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Andre Ward Dominates Carl Froch To Lift Super Six Trophy

Ward proves he's one of the best in the world with comprehensive win over Brave Brit Froch

Andre Ward proved that he is one of the world premier pound-for-pound fighters with a comprehensive display of boxing skill, defeating Britain's Carl Froch by a unanimous points decision to unify the WBC and WBA super middleweight titles and pick up the Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic trophy at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday night. The Californian took the fight right to Froch from the opening bell, scoring with fast jabs and left hooks. His speed was to be the decisive factor in the fight, and try as he might, Froch could never come close to working Ward out.

From the opening bell the American was to stamp his authority on the fight. Froch attempted to take control of the center of the ring, but found Ward only to keen to engage him in close quarters combat. Ward is an aggressive counterpuncher, constantly darting in and out and taking advantage of his opponent's errors. He would later state that he was surprised at how slow Froch was from the start, and where some experts believed that the Englishman's ungainly style might have worked in his favor, his limitations were exposed by the 2004 Olympic light heavyweight gold medalist.

Round after round, Ward did what he does best - moving into punching range and landing with quick combinations - before moving swiftly out of harms way. The American employs a scientific approach to boxing that has serves him well so far, and he has not tasted defeat since he was a 14 year old junior amateur.

The fight was intriguing rather than exciting. Although listening to Sky's Jim Watt would lead one to believe that Ward's left hook was on a par with that of the late Joe Frazier, the reality was neither man was in trouble during the fight. Froch proved once again that he has one of the best chins in world boxing as he absorbed all Ward could throw and was never even staggered. He finished the fight with a swollen nose and some marks around the eyes, but nothing serious. Ward also was slightly marked, but was only tagged with any force once - in the 11th round - when Froch connected with a stiff right hand that had the American nodding in appreciation. 

In the 12th the Englishman went for broke, and was clearly the fresher of the two. Momentarily memories of Froch's amazing last gasp knockout over Jermain Taylor came flooding back, but Ward soon proved that he was very much in the round, smothering Froch's offensive and staying focused until the final bell.

The decision was unanimous, although two judges scored the bout surprisingly close at 115-113, with the third judge calling it 118-110.

Froch saw his record fall to 28-2 with 20 KOs, while Ward's ledger now reads 25-0 with 13 KOs.

After the fight, Froch told Showtime: "I had a bad night, I couldn't get anything going. That's due to Andre Ward's defensive skills. He's very slippery and tricky in close. I wanted to put my shots together. He moves low and slips and slides, he's very clever up close. It was very frustrating for me tonight. Fair play to him.''

Froch continued: "Up close when he was leaning on me, he seems to be able to get his head there, get his shoulder in the way. He's either up close smothering your work, or he's too far out of range. I could never get my shots away."

Ward believed his speed was key in the fight: "I was surprised at how slow Froch was. We were able to beat him to the punch," he said. "You don't get points for leaving the chin open. You can't fight like that and expect not to get hit. I kept my composure, stayed calm and we pulled it off tonight."

In my opinion, Ward was a clear winner, and I gave Froch three rounds at the most. Nevertheless the Brit was competitive throughout, and one can only imagine how much better he would perform if he were to adopt a more conventional style. He has been with Robert McCracken throughout his career, but often ignores the pleas of his coach during a fight, and it could be time for a change. 

Froch has lived a spartan existence throughout his boxing career, has never taken a bad beating in the ring, and the result is that at 34, he could easily have another five years at the top. If he were to employe the services of someone like Emanuel Steward, a coach who worked wonders with Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko relatively late in their careers, I believe it would reap dividends for the Nottingham fighter.

As for Ward, he must now be mentioned alongside Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Sergio Martinez and Nonito Donaire as one of the best fighters in the world. The 'Big Four' has just become the 'Big Five', and the American can look ahead to lucrative matchups against IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute, WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and possibly Britain's WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly in the not too distant future.

A dream fight for Ward and an encounter that fight fans the world over would love to see would be against Argentinian Sergio Martinez, currently the WBC's Diamond middleweight champion, a matchup that would possibly be at a catch-weight of around 164 lbs.

As for Carl Froch, he may now wish to move up to light heavyweight, but personally I would love to see him take on the winner of next month's WBO super middleweight title fight in Copenhagen between local boy and former three-time world champion Mikkel Kessler and titleholder Robert Stieglitz of Germany. Kessler is a heavy betting favorite to become a champion again, and a Froch v Kessler rematch would do great business, and give the Nottingham warrior a chance to avenge one of only two defeats suffered in his 10 year career.
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Andre Ward Dominates Carl Froch To Lift Super Six Trophy

Ward proves he's one of the best in the world with comprehensive win over Brave Brit Froch

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