Andre Ward defeats Carl Froch to become the Super Six Champion

Looking forlorn, Carl Froch (L) had no answer for the quicker hands of Oakland, California's Andre Ward. Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images

Atlantic City, N. J. (December 17, 2011)

On Saturday night, Andre Ward became the Super Six World Boxing Classic champion. Ward dominated England’s Carl Froch with his elusiveness and superior speed to win an unanimous decision by scores of 118-110, and 115-113 twice in front of 5,626 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N. J.


The victory unified the WBA and WBC super middleweight titles, while Lucian Bute (30-0-0, 24 KOs) holds the IBF title.

Andre Ward (R) lands a solid right cross on the side of Carl Froch's head during their WBA/WBC Super Middleweight bout at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images

After his big victory, Ward (25-0, 13 KOs) remained well grounded. He didn’t get all full of himself. “It’s supernatural,” he said. “These are all great fighters. That’s why you didn’t hear me talking badly about them before a fight. I knew what I was getting into. I just wanted to be a little bit better on the night of each fight.”

Froch (28-2, 20 KOs) was gracious in defeat and offered no excuses. “I lost tonight, fair and square. I had a bad night. He’s very good defensively. I couldn’t get my shots off. I never found myself in the range. He was either too close and smothering me or too far away.”

After the final bell, Ward raised his hands in victory when judge John Keane (United Kingdom) awarded him the bout 118-110 and both Craig Metcalfe (Canada) and John Stewart (United States) scored the 12-rounder for Ward at 115-113.

Ward’s path through the Super Six tournament first included a win November 21, 2009 over the former champion Mikkel Kessler (referee stoppage in Round 11). Judges scored the bout 98-92 twice plus a 97-93, all in Ward’s favor. Then came his dominance over Allan Green on June 19, 2010. In that fight he won every round. He then defeated Arthur Abraham on May 14th of this year, again by an unanimous decision. According to one judge, Abraham did enough to win two of the 12 rounds and now Saturday’s mastery over Froch.

It's never easy. Here we see Carl Froch of England landing a left uppercut on Andre Ward during their WBA/WBC Super Middleweight Championship bout at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N. J. Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images

For Froch, the tournament featured some ups and downs. On October 17, 2009, he scored a split decision victory over Andre Dirrell (115-112 twice and 113-114) before losing his WBC crown in an unanimous decision loss to Mikkel Kessler on April 24, 2010. He rebounded by winning back the vacant WBC belt with an unanimous decision victory on November 27, 2010 over Arthur Abraham and then scored a majority decision victory over Glen Johnson June 4, 2011 in the semifinals.

The big question now is when and where will we see the two champions, Andre Ward and Lucian Bute duke it out. It’s hard to see any of the other boxers within this division put up much of a challenge.

Update: On Friday, December 23, came reports Ward incurred an injury in training a week before the fight and having already postponed one fight date because of a cut in sparring, he had no option but to grin and bare this injury into last weekend’s unification showdown with Froch.

“I’m glad I didn’t know my hand was fractured before the fight,” said Ward. “It was better that way. I knew something was wrong, and I knew it hurt badly, but I also knew we had no choice but to move forward with the fight.

“In hindsight, it’s a pretty extraordinary thing to have gone into, performed well, and finished the biggest fight of my career at less than 100 percent. As I told Jim Gray (a Showtime commentator), I felt the victory was supernatural.

“Not because I put on a career best performance, but considering all things on the night and leading up to the fight, it was pretty amazing. For that, I thank God. So I guess it’s safe to say that on that night, we showed a little toughness.”

The MRI taken by a physician in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, CA, showed the boxer had endured multiple fractures in the third and fifth metacarpal bones in his left hand, up to a week-and-a-half before the fight.

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