Froch outclassed

19 12 2011

Carl Froch lost his WBC super-middleweight title as he was outclassed by Andre Ward in the Super Six final in Atlantic City. 

Froch outclassed

Froch failed in his bid to become Super Six champion as he suffered a unanimous points decision loss to the classy American.

The Nottingham native never troubled the former Olympic gold medalist, who gave a masterful performance

In truth it was hard to give Froch too many rounds as he was made to look slow, ponderous and distinctly poor by Ward.

Ward boxed superbly throughout, using his jab to great effect and landing numerous left hooks.

Ward even managed to surprise Froch, and many others, by being the bully; backing him back onto the ropes throughout the fight.

But Froch never gave up and displayed a true warrior’s heart and fought till the very end.

On a side note, two of the judges’ score cards were just well; laughable.

I’m still left wondering how the Canadian and American judge scored the fight 115-113 to Ward. Had the British judge, who scored the fight a more credible 118-110 to Ward, scored differently we could have had another “controversial” decision. I’m well aware all judges look for different things when scoring a fight but there is no way that fight was as close as the American and Canadian judge scored it. Something seriously has to be done in the future regarding the judges’ scoring.

Froch now joins a long list of British fighters who have lost their titles abroad, but remained dignified in defeat unlike some.

The question now is where does Froch go from here?

His career is by no means over and there are a few fights still out there for him.

He could go on to fight Lucian Bute, a rematch with Mikkel Kessler or even move up to light-heavyweight and fight Nathan Cleverly.

Froch still believes that he could “get Ward” on a good night but after watching the performance on Saturday, I just cannot see it. Ward is too classy and quick for Froch and a rematch would likely result in another clear victory for Ward.

However the other fights should hold no fear for Froch.

Bute has never really fought anyone worth mentioning and has been very protected up in Canada. A rematch with Kessler would allow Froch to write a wrong and a fight with Nathan Cleverly would be a fantastic war and would make some serious money in the UK.

Anyone of these 3 fights would be fantastic and Froch would have a fantastic chance in any of these fights.

Froch should hold his head up high though. He fought like a true warrior and never gave up, fighting till the very end.

There is no shame in losing to Andre Ward (a fighter who has grown on me throughout this tournament), who by all accounts will go on to be a future P4P king.

 

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Brook shines on American debut

19 12 2011

Brook shines on American debut

Kell Brook has given British boxing a timely boost following his impressive American debut.

Brook produced a controlled performance to dispose of the durable Luis Galarza inside 5 rounds on the Froch-Ward undercard.

The Sheffield native was in complete control throughout the fight, despite being caught once or twice, and almost had the contest over in the first round.

Brook landed a big right hand followed up by a spiteful jab that had Galarza stumbling, only to be saved by the bell.

“Special K” showed good patience throughout the next few rounds and boxed smartly, landing fast combinations and breaking down his opponent with a hurtful jab.

Brook finally got rid of Galarza in the 5th. He landed a big right hand which pushed the Puerto Rican back onto the ropes before unleashing a flurry that forced the referee to call a halt to the contest.

In all honesty, the stoppage was perhaps a tad premature but it was only a matter of time before Brook knocked Galarza out and the referee did the right thing to prevent any further damage.

Now we all know this was just a showcase fight for Brook; a chance to impress on his American debut, which he did.

But now is the time for Brook to step up his level of competition. Brook is in a very odd position as he is ranked the number 2 welterweight in the world by the WBO, the title that a certain Manny Pacquaio holds.

I’m not suggesting Brook seeks a fight with Pacquaio (because he’s nowhere near ready) but a fight against someone ranked in the top 10 is a must.

Maybe a Paulie Malignaggi or Devon Alexander would give us a chance to see whether Brook is good enough to challenge for a world title. Now some people might scoff at the idea of Malagnaggi but this guy is a good pro, a good opponent and in the permanent role of “boxing gatekeeper”.

Malignaggi has already called out Brook via Twitter, saying that if the price is right he’ll fight him in the UK.

This is a fight that has to be made.

Following the despair of the Carl Froch fight, British boxing might just have a new superstar on the horizon.

Time to step up: Kell “Special K” Brook.

 





Froch – Ward: Promo

17 12 2011

Here are a few select videos that I’ve come across that should help everyone get pumped up for the fight (not that you should need to). 

The first is a promo video created by Gorilla Productions (he’s got some fantastic videos that you guys should check out):

The second is SHOWTIME’s “Staredown” (their version of HBO’s Face-Off):

And finally here’s a video from the recent Ringside episode. Team Froch & Team Ward debate the upcoming fight:

Hope you all enjoy.

I suppose I’m meant to be impartial here but not for this fight;

WAR FROCH

 





Froch – Ward: Super Six Final

17 12 2011
The wait is finally over. 

Froch & Ward at the weigh in

After two years of blood, sweat and tears the much maligned Super Six final will take place, with two of the original cast ready to battle it out for the trophy.

Nottingham’s warrior Carl “The Cobra” Froch faces off against Oakland native Andre “S.O.G.” Ward in Atlantic City to decide who is the number one super middleweight in the world.

The winner of this fight is sure to be launched into boxing “super stardom” and possibly face Lucian Bute for the IBF title.

Both fighters have faced tough opposition during this tournament and fully deserve their place in the final.

The road to the final: Andre “S.O.G.” Ward

Ward has beaten the Mikkel Kessler, Allan Green and Arthur Abraham but has had the luxury of never having to fight outside of America. He even had the comfort of having his first two fights being in his own backyard of Oakland, California. His promoter, Dan Goossen, deserves a major pat on the back for getting such a brilliant deal for his fighter.

But that should not detract from the fact Ward has never been in trouble against any of his Super Six foes. Kessler, the tournament favourite, was outclassed for 11 rounds before being stopped following a clash of heads. Now Ward has received some criticism for this, with the Kessler camp believing they were deliberate, but Ward earned a technical decision victory to claim the WBA super middleweight title.

Up next for Ward came fellow American Allan Green. Ward fought superbly on the inside, backing up Green on the ropes for most of the fight, and dominated to cruise to a unanimous decision victory.

Those two victories earned Ward a semi-final bout with Abraham. Ward started out a little slowly but took control from around the 3rd/4th round and dominated the gutsy Abraham. Abraham never really troubled Ward until the last round, where he did manage to hurt him a few times, but it wasn’t enough and Ward, once again, cruised to a lopsided unanimous decision.

The road to the final: Carl “The Cobra” Froch

It’s fair to say that Carl Froch has had a much tougher road to the final.

Froch’s first fight came against the slick Andre Dirrell in his home town of Nottingham. Froch struggled to get close to Dirrell, who fought superbly, and was very fortunate to earn the split decision victory. It’s fair to say it was definitely a home-town decision.

But Froch was on the receiving end of a controversial decision in his next fight against Mikkel Kessler. Froch started out slowly and Kessler took advantage in the early rounds. However Froch did rally in the later rounds to make it a close fight, with both fighters having their moments. But the decision went to the home fighter as Kessler claimed the WBC title and inflicted Froch’s first professional defeat.

However, following Kessler’s withdrawal from the competition, Froch was awarded the opportunity to earn back his WBC title against Abraham. Both fighters were in the last chance saloon in the tournament but it was Froch who rose to the occasion as he produced his best performance to date, dominating Abraham from start to finish, defying the critics who believed Froch was nothing more than a brawler. Froch stuck to the game plan given to him by trainer Rob McCracken and used his jab and reach to keep the powerful Abraham at bay, as he re-claimed his WBC title via a unanimous decision.

The win over Abraham sealed Froch’s place in the semi-final against veteran Glen Johnson. The opening few rounds gave little away as both fighters felt each other out but Johnson upped the pressure in the following rounds. Froch managed to keep him at bay by landing good counter punches and combinations. But Froch slipped back into his bad habits as he kept his left hand low, allowing Johnson to connect with straight rights through the middle rounds. Froch displayed his fantastic chin and fought back with good combinations once again to force Johnson back. As Johnson began to gass, Froch upped the pace and won the championship rounds convincingly to earn his place in the final against Andre Ward.

Sweet Science UK prediction

Carl Froch has all the heart and determination in the world and I’m really hoping he can pull it off. He’s been Britain’s best fighter for some time and it’s a travesty he hasn’t had the recognition he’s deserved.

However he does face a massive test against the heavily fancied Andre Ward. It’s fair to say this is the toughest fight either fighter has had so far and it’s a tossup as to who will win.

Andre Ward is betting favourite but Froch should not be easily dismissed. Froch has the height and reach advantage and will have to use that to his advantage, using his jab to keep Ward off balance and to back him up. He’ll have to be more disciplined than he was against Johnson and keep his left hand high up, because even though Ward isn’t a massive puncher he can’t afford to give Ward that kind of target on a regular basis.

Froch will have to try and find the right balance between his style for the Abraham and Johnson fight. Use the rangy jab to keep Ward backed up and use combination punching to hurt him whenever possible. Froch has the ability to really hurt Ward but Ward will be the smartest fighter he has faced and won’t just give Froch his chin. But if Froch can catch Ward, then we’ll really see what Ward is made of.

I’m really unsure as to who is going to win this fight.

I’m hoping to see Froch pull through and claim the win but the more I’ve seen of Ward, the more I like. His style isn’t great to watch at times but he’s produced some superb boxing in spurts throughout this competition and displayed a range of different qualities which has seen him progress to the final. He’s a very smart boxer and he knows how to fight on the inside. He does like to throw the jab to miss on purpose, so it allows him to get close and clinch his opponent allowing him to work on the inside. The upper-cut would work perfectly for Froch here.

My heart is saying Carl Froch on this one but my head is going with Andre Ward winning the fight in a similar fashion to Mayweather – Hatton (just without the help of the ring post).

Either way it promises to be a fantastic fight.





Brook ready for American debut

17 12 2011

Brook set for USA debut

Kell “Special K” Brook will be hoping a dazzling and performance on his American debut will catapult him to the brink of a world title shot.

The Sheffield native faces Luis Galarza in a 10-round contest on the Froch-Ward under card.

The WBO’s number two ranked welterweight knows an eye catching performance will only further enhance his growing reputation as he bids to make a name for himself stateside.

Sweet Science UK prediction

This is nothing more or less than a tune up for “Special K” so he can look good on his American debut.

Brook has done a lot of talking recently, especially regarding a contest with fellow Brit Amir Khan, but now is the time to step up.

His opponent boasts a decent record with 17 wins from 19 fights but 2 losses. But he faces a real step up in class when he faces Brook who will be looking to impress.

I expect Brook to win via KO and look flashy doing so. Once he gets this fight out the way, I’m hoping promoter Eddie Hearn can get him some competitive fights because that’s what Brook needs to test himself so we can find out how good he really is.





“The ref didn’t warn me” – Khan

16 12 2011

Khan docked points

Following his controversial split decision defeat to Lamont Peterson, Amir Khan is continuing his protest by lodging a complaint with the commission.

Now before any jumps at me and claims this is a witch hunt against Khan; it isn’t.

I give Khan all the credit in the world. He’s done fantastically well to get to where he has following the devastating loss against Peterson and I give him credit for always wanting to fight the best.

But I just don’t understand where Amir is coming from on this.

He told Sky Sports (around the 2.10 mark for those who want to get straight into it):

Now you’ve clearly heard him say it’s the first time he’s been warned and that the referee took him to the side and took the point off without any warning. Correct?!?

Here’s another interview with the panel at Ringside:

Again it’s a similar sort of story, with Amir feeling as though he should have been warned.

Now from what I remember of the fight, Khan was continually warned before the 1st point was deducted and continually warned again until the 2nd point was deducted.

But don’t take my word for it, here’s the proof:

Now to be fair I understand Khan being worried about a potential head butt from Peterson but to my recollection Peterson has never been warned or even known for any head butting tendencies (I could be wrong).

But at the same time should it have been that big a concern? There were many times where Peterson’s head wasn’t low but there was still pushing from Khan.

Khan has all the tools to be a really good boxer but all this talk of fighting a Mayweather or Pacquaio has to stop. If I’m honest, if Khan does make the step up to 147 he’s going to struggle if his weaknesses aren’t corrected.

I don’t see the guy beating a Victor Ortiz, Juan Manuel Marquez (the fight could be made at a similar catch weight as the Pacquaio fight) and even a Timothy Bradley. Now I did pick Khan to beat Bradley prior to the Peterson fight and I still think he can but considering how badly Khan struggles against pressure fighters, Bradley would give Khan all sorts of problems; especially if Khan doesn’t correct these weaknesses exposed by Peterson.

On a separate note I was a bit disappointed with the interview the Ringside panel gave Amir Khan. Jim Watt, who I believed called the fight, wasn’t there. Now I’m not Jim Watt’s biggest fan but he was the commentator who seemed to be aware of the referee’s warning.

Now to me the panel here didn’t press Khan about this issue and just allowed him to slide away. I have great respect for Adam Smith because I believe he’s done a great job for British Boxing. The same goes for Johnny Nelson.

But I just felt as though they’ve let Amir escape a little here. Maybe that’s to do with the fact they don’t want to upset the guy seeing as he’s still signed to Sky Sports for two more fights but I don’t know.

However, if I was Amir I’d concentrate on getting a rematch with Peterson. Train hard, don’t overlook him and work on your weaknesses.





King Khan dethroned

16 12 2011

Khan Dethroned

Amir Khan’s dreams of a potential fight with Floyd Mayweather took a huge hit following his split decision loss to Lamont Peterson in Washington DC on Saturday.

Khan, who lost his IBF and WBA light-welterweight titles, was controversially deducted two points for consistent pushing despite numerous warnings from the referee.

Khan stated pre-fight that this would be his last fight at the 140 weight class before moving himself up to the 147 division.

And he wasted little time in springing into action as he floored Peterson twice in the opening round. The first knock down was, however, ruled as a slip.

That would prove to be one of the few highlights Khan had throughout the fight as Peterson, roared on by the home crowd, constantly backed up the champion and landed with some fantastic shots to the body.

Instead of using his boxing ability and reach, Khan began to stand toe-to-toe with the American and began getting tagged with left hooks and uppercuts.

Khan was deducted a point in round 7, drawing a furious response from promoter Oscar DeLa Hoya at ringside, and again in the 12.

If I’m honest I did have Khan winning by 1 round after the fight had finished but there is no doubt it was a poor, poor display from Khan.

His trainer Freddie Roach, who had worked with Peterson and the America Olympic boxing team, knew that Peterson would target the body but it looked as though they didn’t expect this.

Khan was on the back foot for most of the fight and to an extent was “running” away from Peterson.

Serious questions must be asked about Khan’s lack of fighting on the inside, any sense of defence and also his lack of power.

Khan has never been considered a power puncher but does posses a good KO ratio.

The problem, at least to me, is that Khan throws these “pity-patty” flurries which are still very amateur-ish.

Yes they look great because of the speed but there is no power behind them. Khan has to learn how to sit down on his shots more. If he doesn’t, this would be a real worry against top class opposition at the 147 division. He just simply wouldn’t have the power to hurt those guys.

Another real worry for the Khan camp has to be his inability to defend himself properly. Against these pressure fighters he allows himself to get caught back onto to the ropes too easily and doesn’t display any good head movement or defensive ability.

Khan also needs to stop getting himself into these toe-to-toe battles to prove his “chin”. His chin has been tested and he’s taken some big, big shots (Maidana and Peterson). But, regardless of what he says in the media, Khan was rocked in both of those fights.

They say the best chin is the one that isn’t tested. Khan has to take note of that.

Team Khan need to take a serious look at themselves and work on these weaknesses. Otherwise talk of any potential fight with a Mayweather or a Pacquaio looks even more foolish.