Two years and
four fights ago, all Carl Froch had was a dream of breaking through to the
upper echelons of boxing. It’s all any boxer wants in the end, to matter, to be
among the elite. Not every fighter gets there. Sure, they may win titles and
get in some defenses but not every fighter gets to do something historic, cementing
his place both in the present day and all time. Two years and four fights ago,
Carl Froch saw his path toward that dream. Three days and a wake up from today,
Carl Froch is no longer a man with a dream out of reach. Saturday night in
Atlantic City (live on Showtime, 9 PM ET/PT), Froch is one fight away from
fulfilling his destiny as he faces Andre Ward in the finals of Showtime’s “Super
Six World Classic: The Super Middleweights.”
before the ‘Super Six’ the super middleweights were really a sleeper division,”
said Ward on a recent conference call to promote the fight. “They looked right
over the super middleweight division. They talked more about the light
heavyweight division and now people are talking about us and even after the
tournament, they are looking at the possible matchups with the fighters. I
don’t think I would have gotten this much visibility or the division wouldn’t
have either if it wasn’t for the ‘Super Six’ tournament. The ‘Fight Camp 360°’ and
the ‘Staredown’ that just played, those are being watched by the mainstream
What made the ‘Super
Six’ work was that, for its foibles, controversy and setbacks, on several Saturday nights over a two-year span, boxing was
treated to the best men in a single division fighting one another. The purses
weren’t exorbitant. None of the fights were on pay-per-view or in giant, sold-out
stadiums. What fight fans were rewarded with was a willingness to be challenged
from Ward, Froch, Jermain Taylor, Arthur Abraham, Mikkel Kessler, Andre Dirrell and late
replacements Allan Green and Glen Johnson in a series of fights we might not
have otherwise gotten in such a short span. Sure, we didn’t get all the fights
we wanted but what we did get was well worth it for all involved.
“I’m getting viewed on TV by many fight fans
now, which is great,” said Froch on the same call. “I’ve actually become more
popular in America than before in England, which is great. I’ve really
gotten some great matchups since the tournament started. Dirrell, Kessler,
Abraham, Johnson and now Ward. I don’t think those fights would have happened
if it wasn’t for the tournament. It’s been great for Andre and it’s been great
The fight was postponed for several weeks due to a
cut over Ward’s right eyebrow, suffered in sparring. However, for Froch, who
has waited long for this moment anyways, the delay was a positive.
actually worked in my favor. My trainer, Rob McCracken, is the head coach for
the Great Britain Olympic boxing team and they actually had an Olympic
qualifying tournament two weeks before my departure for New York for
the previous date,” explained Froch. “It was going to work into my rest week
and we were going to be OK with it. So essentially I had a two-week break when
I heard about Ward’s injury. So I had a week with my family and then another
week when I started to crank it up a bit. It was a little disappointing for me
but the main problem it caused was having to get new flights and cheaper
flights for my fans. But the response has been great since and each day I’m
getting more and more people who are excited about coming over for the fight.
It’s going to work out perfect.”
With the fight
on, now comes the hard part. After beating Dirrell, losing a war with Kessler,
outclassing Abraham and taking Johnson to the distance, Froch gets his toughest
puzzle to solve in Ward, who started out the dark horse of the tournament. Ward
is something of a changeling in that he will fight according to what the moment
dictates. A speedy, athletic fighter with all-around skills and a high ring
I.Q., Ward brings Olympic gold credentials and a varied path to the finals.
Ward is the only fighter in the tourney to face two fighters not originally in
the “Super Six.” He faced Green, who replaced Jermain Taylor who dropped out.
Later, Ward went the distance with rugged Sakio Bika in a non-“Super Six” bout.
He brings a versatility and intelligence to the ring, the likes of which Froch
has not seen.
you’ve seen my fights, you know I do a little bit of everything and I also have
the wherewithal to make adjustments throughout the fight,” said Ward of what he
expects. “There are ebbs and flows in big fights like this. I’m expecting a
very physical fight. As I’ve mentioned earlier, you don’t just win these types
of fights; you’ve got to take them because you have two guys who have belts and
you’re in a tournament that no one wants to lose. So you have to go take it and
that’s what I’m prepared to do.”
feels his man was born for this moment.
fights. It’s an old cliché. It’s hard to look at past fights of fighters and
then try and draw a conclusion on how a fight is going to go,” explained Froch.
“I expect for him to come to box and to use his jab and his boxing skills but
he may try and close the gap and get into my chest and get rough in there. It’s
hard to tell what to expect. It’s going to be a fantastic fight between two
high-level fighters. It’s going to be a war. There is a plan ‘A’ and a plan ‘B’
and maybe even a plan ‘C.’”
If there a
clear question in the fight, it is: Who can take whose power? Froch has 20
knockouts in 29 fights. Ward has 13 in 24 fights. It says here Froch is the
harder puncher. According to Ward, the danger goes both ways.
Ward answered when asked if he could knock out Froch. “Don’t believe the hype.
Fighting the men
he has, Froch has grown as a fighter. His heart and mind have never been in
question. That said, save for the Abraham fight, Froch has not had that
defining clear victory to stake his claim as the best 168-pounder in the world.
It will take all the experience, heart, will and skill he has to get the job
“I think in
the Pascal fight, I was seen as more of a brawler early on before I started to
get behind my jab and box and that made the fight a little bit easier for me.
Against Taylor, I needed a big finish, which I got. I was able to
show a lot of my skill against Arthur Abraham. You always learn about yourself,
fight by fight. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my style. I’m in a happy
place right now. I know exactly what I need to do to win this fight. I’m
confident and I’m looking forward to doing my business on the 17th.”
go, the “Super Six” will go down as a success. As fights go, Froch-Ward will
remind us why we went for the “Super Six” in the first place. It’s a chance at
history, a chance to remind us why we love the sport. McCracken said it best.
what boxing is all about, two tremendous boxers fighting each other for a world
bell to last on Saturday night, the sure bet is that Carl Froch won’t leave it
up to fate or destiny. He’ll be looking to forge his own.