Andre Ward, Super Six Revisited

By By Francis Walker BASN Boxing writer
Updated: December 23, 2011

NEW YORK, NY, (BASN)–Andre Ward’s victory against Carl Froch was one to be remembered. It marked the climax of what was a lengthy, grueling, and drawn out tournament called the Super Six World Boxing Classic featuring six (or eight) of the world’s best at 168 pounds.

Not only did Ward unify the WBA/WBC championships, the Ring Magazine title, and secure the coveted Super Six trophy, in addition to being declared the No. 1 super middleweight in the world, but the Oakland, CA native could very well be the best fighter in the world “pound-for-pound.”

Andre Ward could very well be the best fighter in the world ahead of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquaio, and Sergio Martinez.

Ward’s skills are tremendous. He can fight so many different styles – box, brawl, lead, and counterpunch. Ward’s combinations are fast and strong. His timing is excellent and he takes a pretty good shot.

And he’s only 27.

Ward, through the help of his longtime trainer and mentor Virgil Hunter, can easily apply and game plan that will simply make his opponents look terrible.

Remember, Ward is a 2004 Olympic gold medalist. Ward, a natural 165-pounder, won gold fighting in the 178-pound light-heavyweight division in the amateurs. Ward relied heavily on his speed, reflexes, and timing to help him outmaneuver and outthink his much larger amateur opponents.

The set-up of the World Boxing Classic was similar to Ward’s winning the Olympics. The Super Six World Boxing Classic consisted of fighters from England, Germany, Denmark, Jamaica, and the United States. The difference was Ward didn’t have to travel to Athens, Greece to win his Olympic gold medal. Ward fought exclusively in the United States – three fights in his native California with the championship being held at the famed Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ.

Ward went through a pile of elite fighters joined together in a unique elimination tournament that consisted of an opening round-robin points system: 2 points for a win (1 bonus point for a knockout) 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a defeat. The fought highest scorers advanced to the single elimination semifinal and championship final.

Ward was simply better than Froch, Arthur Abraham, Mikkel Kessler, Glen Johnson, Allan Green, Andre Dirrell, and Jermain Taylor who was KO’d by Abraham in the opening bout of the Super Six.

“These are all great fighters. That’s why you don’t hear me talking badly about them before the fight. I know what I’m getting into. I just want to be a little bit better on the night of the fight.”

Ward’s matriculation into the Super Six World Boxing Classic was indeed “Supernatural” as the champion declared. Ward is a natural boxer-puncher with the appropriate temperament and poise needed to be great. Ward, unlike so many fighters in today’s fight market, is still a student of the game.

Fighters such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Louis Armstrong, were marvelous master-teachers. However, what made these men so special was the fact they never stopped learning to be students of the fight game. Ali, Leonard, Robinson (to name a few never stopped learning how to fight.

They made the adjustments as they grew older and aged in order to extend their legendary Hall of Fame careers. Ward adjusts so well to his opponent’s style, will never allow his opponents an opportunity to upend him.

Much of Ward’s success should be attributed to his longtime trainer and godfather Virgil Hunter. He has worked with Ward since he was 9 years old. Hunter more than handedly deserves to win 2011 “Trainer of the Year Honors,” while Ward is singlehandedly the “Fighter of the Year.”

Ward has already been named Sports Illustrated’s 2011

“Fighter of the Year.”

Ward vs. Froch undercard

Aside from Andre Ward’s dominant performance against Carl Froch, unbeaten welterweight prospect Kell Brook (26-0, 18 KOs) defeated Luis Galarza (18-3, 14 KOs).

“The jab worked beautifully tonight and it set everything up for me,” Brook said. “There is no rush to go for a world title, it’s about being brought on at the right pace and I trust Eddie Hearn and the team to get me there in the right way. It’s only a matter of time but I’m not panicking”

Cornelius White (18-1, 15 KOs) overcame a cut from an accidental headbutt to score a unanimous decision over Yordanis Despaigne (9-2, 4 KOs) in a 6-round fight.

Former super middleweight title challenger, Edison “Pantera” Miranda (35-5, 30 KOs) knocked out Kariz Kariuki (24-10-2, 19 KOs) in the fifth round.

Bowie Tupou (22-1, 16 KOs) won a unanimous decision through 10 rounds over Donnell Holmes (33-2-2, 29 KOs).

Heavyweight John Lennox (8-1, 4 KOs)Jeremiah Witherspoon (2-2, 1 KO) take a few too many of John Lennox’s punches when he was floored by a heavy barrage of fire at 50 seconds of round 3. It was the fourth knockout of the New Jersey natives career, putting Lennox at 8-1, 4 KOs.

Lastly, Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson (7-0, 4 KOs) KO’d Daniel Lugo (1-3).

“Dr. Iron Fist” Vitali Klitschko to fight in February 2012

WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 4 KOs) has an agreement to face Britian’s Dereck Chisora (15-2, 9 KOs) on February 18, 2012 in Germany. It will mark Klitschko’s 8th defense of the WBC title he recaptured from Samuel Peter in October 2009 following a 3 ½-year absence from boxing due to multiple injuries.

Since his return, the 40 year-old Klitschko has lived-up to his name “Dr. Iron Fist.” Klitschko has stopped Juan Carlos Gomez, Chris Arreola, Albert Sosnowski, and Odlanier Solis, while besting both Kevin Johnson and Shannon Briggs on points.

In September, Klitschko knocked out Tomasz Adamek in front of 40,000 people in a stadium in Poland. Following that performance, it is clearly evident that there is no stopping Klitschko and he can reign as WBC champion for as long as he wants.

Klitschko has had an amazing career and ay his advanced age, it’s amazing to see that he is still able to dominate the heavyweight division alongside unified IBF/WBA and WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko. Combined, the Klitschko brothers haven’t lost in nearly eight years when Wladimir Klitschko was stopped in five rounds by Lamon Brewster – a loss Klitschko later avenged in July 2007.

Klitschko is expected to dominate Chisora, who shouldn’t be taken at all lightly. Chisora is coming off a controversial 12-round split decision loss to rising unbeaten contender, Robert Helenius on December 3. Chisora has posted impressive wins over Danny Williams, Sam Sexton, but lost another decision to 6′ 9,” Tyson Fury.

Golden Boy, Khan wants loss overturned

Former unified WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion Amir Khan and Golden Boy Promotions have filed an appeal in wake of Khan’s disputed decision loss to Washington D.C. native Lamont Peterson in his hometown on December 3. In fact, Golden Boy is asking for the decision to be overturned to a victory for Khan.

“I’m not taking anything away from Lamont Peterson,” Khan said. “He fought a great performance and he was strong and he was, he put on, you have to do what you do. You know he stuck to his game plan and we spoke after the fight and him and his team were very respectful. But I think I deserve a fair chance of a fair fight somewhere neutral and I’m willing to come back to the U.S. and put a fight on there, but never in Washington again.”

The three judges’ scorecards read: 115-110 (Khan), 113-112 (Peterson), and 113-112 (Peterson). Khan was docked two points in the fight – one point for pushing in round 7 and another for pushing round 12. Perhaps the most telling was a point deduction for pushing off with arm in the final round. Minus the point deductions, Khan would have unanimously retained his titles.

In addition to the point deductions, Golden Boy Promotions complained that one of the official scorecards for the fight was “missing” and that it “disappeared” before turning up a few days later as if it were changed.

“I sure hope that for the sake of the fans and the sport that they will do the right thing, which is to overturn the decision and, or order, at least, at worst, order an immediate rematch,” said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.

Golden Boy Promotions has reportedly offered Peterson $1 million for an immediate rematch. He made $650,000 for the first fight. The fight could occur on May 19, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

PHOTO CREDITS: Alex Cuarezma of Goosen-Tutor Promotions, and www.Klitschko.com