Froch may have to KO Ward to win the Super Six
Mark Young: What can you say?, the same writers who were explaining in great detail exactly how the carved road warrior Glen Johnson was going to demolish Carl Froch are already detailing just how washed up and shot Glen Johnson was during the fight he subsequently lost.
Carl’s performances in the Super Six are insignificant according to some, his fight of the year against Mikkel Kessler was apparently a one sided beat down and in no way a tight home town decision in his own back yard. Andre Dirrell apparently put on a master class in Nottingham, the constant clinching that earned him a point deduction never happened and the swollen eyes, nose and lips bleeding at the end of the fight were in no way due to punches received from Froch.
Let’s be honest people, Froch doesn’t appeal to everyone, even though his fights are usually contenders for fight of the year some people will just not warm to him. I find it ironic that a movie like Rocky can be considered the epitome of what boxing is about, a guy who’s not the most graceful or fluid, but a guy who wants it so bad he’ll crawl to hell and back to get it, yet when a guy actually goes out there and tries to overcome the flaws in his game by pouring his heart and soul into every fight he gets written off as some kind of fraud. The reality is that a lot of people actually want the processed hyped up hero and the ticker tape fanfare, not the hard working guy who’s dragged himself to the final even though he’s only got a long shot at winning.
I don’t like boxing when it’s sanitised. I enjoy seeing a war. I like a few flaws in there, some ebb and flow to make things interesting. I don’t like cherry picked fights. I don’t like preened show ponies who are wheeled out to demolish some ruffian with no chance. I like it when guys like Mike Jones are put in the ring so that they can beat Jesus Soto Karass but then Karass digs his heels in and spanks the daylights out of Jones for the 80 percent of the fight. What I don’t like is when guys like Soto Karass are then blatantly robbed, in my view, just so that Jones record can be kept clean, as his future market value exceeds Karass’.
The trouble for me wanting a winner based on personal preference is that although I like Froch and all his faults, with Andre Ward, I don’t dislike him either; He’s really likeable out of the ring. He makes a great analyst when ringside, and in fact, I quite like a lot of what he does inside the ring. Save for the unsporting dirty side of Wards game I have to admit he’s got some sensational skills. Ward doesn’t have knock out power, but he doesn’t need it. He’s been winning ever since that first sperm got to the egg. Ward’s actually used to winning, and just like that sperm he knows what he needs to do to get the job done and has the skills to do it. It’s no good saying “Oh he’s chinny” or “He doesn’t have knockout power.” Not when he hasn’t lost a fight since he was a schoolboy. He’s obviously worked out how to work within his parameters and I appreciate that.
The Rocky fan in me wants Froch to win, I like the fact he’s an underdog, I like the fact he’s got a sketchy looking defence, which at times seems more porous than the Titanics bow section. It gives a human quality to the whole spectacle, especially when the leaks are overcome with sheer grit and determination. The realist in me though knows that not only is Froch in with a seriously tricky customer in Ward but he’s also up against the very people who are hosting the tournament.
For Froch to win the Super Six he will have to knock out Ward. I believe there is no way on God’s green earth that Showtime will sit idly by and watch some cheeky Englishman nick a decision in the USA and walk off with all that future currency. This fight will likely go to the judges, and the result will have it as not quite a shut out but not that close either. Showtime have a very good chance of being left with the two biggest super middleweight belts wrapped around an Americans waist before the years out, an American they can sign into a multi fight deal and pitch against another guy they have had locked into a multi fight contract since November 2010, IBF paper champion Lucian Bute. While I have no doubt that Froch would sign for Showtime, he’s not as easy to manage as Ward. He’d likely want pesky fights in the UK, which doesn’t suit the U.S PPV market. Just remember that Froch vs. Dirrell was fought at 3.30 am in the UK to please US fight fans. It’s some “home” fight when your own fans are expected to wait around until just before sunrise to watch a live fight in order to keep boxing fans on the other side of the world in sync with the pizza delivery guy. I can’t see Froch wearing too many 3.30 am starts so he can defend against guys with no belts on the table which is another cross that goes against him.
I’m not saying Ward is going to win by default or that Froch will get robbed even though he’s better than Ward. That’s ignorant and ignores the fact that Ward has got to be a clear favourite based on merit. What I am saying however is that Showtime have got everything riding on this, to put it into perspective, they have enough riding on this that they have allowed Ward to have all of his fights in his home state and allotted him points for a win in a fight he didn’t even have. If Froch were to pull out the boxing performance of his career and make the fight so close you couldn’t honestly pick between either fighter have no doubt the result will reflect a Ward win by 4 or more rounds.
Call me a cynic, and you’d be right, I’m not saying I don’t get things wrong. I predicted Amir Khan wouldn’t take on Zab Judah, and he has (HBO forced the issue!). So I do get it wrong, but in this case I just don’t see how Froch will be allowed to win a points victory over Ward and thus requires a knockout victory.