Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

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 Arum Rips: Golden Boy's Flat Fee Offer To Golovkin is Bullsh*t! Video: Bob Arum on Pacquiao Card, Future of PPV, More Estrada's Promoter Expects Chocolatito To Get KO'd in Rematch Photos: Mike Lee, Chris Traietti - Go Face To Face in Chicago Yordenis Ugas Demolishes Bryant Perrella in Four Rounds Magdaleno Confident of Making 122, Feels Donaire Has Aged Video: Pacquiao vs. Vargas Undercard Press Conference Jacobs' Trainer: Danny Not Afraid, He Will Curdle Golovkin's Milk! Donnie Nietes Feels Good at 112, Eyes WBO World Title Shot Ashley Theophane Tops Mayweather Promotions Card on Oct. 8 Photos: Nonito Doniare, Jessie Magdaleno - Go Face To Face Tyson Fury Will Be Back, Getting Help - Says Trainer Peter Fury Braehmer Will Have His Eye on Kovalev vs. Ward Winner Oscar Valdez Vows To Put on a Show on Pacquiao vs. Vargas Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Nicholas Walters Deal in Place, Nov. 26 Humberto Soto Will Now Face Daniel Ruiz on October 1 Danny Garcia's Handlers Tried To Secure Eggington, Says Hearn Jamie Cox Feels He Would Topple DeGale, Jack, Ramirez, De Carolis Photos: Frankie Gavin, Sam Eggington - Face To Face at Presser Klitschko vs. Joshua Getting Close as Both Sides Wait For Rulings Erik Skoglund-Timy Shala WBA Title Clash Rescheduled To Dec. 9 Tyson Fury Facing 10 Day Deadline From WBO To Explain Condition Izu Ugonoh Anticipates a World Title Shot in 2017 Jose Pedraza's Manager Not Happy, Says Boxer is Stuck in Limbo Ward: I’ve Got Plenty of Time To See What I Need Of Kovalev Mayweather Sr: Danny Garcia Can't Beat My Son, Not as Good Flanagan: Now or Never For Crolla Fight – One or Two Left at 135 Eddie Hearn Eyes Pro Deal, Star Potential For Nicola Adams James Metcalf-Serge Ambomo New MGM Headliner on October 7 Parker Tabbed By Bookies as Big Underdog in Joshua Fight Klitschko: Since Going Pro, I've Never Had Such a Long Break Ryan Rhodes: Facing Ricky Hatton Will Be Weird Kovalev Rejects Talk That Golovkin Dropped Him in Camp Dillian Whyte, Ian Lewison Explodes- Pulled Apart at Presser Pacquiao Looking Solid in Training Camp, Very Fast and Strong Kozaev, Fayfer, Papazov, Ananyan Get Wins in Krasnodar Tommy Morrison's Son Fights To Create Own Identity Mayweather Sr: I Believe My Son Will Fight Again, Break The Record Andreev, Chelokhsaev Win, Tedeev Upset in Vladikavkaz Lucas Matthysse To Return in Early 2017, Says Golden Boy Prez
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement