By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
CARL FROCH wants to beat Andre Ward then retire as the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter.
Froch, who added the WBA super-middleweight title to his IBF belt by defeating Mikkel Kessler on Saturday, has now set his sights on a megabucks clash with Ward.
After avenging a loss to Kessler, Froch now wants to meet WBC champion Ward, the only other man to beat him in a 33-fight career.
Froch said: “I could happily hang up my gloves if I beat Ward and get that accolade of the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
“I would just say, ‘That will do me now, there’s nothing else to achieve’.
“I would not go on after that because it would be unbelievable to bow out like that at the top.”
Unbeaten Ward, 29, is the world’s second-best fighter behind five-division champ Floyd Mayweather, who is also undefeated.
But Froch said: “Mayweather is nearly finished and doesn’t have many fights left in him.
“If I can meet and beat Ward, when Mayweather has retired, imagine how that would be! It is the stuff that dreams are made of.
“So, to beat Ward and become the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world would be unbelievable for me.
“That would be the ultimate way of securing my legacy. Words can’t actually describe how it would feel.
“I am in this sport for global recognition that I am an all-time great fighter – and you can’t give yourself that acclaim.
“You can only do it by fighting the best of the best and the only one out
there now who has beaten me is Ward, because I avenged the Kessler defeat.”
Ward defeated Froch on points in Atlantic City in December 2011 but the Nottingham fighter is convinced he can beat the American next time.
Ward has a perfect professional record of 26 straight wins but Froch is ready for him.
Froch, 35, said: “Let’s get Ward over here in the UK. I fought him in America so let him come to these shores. I know I will be at my best here and I know that the very best of me will beat Andre Ward because I punch harder than he does.
“He is not a puncher so I can take chances and be a bit risky. But we would need a referee to break up the clinches and let us fight. If that happens, I know I can beat him. It will have to be over here. But he is a bit too big for his boots and says he will not travel from the States.
“But, in all honesty, he has nowhere else to go and we are in the driving seat on this one.”
Right now, though, Froch is having a deserved rest after his bruising, unanimous points win over Kessler at London’s 02 Arena.
He said: “That was one heck of a fight. Mikkel called me on Monday to see how I was and congratulate me. That’s the kind of guy he is.
“I asked him if he wanted to have a Froch-Kessler III and he just said, ‘Oh hell no, not again!’ But you never know. He is just thinking over his future right now.
“He hasn’t officially announced any retirement, so he is yet another big fight that is out there for me.
“A rematch with him would be a sell-out after our fight on Saturday which was between two warriors.
“That was a great night in a great arena against a fighter of true calibre who I got revenge over on what was an amazing night.
“I always knew that he would give it his best shot because he’s that kind of fighter. He just wouldn’t go down despite me throwing 1000 punches at him and connecting with more than 250 of them.
“I kept thinking to myself, ‘Am I ever going to stop him?’ But he is like me and just keeps going. That’s what made it such a great fight.
“I am now fighting top people all the time and have had a great career with 11 world title fights back-to-back, which is some going.
“I think I’m now getting the kind of acknowledgement I deserve. My sights are still as high as ever with Ward well and truly on my radar.”