A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch: The Super Six World Boxing Classic Final
NEW YORK, (BASN)—The Super Six World Boxing Classic is an innovative round-robin elimination tournament that began in October 2009 with six of the best super middleweights in the world. After two years of compelling fights, docudramas, title changes, career-threatening injuries, and substitutions, the Super Six concludes with a spectacular winner take all finish.
The finals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic will feature two-time WBC super-middleweight champion, Carl Froch vs. 2004 Olympic gold medalist and unbeaten WBA champion, Andre Ward on Saturday, October 29, from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ.
SHOWTIME will televise the event beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Ward and Froch both participated in a series of round-robin fights that consisted of a point-system through Group Stages 1, 2, and 3. Two points per victory, 1 point for a draw, and a bonus point for a knockout win. A loss was worth 0 points. The top four fighters fought in semifinal bouts. Ward (No. 1) bested Arthur Abraham (No. 4) and Froch (No. 2) outpointed Glen Johnson (No. 3) to advance to The Final.
Froch, who lost his title once in the tournament, understands at stake will not only be the WBC/WBA 168-pound championships, but also the inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic Cup, as well as, The Ring magazine 168-pound championship belt. Froch promises victory.
“If there is a knockout in the fight, it will be me knocking out Ward,” Froch said during a three-city, two country press tour that covered London, England, New York City, and Ward’s native Oakland, CA. “I’ve got the granite chain, I’m a beast… I can’t be knocked out.”
Ward simply loves it when his fellow competitors underestimate his power. When Kessler said that he only saw a few tapes of Ward before they fought in 2009, the assumption was that he carelessly underestimated Ward’s punching power.
Kessler lost his title.
Allan Green got bullied and punched around by Ward for twelve rounds. Abraham had not answers for Ward’s illusive style. Kessler, Green, and Abraham were popped often enough to respect Ward’s power. Froch will learn soon enough.
“I love it,” Ward said. “It’s the promotion of big time boxing. Carl isn’t the first person to say it and he won’t be the last. I understand what it looks like on the outside. But it’s a whole different thing inside the ring. Trust me, I’m hitting hard enough.”
Froch has fought hard, grueling fights in the tournament. He is perhaps the most battle-tested out of the entire group that originally featured Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Jermain Taylor, and Andre Dirrell. Green and Glen Johnson didn’t appear until later on in the tournament following injuries to Taylor and Kessler.
Fight fans watching the World Boxing Classic witnessed Froch successfully defend his title against Dirrell in England, lose it Kessler in Denmark, and regain it from Abraham in Morocco, before successfully defending it against Johnson in the U.S. Ward will be Froch’s fifth fight in four countries during the tournament.
“Without SHOWTIME, none of this would be happening,” Froch said. “I defended my title, lost my title and then won it back with a masterful performance against Arthur Abraham, the best performance against him to that date and since. I have had some epic battles. That’s why I’m in boxing.”
Unlike Froch, who has had to travel outside of the United Kingdom for most of his fights in the tournament, Ward has had the leisure of fighting at home in Oakland.
Ward, in November 2009, won a technical decision against Kessler to claim the WBA belt. Ward dominated Green (W 12) and Abraham (W 12) in hometown defenses. Ward even took a fight outside the tournament and cleverly outboxed Sakio Bika (W 12).
Froch believes Ward will be at a disadvantage when he fights outside of Oakland since the tournament started two years ago.
“It’s nice to fight at home.” Froch stated. “To be brought out of your comfort zone is a disadvantage. Since defeating Pascal, I’ve been all over the world. I’ve been to America, Denmark, and Finland. So it makes no difference to me. But Ward is used to fighting in his backyard. This might just be a little chink in his armor.”
Fighting outside the U.K. may give Froch momentum, but competing outside California is certainly not a disadvantage for Ward. Ward is an Olympic gold medalist having had tons of international amateur experience. Ward struck gold as a light-heavyweight (178). He beat guys much bigger than himself using speed and precision. Fighting in a tournament like the Super Six World Boxing Classic is nothing new to a fighter of Ward’s caliber. Ward has been dominant and unparalleled.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity,” Ward said. “I’ve said that from day one that I’m not surprised to be here.
I’m not dismayed. This press conference isn’t too big for me. I’m ready — but getting the opportunity to fight the best, that’s what I needed.”
Ward added: “If Carl feels like he can’t let go of his belt and I feel the same way about mine, it will be a tremendous night of boxing.”
Ward vs. Froch tickets
Tickets for The Final at Boardwalk Hall are currently on sale and are priced at $300, $200, $100 and $50. Tickets can be purchased at the Boardwalk Hall Box Office, or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at ticketmaster.com.
For more information, visit http://sports.sho.com.