By Ashley Theophane
Last Saturday night, WBA world champion, Andre Ward put on a master class performance in his Super Six final clash with WBC champion, Carl Froch.
Carl looked confused and bemused as he struggled to cope with Ward’s tactics, speed, skill, and all round ring general-ship.
For ten rounds Andre cruised through the fight. He was out-boxing, out-foxing and out-fighting Carl.
Carl had his two best rounds in the eleventh and twelfth rounds, but Andre had taken his foot off the pedal by then.
Andre is now the undisputed number one 168-pound fighter in the world, and I would have him closing in on the ‘pound for pound’ top five; Floyd Mayweather Jr., Sergio Martinez and Manny Pacquiao are in the top three of the ‘pound for pound’ list but they are all well into their thirties. Andre Ward is only twenty seven and could be the future of boxing. He can fight, box and he has the much sort after, ‘X factor’. A fight with IBF king, Lucian Bute, may well be high on the agenda, but Lucian will have to eventually come out of Canada to make that fight happen. I believe both Froch and Ward would see off Bute, as he has enjoyed the comforts of home far too much, and I’m not sure he is as good as the ‘experts’ would have you believe.
Bernard Hopkins was in attendance of the Super Six final and I’m sure he would happily fight either man.
Both fighters have options and the right offer would encourage a move up to 175lbs, and would not be an issue for either of them. Tavoris Cloud, Chad Dawson and Jean Pascal would be mouth-watering fights for either of them.
Carl Froch vs Nathan Cleverly would be a great domestic dust up. If Nathan wants the big fights he will have to forget about hosting them in Britain, and ‘bite the bullet’ in going stateside, like Carl Froch and Amir Khan have done with much inherent risk but great credit.
Carl, in my eyes, is the best fighter to come out of Britain since Ricky Hatton. Carl has fought the best fighters in the world since becoming world champion, and has had the courage to fight them in their backyard. He has fought Jean Pascal, Jermaine Taylor, Arthur Abraham, Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler, Glen Johnson and Andre Ward. I can’t remember a British fighter ever fighting that top class level of fighter on such a consistent and back to back basis.
Carl is definitely one of Britain’s most successful fighters ever – period. He deserves to be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame when he eventually hangs up his gloves. I am not a natural Carl Froch fan, as we share differing fighting philosophies, but I respect and admire his courage and self-belief, and importantly what he has achieved. He is a real warrior.
Amir Khan lost rather controversially last weekend and has been doing the rounds on radio and TV stations around the UK.
Amir should have won, but as I mentioned earlier never underestimate the hungry hometown underdog. He was clearly the better boxer but perhaps Lamont Peterson wanted it more on the night and gave it his all.
Lamont has agreed to a rematch. Perhaps Amir, or/and his team had their eyes on stepping up and Mayweather. No one can afford to look beyond his opponent, even if he is a late replacement or an un-fancied underdog!
For a smart and articulate champion, he was starting to sound like a sore loser. He is clearly better than that. He continuously pushed Peterson, again and again, and the referee warned him loads of times.
Amir needs to move on and bounce back even bigger and better. Golden Boy Promotions can get him a rematch, and he can surely rectify the decision with his fists.
I lost a wafer thin decision to WBC 140-pounds world number two, Danny Garcia in February 2010. Many boxing fans thought I won, and I still receive emails to this day saying I need to get a rematch with him, or that I should be fighting Erik Morales on January 28th instead of him. Bad decisions happen in all sports (and especially recently in boxing), but you just need to stay focused, and direct your anger into your next fight.
I picked up the IBO International title, beat world number three, Delvin Rodriguez, and picked up the British title, all within a year of being on the wrong end of a tough split decision against Danny Garcia.
Never get carried away with the expectations of others, as only you can answer for your performance.