Carl Froch is Ready to Fulfill His Super Six Destiny
By Gabriel Montoya, MaxBoxing (Dec 13, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
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Carl Froch
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.”
 
“I think 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 fans.”
 
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 for myself.”
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.
 “It 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.
 
“Well, if 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.”
 
McCracken feels his man was born for this moment.
 
“Styles make 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.
 
“Absolutely,” Ward answered when asked if he could knock out Froch. “Don’t believe the hype. Absolutely.”
 
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 done.
 
“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.”
 
As tournaments 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.
 
“This is what boxing is all about, two tremendous boxers fighting each other for a world title.”
 
From first 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.

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You can email Gabriel at maxgmontoya@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gabriel_montoya and catch him on each Monday’s episode of “The Next Round” with Steve Kim. You can also tune in to hear him and co-host David Duenez live on the BlogTalk radio show Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com, Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST. Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

* Special Thanks To MaxBoxing.

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