Froch, Ward set to feud for Super Six belt at last
Two years have passed since Showtime began its ”Super Six
Boxing World Boxing Classic” in an effort to find the top
There were some obstacles along the way. Some contenders, such
as IBF champion Lucian Bute, opted not to participate. Injuries
forced Jermain Taylor and Mikkel Kessler to withdraw during the
round-robin tournament. And Andre Ward suffered a cut while
sparring and had to postpone the final bout for nearly two
But the search for the best 168-pounder will finally end
Saturday at Boardwalk Hall, when Ward (24-0, 13 KOs), of Oakland,
Calif., puts his WBA title on the line against WBC champion Carl
Froch (28-1, 20 KOs), of Nottingham, England, in one of the most
anticipated fights of the year.
”Have there been problems? Sure,” Ward’s promoter, Dan Goossen
said. ”But for Showtime to be able to get past the politics of
boxing, promoters’ egos and everything else to keep this tournament
together, has been quite an accomplishment. It was a brilliant
concept and when the bell rings on Saturday night, people are going
to enjoy an outstanding, exciting fight.”
Both Froch and Ward fought their way through top competition to
earn their spots in the final.
Froch, 34, went 4-1 in the previous rounds of the tournament. He
opened with a 12-round decision over Andre Dirrell on Oct. 17,
2009, then rebounded from the first loss of his career – a 12-round
decision to Kessler on April, 24, 2010 – with decision victories
over Arthur Abraham and Glen Johnson, respectively.
Froch has never backed away from a challenge. His last 18
opponents sported a combined record of 449-63-12 at the time he
”I’ve come up the hard way, but I’m finally starting to get the
recognition and credit I deserve,” Froch said. ”People are
counting on me to restore pride in British boxing.”
British boxing fans have been searching for a hero since former
champions Joe Calzaghe and Ricky Hatton retired.
Heavyweight David Haye lost a lot of support with a listless
performance against champion Wladimir Klitschko last July.
Middleweight prospect Darren Barker, who suffered an 11th-round
knockout loss to Sergio Martinez at Boardwalk Hall two months ago,
has yet to record a signature victory. Former super-welterweight
champ Amir Khan suffered a split decision loss to Lamont Peterson
”The problem is that every UK boxer talks a great fight, but
they’ve seldom delivered,” Froch’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, said.
”You know what you’re going to get with Carl Froch. I’m expecting
an impressive performance from Carl on Saturday night. I want him
to beat Ward in devastating fashion.”
That figures to be a daunting task.
Ward, 27, hasn’t lost as an amateur or a professional since he
was 14. He capped an outstanding amateur career by winning a gold
medal for the U.S. in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece
and has since dominated his competition in the pros.
He entered the Super Six tourney as an underdog to the more
experienced Abraham, Froch and Kessler, but is favored to win after
posting an 11th-round TKO over Kessler, then posting decisions over
Allen Green, Sakio Bika and Abraham.
”You’re going to have two hungry fighters in the ring, two
fighters who don’t want to lose,” Ward said. ”I know I’ll bring
it and I believe (Froch) will bring it. This has been a long time
coming and I’m ready.”