tournament, though it didn’t start off well for him. His first Super Six bout was an ugly split decision win over Andre Dirrell. That was followed by a loss in a competitive bout with Kessler. But he rebounded, out-boxing and out-pointing Arthur Abraham, and he moved on to defeat Glen Johnson (a substitute for Kessler) in the semifinals.

Ward’s run was even better.

He defeated Kessler by unanimous technical decision in his first fight, winning a world title (and taking out the man who had been the tournament favorite) when that bout was stopped due to Kessler suffering a cut from a clash of heads. He’d out-pointed Allan Green (a substitute for Jermain Taylor) and then, when Andre Dirrell dropped out of the Super Six, beat Sakio Bika by unanimous decision in an out-of-tournament bout.

The 27-year-old from Oakland, Calif., improves to 25-0 with 13 knockouts. Froch, 34, returns to Nottingham, England, falling to 28-2 with 20 knockouts.

David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by tyc01 on 12-18-2011

froch is there to be stopped taylor had him out and didnt finish it ward doesnt have much power bute will finish him early

Comment by Evil Abed on 12-18-2011

Andre climbing up the P4P list.

Comment by dorruel2.0 on 12-18-2011

[QUOTE=King Koko;11574389]Ward is a very smart fighter. Bute's people will never let him fight Ward. It's 2 hard of a fight. Froch is a fight Bute can win pretty easily. Congrats to SOG. Look forward to seeing his future fights.[/QUOTE]…

Comment by King Koko on 12-18-2011

Ward is a very smart fighter. Bute's people will never let him fight Ward. It's 2 hard of a fight. Froch is a fight Bute can win pretty easily. Congrats to SOG. Look forward to seeing his future fights.

Comment by TX_BOXNG on 12-17-2011

I told yall easy win for ward a p4p great

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (5)
Top Headlines Juanma Isn't Sure if He Will Fight on After Vazquez Jr. Showdown Badou Jack on DeGale, Says PEDs Help Keep Bute From Fading Hearn Fires Back at Canelo: Brook is Doing What You Won't Do! Daily Bread Mailbag: Ward-Kovalev, GGG-Brook, Easter, More Kell Brook: Once I Beat Gennady Golovkin - I'm The Man! Quigg Backs Frampton: He Nullified Santa Cruz, Won By 3 Points Badou Jack-Callum Smith To Be Ordered on 9/13, Says Hearn Tarver Wanted Big Money, Co-Feature Billing For Usyk Sparring AIBA Executives To Meet, Discuss Further Changes, Improvements Kohei Kono-Luis Concepcion: Pre-Fight Report Card Arum Expects Pacquiao To Have at Least Two Fights in 2017 Rex Tso To Keep a Close Eye on Kono vs. Concepcion Outcome Neeco Macias: I Was Lucky Enough To Be Blessed With Heart George Foreman Fails To Sell His Lambo at Huge Car Auction Eubank Jr: Brook Has No Fire, He's Happy To Get Golovkin Payday Ed Brown Continues Busy Schedule, TV Networks Interested Peralta: Until Recently I Went Hungry, I Suffered A lot, Overcame It Canelo: Let's See if Liam Smith is The Fighter He Says He Is Jack Asis Calls it a Day, Decides To Retire From Boxing Cuadras: Chocolatito is Too Small, I Will Get The Job Done Don King: Povetkin-Stiverne Can Go To Russia, Putin is My Friend Sugar Ray Leonard on What Brook Needs To Shock Golovkin Juanma Calls Vazquez a Clown, Reveals Details of Catch-Weight Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Canelo, Khan, Golovkin-Brook, More Sergio Mora: That Was No Knockdown vs. Jacobs; Was All My Ankle Video: Kell Brook Glowing With Confidence as Golovkin Nears Joshua-Pulev, Parker-Price, Whyte-Chisora Triple on 11/26? Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Joshua's Return, DeGale, Jack, Smith Amir Khan: I Want The Danny Garcia Fight, I Want Him in May Malignaggi vs. El Mousaoui in Line For EBU Clash, Bundu Stripped Brook: I've Faced Death, Golovkin is Fun - I'll Rip Into Him! Canelo: When My Body is Ready, I'll Take on Anyone and Everyone Tyrone Brunson vs. Ismael Garcia Tops 10/14 Card in Philly Joseph Diaz Jr. Feels He’s Close to a Title Shot After Cancio Fight Joseph Parker's Handlers Interested in Facing David Price Next Daniel Jacobs Wants To ‘Hurt’ Sergio Mora, ‘Shut That Trap Of His’ Canelo: Golovkin-Brook? GGG Should Have Shut His Mouth! Joseph Parker's Coach Discusses Strategy For Dimitrenko Clash Clearing The Deck For The Fall: BoxingScene Ratings Update Golovkin Ready To Jump Right Back To The UK For Saunders Fight
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement