It has all come to an end, and although the outcome was what many had predicted, I don’t believe very many predicted such a dominant victory in favour of Andre Ward. On Saturday Ward cemented his status as a Top 5 pound for pound fighter. Everyone knew Ward was an incredibly talented boxer, one with a bright future, but the night of the Super Six final he put on an absolute masterclass in the sweet science. At every turn he was able to deny and frustrate the normally impressive Carl Froch and in the process made believers out of many (myself included).
My initial prediction was a Froch win by decision. In hindsight it seems like a ludicrous prediction as Ward was so absolutely dominate, but many experts before the fight were declaring a Ward win by decision in a close fight. The Oakland, CA born fighter ended up surprising almost everyone. Many thought he was good, many thought he was a better boxer than Froch but there’s very few who realized just how good he is.
Froch is a fighter known for always being game, occasionally imposing his will on opponents and showing sides of his ability no one thought were quite as advanced as they truly were. But he was unable to do anything of the sort Saturday night. He was certainly up for the fight, and the day we see the Cobra not willing to tear it up with an opponentwill be when we know he’s finished, but Ward kept him out of the fight almost completely. And any time Froch was able to hit some decent shots and take the fight to the inside Ward answered back and stood toe to toe. The fight wasn’t memorable in terms of action but I do believe it was Ward’s coming out party as one of the best in the world.
The big question fight fans are left with is where do we go from here? In my opinion there needs to be a fight between Lucian Bute and Froch sometime in the Spring. Many will say the fight that needs to be made is Bute versus Ward for 168 pound supremacy, but if we’re being honest Bute has not faced the level of competition Ward and Froch have over the course of the Super Six so I think his first test is against the runner-up in the tournament. Whoever prevails in that contest should face Ward next. Even if it ends up being a rematch between Froch and Ward, I do believe Froch is able to learn enough to make a second fight more competitive. As for who Ward fights in the mean time, I think the tune up fight is against whoever he decides as he now has that power. Anthony Dirrell is making noise about a WBC mandatory defense, and if Ward decides to go that route I think it’d be a good fight to make in the mean time.
Regardless of what happens now, 2011 has proven an interesting year in the fight game. Sergio Martinez and Andre Ward have both cemented themselves as the best in their weight classes and hopefully 2012 provides the opportunity for others to do the same.