Ian, our in-house wannabe Harry Carpenter, has put together another over-excited preview of an upcoming Big Fight. He reckons he’s an expert on boxing. We reckon he knows nothing. Read his “thoughts” below, then let us know what you think in the comments.
This October the undefeated Super Middleweight Andre Ward takes on the battled hardened Brit Carl Froch in a unification battle which doubles as the final of The Super Six Tournament. On the line will be Ward’s WBA belt and Froch’s WBC strap. The fight will go some way to deciding the hierarchy in the Super Middleweight division, with the winner hopefully going on to fight undefeated Canadian belt holder Lucien Bute.
Andre Ward holds a record of 24-0 with 13 KO’s. He has long been touted as a talent, but his entry into the Super Six competition saw the caliber of his opposition increase dramatically. His win over Mikkel Kessler confirmed his status among the elite in his weight class, given that Kessler’s only previous defeat was at the hands of Joe Calzaghe, and he has since defeated Froch in a grueling 12 rounder. Whilst Ward will go into this bout as favorite, the American is not without his critics. Many onlookers feel he has had an easy ride to the final with all his bouts being staged ‘at home’ in America. With the final certain to be staged in America (New York, Las Vegas and now Atlantic City are the touted venues) it will mean Ward has had a major advantage over all other competitors in the tournament. His style has also come in for stick, with calls of ‘foul play’. Accidental head-butts and illegal shots seem common place in most of Ward’s fights, in particular the Kessler bout.
If Andre Ward plans to play the ‘rough game’ in the final, he may more than meet his match in granite chinned Froch. Froch holds many advantages over Ward in terms of size, power and experience. His recent list of bouts read like a ‘who’s who’ of the Super Middleweight division. Wins over former Light Heavy champ Jean Pascal, Andre Dirrell, Jermaine Taylor, Arthur Abraham and Glen Johnson have finally seen Froch get the recognition he deserves. His one defeat came against Kessler in Denmark. In a brutal bout Kessler gained a close decision. Many felt if Froch had simply raised his work-rate in the last few rounds he would have taken victory, as it appeared Kessler was the more hurt of the two. That defeat leaves the Cobra with a pro record of 28 wins, 20 via knockout, and a singular loss. Whilst the two fighters have fought a similar number of times, there is no disputing that Froch has taken on much harder opponents.
The bout is scheduled to be shown on Sky television, with Nottingham born Froch finally getting the media attention after years stuck in a visual wilderness. Froch is no stranger to travelling and will have no problem going to America to face Ward. I expect it to be a cagey tactical battle, with Ward perhaps shading the early exchanges with his handspeed and evasive style. However, I don’t believe he has the power to KO Froch, which means he would need to steer clear of Carl’s big shots for 12 rounds. I believe Froch will be willing to take punishment in return for landing his bombs, and this will eventually pay dividends. Based on this I expect either a Ward UD or a Carl Froch KO between round 8-12 – and I’m leaning slightly towards the latter.