Does Froch lack the ring intelligence to beat Ward?
By Scott Gilfoid: Photo: Casino/Showtime – To beat a talent like WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward (24-0, 13 KO’s) you have to have supreme ring intelligence along super physical boxing tools. If you have to possess both to beat him because he’s a fighter that is top notch in every facet of his game.
Ward fights WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch (28-1, 20 KO’s) on October 29th in a unification bout in the finals of the Super Six tourney at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. You have to posses an agile mind to beat Ward, and have the ability to think ahead to come up with alternative plans to trap him.
Unfortunately, I don’t think Froch has the ring smarts to out-think Ward. That’s really Froch’s only hope for winning. He doesn’t possess the physical tools. He’s not a huge puncher, and he’s not fast. Froch only has his mind to fall back on for this fight, and I just haven’t seen a sense that he’s a smart fighter in the ring in his past fights.
Let’s take for example Froch’s fight against Andre Dirrell in 2009. When Froch was getting totally out-boxed and humiliated for the first five rounds, he did a crummy job of cornering Dirrell to try and land his shots. Again and again, Froch made huge whiffs with his punches, hitting nothing but air and looking clumsy as heck. Why didn’t Froch just use his wits and cut off the ring on Dirrell?
Instead of doing that, Froch turned the fight physical, body slamming Dirrell in the 5th, throwing rabbit punches, holding and hitting..etc. Had the fight taken place in another venue or had there been a different referee working the fight, who actually enforced the rules instead of letting Froch get away with fouling, we likely would have seen Froch penalized beyond the point of being able to win the fight.
I personally think he should disqualified for the fouling he did in that fight. That’s what I’m talking about. Froch didn’t need to foul; he needed to use his brain to find ways to trap Dirrell and force him into a phone booth fight. As it turns out, Froch was able to get away with fouling, but it was a risky thing to do and not what I consider smart. I have a feeling Froch will do the same thing in the Ward fight when things aren’t going his way.
Instead of being strategic like Ward, I can see Froch going wild in there, tossing Ward around, head butting him, elbowing, rabbit punching, you name it, to try and get things going in his direction. Unfortunately, I can’t see the referee just standing there and no penalizing Froch for it – not after the Joseph Agbeko vs. Abner Mares fight where referee Russell Mora failed to penalize the countless low blows that Mares landed.
I can’t see any referee wanting to risk taking the heat that Mora has taken for not calling the fouls against Mares. This is why I think Froch is going to be in deep trouble against Ward on October 29th. Without the ring intelligence needed to win, I can see Froch turning things messy and resorting to fouling like he did against Dirrell.
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