Andre Ward shows why he’s the best, wins Super Six Championship
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Dec 18, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
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Carl Froch (Left) - Andre Ward (Right)
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing: WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward baffled and bludgeoned Carl Froch for 12 rounds to win the Super Six Boxing Classic Final by unanimous decision last night in Atlantic City. With the victory, Ward also acquired the WBC and Ring championship belt’s.

Ward (25-0, 13 KOs) was a beat or two ahead of the brash Froch (28-2, 20 KOs) all night. His superior speed and ring savvy was evident in the first round as he studied Froch, before popping the Englishman with a double jab.

Ward landed another left hook in round two as Froch lunged with his right. The 27 year-old Ward continued to jab from the outside. Froch landed a sweeping left, and right to the body. Ward countered with another left that knocked Froch back a step. Froch connected with a left of his own in round three. Ward kept up the double jabs as Froch looked to his corner for help. Ward’s hand speed continued to pay dividends as he snapped his opponents head back. In round four, Ward backed Froch to the ropes and jolted him with some nicely placed hooks.

Froch,34, was trying, but his body language suggested that he knew he was in there with a better fighter. His right was either short or catching air. In round six, Ward found a home for his own right hand, connecting on Froch’s sturdy chin numerous times. Froch again landed a nice combination to Ward’s body. Ward landed his best punch of the fight, a left hook that stunned Froch.

Froch came out aggressively in round eight only to eat a right hand. Ward kept in the pocket and nailed Froch with another combination. Froch battled back with a left to Ward’s ear. Ward spun away from Froch with a textbook three punch combination.

In round nine Froch did his best work. With Ward on the ropes and moving, he was able to land a strong uppercut and right hand. His jab was nicking Ward’s chin. Apparently aware that he was behind on the scorecards, Froch turned up the heat, but just as quickly, Ward extinguished his momentum with superb defense and counter punching.

In round eleven Ward cleverly out maneuvered Froch and popped him with another left hook. Froch was fighting more desperately now, and with Ward tiring a bit, landed some good punches. In round 12, Ward landed a flashy combination. Froch caught Ward with a strong right that did no damage. Ward kept to the game plan in the final minute as Froch, his face bruised but his spirit unbowed, kept loading up his right.

One judge scored the fight 118-110 and two others had it 115-113 for Ward. This boxing scribe had Ward winning by a wider margin of 117-111.

Ward believes that his best is still to come.

"One off the strongest assets I have is my mind. I kept my composure. I kept things under control. And we pulled it off," Ward said. "I hope I did a good job. But we can still get better, believe it or not."

Froch admitted that Ward’s speed confused him.

“I wanted to put my shots together, but he moves around, and slips and slides. He's very good at that," Froch said. "And that's why it was a bad night for me."

Ward acknowledged injuring his left hand in training and again during the fight.

"I felt good," Ward said. "It was a tough fight, a strong fight, and he's a good fighter. I hurt my hand in training, and I couldn't say anything about it. I hit him on top of the head in the sixth round and hurt it, but we fought through it."

Froch was classy in defeat.

"Give credit to Andre. I never found myself in the zone where I could get my shots off and do what I wanted," Froch said. "That's something I'm going to have to work on in the gym."

Final CompuBox statistics showed Ward landed 243 of 573 blows (42 percent), while Froch was limited to landing 156 of 683 punches (23 percent).

In a show of sportsmanship, the two fighters hugged and reiterated their mutual respect for each other.

No hard feelings,” replied Froch. “You won the fight.”

More from John:
Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch: “Put your money where your mouth is” John J. Raspanti
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-- Questions/comments johnboxing1@hotmail.com

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