Originally Posted by Mastrangelo
I never said Ward is bad outside fight or did I? You can't really think that not-great is the same thing as bad. He's more than just good, but nowhere near great. His outside game is overrated and so is his handspeed, but I expect both those qualities to be exposed against Chad Dawson to some extent.
If Ward will ever meet great outside fighter(I'm not sure Dawson is one), his strength will be in his inside game + ability to hold his own, not have adventage on the outside. If he had to stay outside I don't think he would even be competitive against Michael Nunn and Roy Jones Jr, or to make more modern comparision, I don't believe he could beat Andre Direll staying on the outside either. He's not really fast with his hands and feets, his right hand is ordinary and so is his left hook. His biggest strength there are his defence and ability to jab well to the body and head, but so far it worked against poor defensively and very stationary fighters(easier to use angles against them as well). Let's see how he does against Chad, this fight will answer many questions.
His left hook is ordinary? I disagree. Actually none of Ward's punches are "ordinary" IMO. And, as for Nunn and RJJ. I agree, Nunn was one of the best outside fighters since Ali, unfortunately his talent only took him so far. And, RJJ, well I don't really need to say much do I? That's the thing about Ward though, he doesn't fight any one style, he's a chameleon in the ring. Which is why he's so hard to figure out and be competitive with, let alone come close to beating him. I'll concede that Dawson is the best athletic fighter that Ward will have faced in his pro career. I expect Ward to beat Dawson though.
See the thing is with Ward, is that you can't really say about him that "Oh, wow, Ward does this well, and that well, and that well." because he shows a different side of himself in the ring nearly every time he's in the ring. And once you think you've figured out exactly what kind of fighter he is, he shows up on fight night with a virtually completely different style. Against Kessler, he used a lot of foot movement, against Green and Bika he fought inside all night, against Froch he stood right in front of him and picked him off for most of the fight, against Abraham he fought an outside fight predominantly.
And, I'm hard-pressed to believe Ward has gotten as far as he has with an ordinary right hand, and an ordinary left hook. Which, by the way, are two of his most used punches along with the uppercut. And while I'll concede to an extent that Froch and Kessler are not great defensively, they're not bad defensively either. Froch seems to be easy to hit, but he's not as easy to hit as it seems. He's very awkward and has better technical skills then given credit for. Look what he just did to Bute. Which, also raises Ward's stock.
Also, you said he's not "really" fast with his hands and feet. I agree that he's not Dirrell or RJJ fast-like. But what Ward doesn't have in power or speed, he makes up for with timing, elite technical skills, and very good footwork. Just because his feet and hands aren't super fast doesn't mean they don't get to the target as much. Ward's timing is up there with some of the best in the sport. Everyone said about Ward when he entered the tournament that he wouldn't have the "power" to keep guys like Abraham, Froch and Kessler "off of him". But, Ward understands about himself that he isn't a very big puncher, and that he isn't the fastest fighter out there, so he's crafted his boxing skills to the point where he has very little weaknesses.
Ward has an understanding of what he is as a fighter and has constructed himself accordingly. That's why he has never really came close to losing as a pro, that's why he hasn't lost a fight since he was 12 years of age. Because he always finds a way to get it done, and the only way I see Ward losing, is to a very special fighter of the caliber of someone LIKE Toney, Hopkins or RJJ. But even in those fights it's not cut and dried. Against Toney, like I said in a previous post, who would win would come down to who could utilize all their tools on fight night. I think it would turn into a trilogy. NEITHER guy, would win easily, they would both have to dig deep, and pull out every elite skill and ability to pull out a W. That's very reasonable IMO.