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.

 

Advertisements




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.





Barker hoping for an upset

2 10 2011

Barker hoping to cause upset

‘Dazzling’ Darren Barker will be hoping to cause an almighty upset as he looks to dethrone middleweight king Sergio Martinez at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Barker faces an uphill task as he takes on a boxer many pundits, and myself included, consider number 3 on the pound-for-pound (P4P) list.

This is a massive step up in class for the likeable Barker, who has conquered the British, Commonwealth and European divisions. One thing is for sure, you cannot fault Barker one bit for what he has achieved.

The real question is; does he have what it takes on the elite stage?

Sadly I can’t see Barker taking the south-paws ‘The Ring’ World Middleweight title.

I like Barker. He’s a very good boxer, very textbook with his style. He possess a good jab, a good straight right, good temperament and he seems like a really down to earth guy.

I just don’t think he has enough speed or power to trouble Martinez.

I will be rooting for ‘Dazzling’ Darren and really hope he puts in a fantastic performance, whatever the result. He’s had quite a hard time in his personal life but he’s done fantastically well to come back and to win the European title in his comeback fight was a brilliant achievement.

Hopefully he puts on a good enough performance to impress the American’s over there to earn himself some further chances.

But I’m afraid Barker will follow in the footsteps of Mathew Hatton, Ryan Rhodes and Brian Magee.

A ‘heroic failure’ sort of performance is on the cards tonight.

Sweet Science UK prediction

As much as I like Darren, I don’t see him having the required power or speed to really trouble a focused Martinez.

Martinez does like to fight with his hands quite low when he’s out of range and Barker will have to try to take advantage of that. His best bet is to stick that jab all night and use his good straight right whenever possible. Barker does posses a decent left hook too and he’ll have to use that to counter Martinez as he comes in.

But sadly I think Martinez has too much power and speed to defeat Barker.

Martinez also possesses that rare one punch KO power (just ask Paul Williams) and Barker will have to be aware because Martinez can hurt you with either hand, particularly the left.

If Barker doesn’t freeze early on the big American stage (ala Calzaghe-Hopkins/Jones Jnr and Froch-Taylor) then I can see him taking Martinez into the later rounds.

If Martinez is unfocused then Barker does have a chance but his lack of power will seriously hurt his chances.

Martinez to win by KO late on.

See the weigh in below:

All the best Darren. I, for one, hope you prove me wrong.