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Ward a glorious new dawn?

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Ben Dirs | 07:22 UK time, Sunday, 18 December 2011

Another chastening night for British boxing was a potentially great one for the sport in general as Andre Ward announced himself as a fighter of rare quality with a stunning dismantling of Carl Froch in Atlantic City.

How exactly two of the three ringside judges thought the American won by only two rounds is baffling in the extreme and it was left to Froch's fellow Englishman John Keane, who gave it to Ward by a landslide, to provide an accurate assessment of the bout.

Some Froch fans suspected Ward would come a cropper away from his cosy west coast base; some suspected Ward had been given an armchair ride through to the Super Six final; some suspected Froch would out-macho the slickster and bully him on the inside. Some could not have been further from the truth.

With the ageless Bernard Hopkins and five-weight world champion Floyd Mayweather nearing the end of their careers, American fight fans have been crying out for a boxer of Ward's class to emerge for quite some time. On the evidence of his latest triumph they can breathe a collective sigh of relief: the self-proclaimed "Son of God" has finally arrived.

Andre Ward

Former Olympic champion Ward has not lost a fight since he was 12. Photo: Getty

Ward, who added Froch's WBC belt to the WBA title he already owned, might not have turned water into wine at the Boardwalk Hall, but he looked like he could have walked on the stuff if he had tried. As for Froch, there were times during the contest when he appeared to be praying for a Biblical miracle of his own: the calming of the storm, perhaps?

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

Meanwhile, former Olympic champion Ward, who has not been beaten since he was 12, said he was surprised at how slow his rival was. In fairness to Froch, speed is relative, and Ward probably reckons light isn't as slick as it thinks it is.

The die was cast in the very first round, in which Ward strafed Froch with lacerating jabs and hooks. And when Ward backed Froch onto the ropes in the fourth, you knew there was only going to be one result. As Froch would later testify: "He's either up close smothering your work or he's too far out of range. I could never get my shots away."

Ward's technical prowess is a direct result of his impeccable amateur pedigree, a fact that is cause for celebration and despair. Celebration because it demonstrates that a solid grounding in the sport from an early age pays dividends when the vest comes off; despair because the American amateur scene is in a parlous state, with no medals at the 2008 Olympic Games and a solitary bronze at the recent World Championships in Baku.

Froch added that he could have beaten Ward "on a good night". But his good night would have to coincide with a very bad night for Ward. There is no shame in losing to the cream of the crop - as long as you give your all - and Ward proved he is among the creamiest operators out there.

It is unclear where Froch goes from here. He has spoken of avenging his defeat by Denmark's Mikkel Kessler and there was some talk immediately after his defeat by Ward of a fight with IBF title-holder Lucian Bute.

But a more intriguing match-up would be against Welshman Nathan Cleverly, the WBO light-heavyweight title-holder and Britain's sole surviving world champion following a dreadful run of defeats for British boxers in 2011.

Froch may be 34 but he has only had 30 fights, meaning he might have four or five left in him. The great Joe Calzaghe having eluded Froch, a clash with his compatriot Cleverly, possibly at the Millennium Stadium or Nottingham Forest's City Ground, could be of some consolation. It would certainly be a money-spinner, and at this stage in his career Froch only wants top-dollar fights.

As for Ward, he too may have to step up in search of the sort of blockbuster bouts his talents deserve. He could choose to unify the 168lb division by taking on Bute, but having proved beyond doubt he is the main man at super-middleweight with his demolition of Froch, any sane boxing fan would rather see him in with Hopkins or Chad Dawson instead.

Before the fight I suggested one of the reasons the Super Six tournament could not be considered an unbridled success was because it had not spawned a superstar. I could well have been wrong on that front. Although how was I supposed to know just how glorious the "Son of God" would be?

As well as my blogs, you can follow me when I'm out and about - or on the sofa - at http://twitter.com/bendirs1 

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Froch is a good fighter, just not a great one. We could probably say that about a lot of our boxers though after this year.

  • Comment number 2.

    Another arrogant, overrated British pugilist (no more so than in their own eyes) humbled at the hands of a vastly superior oponent. At least in this case the victory was so overwhelming there can be no doubt unlike others recently whose enormous overblown egos simply cannot bring themselves to accept they were defeated by a better man. Hopefully this should permanently deflate the overblown claims of Froch of greatness rather that he has been shown to be exactly what he is - an ordinary fighter.

  • Comment number 3.

    Froch is nothing special in the whole spectrum of International Boxing. The British contingent of DeGale, Froch and Billy Joe Saunders have been portrayed as world-class boxers ever since they turned pro, despite the facts stating otherwise. Ward is a remarkable boxer who really pulls up the notches when it comes to International boxing. He is definitely a huge prospect and I wouldn't bet against him emulating the ranks of Roy Jones Jr, Eubanks or even Calzaghe.
    On a separate point, 2011 hasn't been the best for British boxing. Haye, Khan and Froch have failed in title bouts whilst there seems to be no new golden hope to cheer about.
    Here's hoping for a bit of success in 2012!

  • Comment number 4.

    No shame in defeat Carl. Ward has the potential to be an all time great. Before the criticism on here begins, just look at what Froch has achieved in his last six fights. He just ran into a great in the making. We should applaud our heroes rather than tear them down when they come up just short.

  • Comment number 5.

    It's a bit predictable that a few so called boxing fans now proclaim Froch to only ever have been average because he's lost to Ward. Do you only need to be average to hold the WBC title twice? No, Froch is a very good fighter, no one at domestic or european level could live with him, but as we know, world level is like stepping up from playing in the Premier League to playing international football at the world cup, a huge difference.
    We should at least give kudos to Froch for often travelling to take on the best, we're so quick to criticise fighters for avoiding people, yet with Froch that is still not enough.
    His lack of speed was always going to be a hindrance, but he makes the best of what he has, and I still look forward to his next fight.

  • Comment number 6.

    Froch has never been a great boxer, he has decent power, good chin and lots of heart, an alround good professional who goes in and gives it everything. He is a good boxer, no doubt you must have talent to become world champion but just not at that next level of class. Credit to Ward because he is a very speciel talent and certainly no shame in losing to Ward.

    With regards to british boxing looking down and out, no mention of Kell Brook! I did not see his fight but i have watched him several times and he does look a very good prospect and i can't wait for him to step up and fight for a title. Some great fighters in his weight class so it will be intersting to see his route to a world title.

    Intersting how Khan gets a bashing even when others lose!!!

  • Comment number 7.

    By the way, Froch vs Cleverley would be a fight that I would travel to see live, watching on the telly would not do for me so I hope they can pull that one together because it would be a fantastic dust up as both men love a scrap. Promoters, it's over to you...

  • Comment number 8.

    I would hardly call Froch an ordinary fighter, not an all time great perhaps but this is a man who went toe to toe with jean pascal (who went on to be light-heavyweight world champ) stopped Jermain Taylor with 14 seconds to go in a fight in which he looked certain to lose. In an age when british boxers seem to get hand picked guys until their 30 (some of them even still lose to those guys) Froch has consistently taken on the best in the division and never been in a dull fight. He may come unstuck against the most technically proficient in kesseler, ward (and I thought he was lucky to beat dirrel) but he has the most impressive chin in the sport and deserved far more credit and recognition than he is now likely to ever get. I for one will always wonder what kind of a boxer he might have been had he ever bothered to learn a defence but he a warrior and no ordinary fighter.

  • Comment number 9.

    I really don't find Froch arrogant, or overrated. Sure, he's just been spanked (by one of the most talented boxers I've seen for some time), but I think Froch's recent record stands up against anyone. Six tough fights, no hiding from the best, no money spinning 'easy' fights against Mexcian roadsweepers.

    Hats off to Carl, he came up against a stellar fighter. I hope he gets a couple more big fights, makes a ton of cash, and buys his beloved Forest a player or three.

  • Comment number 10.

    2.At 09:17 18th Dec 2011, John wrote:
    Another arrogant, overrated British pugilist (no more so than in their own eyes) humbled at the hands of a vastly superior oponent. At least in this case the victory was so overwhelming there can be no doubt unlike others recently whose enormous overblown egos simply cannot bring themselves to accept they were defeated by a better man. Hopefully this should permanently deflate the overblown claims of Froch of greatness rather that he has been shown to be exactly what he is - an ordinary fighter.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm pretty sure 'John' is in fact Arthur Abraham.

    I absolutely can't fault Froch - as the post-match interviewer said in the ring, Froch has had arguably the toughest schedule in boxing over the last few years, and has just got on with it without complaint.

    Tonight put me in mind of Hatton v Mayweather; the Brit with all the heart, the American with the prodigous talent. I have to say, after seeing Ward's performance, there is nobody at super-middleweight that can touch him. An outstanding boxer that has pretty much everything. Inside, outside, defense, attack, counter-attack...he made it all look so easy last night. As Ben mentioned in his blog, I expect him to move up to light-heavy in the not too distant future. It'll be intersting to see how he performs at 175lbs.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    I marvelled at some of the ludicrous comments about Froch here. You only have to look at the fighters he has beaten to realise he's one of the best British fighters of the last twenty-five years. The results speak for themselves. He was beaten on this occasion by a boxer who might be spoken of in the same reverent tones as American greats like Sugar Ray Leonard by the time he is Froch's age.

  • Comment number 13.

    The humbling of Carl Froch - he never said he was badly beaten by a great fighter - just that he was 'slippery' and he 'couldn't get his punches off', indicates the hubris of second rate British fighters. But at least he didn't say 'I was robbed' as Amir Khan did. I watched that fight on Sky live, and all of the commentators - all rooting for Khan, pointed out that his persistent fouling was indicative of his losing the fight, afraid to square up to the under-rated Lamont P., a very tough nut to crack. There is no disgrace to losing, but there is disgrace in sore losing.

    At least the blowhard, over-rated David Haye put up no smokescreens or excuses for his demolition by a KlitchKo. Bad show boys.

    To Carl, pick on someone less good next time.

    To Amir, get a rematch in Monaco, or somewhere neutral and win decisively.

    To David, keep those gloves hung up.

  • Comment number 14.

    I believe that you could sum up the fight as one between a hugely talented, brilliantly schooled boxer/fighter against one who is not well schooled and just could not begin to handle Ward's variety of punch, tactics and sheer class. However, to lighten the mood of British viewers there was a very stylish and convincing victory by Kell Brook who possibly could be Ward's equal in a different weight division.

  • Comment number 15.

    People can call Froch average but the facts are he sought out the best fighters on the planet to test himself against and always either won or was at least competitive, against Kessler. Last night Ward provided a masterclass and showed himself to be a class above. No shame for Carl he's still a top fighter.

    Froch could either try to fight Bute next as Bute said he would be willing to fight the loser if the money was right. I would like to see him have a rematch with Kessler although am hugely intrigued by the prospect of Froch-Cleverly

    Can't see Ward moving up anytime soon. He'll dominate the super-middleweight for some time to come now.

  • Comment number 16.

    Froch did his best, he is a man who gives everything and was still trying at the end.However Ward is something special, a former Olympic Champ with a good solid grounding as a pro, speed , rhythm , timing was pitch perfect.If he has one failing he may not have the instant killer punch but he is growing, has landed the golden egg and now surely greatness will be his.Lot of respect for Froch, he has never been afraid to travel abroad to fight, but ran into a man who in reality (forget what two judges cards said) barley lost a round in the Super Six.

  • Comment number 17.

    No shame in losing to a better man, I don't know how this suddenly makes Froch an average fighter or incapable of fighting on the world stage.

    He's already proved he's one of the best in the world at his weight with some of his recent bouts but unfortunately this bout just proved he isn't THE best Super Middleweight in the world.

    I hope he can secure a rematch with Ward or a fight with Bute and give it one more go.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm normally pretty good at picking fights - sure, I've picked some bad ones too.

    Thought Hatton would be too big for Pac (although so did about 80% of boxing fans at the time and I though if a fat, slow Samuel Peter can get inside Wlad - then Haye will be able to too.

    Wlad showed in the Haye fight that he would he had levels he could move up to as far as using his footwork, jab and could significantly raise the tempo when pressurising and stepped those levels up when he fought Haye.

    However, from the moment I saw Ward dismantle Kessler, I've said with conviction he'd win the S6.

    I knew he'd dominate Froch and expose Froch's deficiencies as a fighter. I knew Ward's speed and skill set would be too much for Froch.

    Although, give Froch full credit - it must have been extremely frustrating and dishearting for him but he kept going to the final bell and, what he lacks in skill, you certainly can't knock him for in heart or effort.

    He gave it his all to the final bell.

    I don't know what the judges were thinking and the only thing I can think of was with all the American hometown nonsense that had been going on, the judges were trying to make sure they couldn't get accused of any skullduggery.

    On anyones card that really knows boxing - that was far wider than 2 rounds. I thought the English judges was accurate with 7/8.

    What i wasn't surprised at, like a lot of people seemed to be, was that Ward bullied Froch and was the stronger of the too on the inside - Ward is physically very strong and if you watch his other fights - has a top inside game.

    What did surprise me is Ward didn't use his footwork that much - which i thought he'd do early to avoid and frustrate Froch - instead chose to stand in front of him and beat him to the punch or counter him, as Ward said himself in the interview after was surprised at just how slow Froch was, he must of thought there wasn't any need to use his footwork.

    What I admire about Ward is his ability to study a fighter and fight a different way each time, he can fight, outside, inside, use his footwork or stand in front of you, he has great lateral movement - head and body and a variety of different combinations and selections of punches and adapt during the fight.

    Basically, he can do it all and his ability to select what best to use for each different opponent and being a Chameleon in each fight, makes him a very tough opponent to beat.

    Something interesting I picked up from his first class coach - Virgil Hunter, telling Ward to stop double jabbing and use a different movement in the next round so that Froch doesn't start getting used to his rhythm.

    Just can't see that kind of advise being given to a lot of the one dimensional 'warriors' that Britain seems to love and produce.

    Britain seems to be too keen on fighters that can have a 'war' over the last 10 years, which is why we rarely see fighters with skills coupled with the ring IQ of guys like Hopkins, Mayweather and Ward.

    That's not boxing.

    And is the reason why many of Champions will get beat - there all round game insn't strong enough - too one dimensional with no back up plans and not high enough intelligence or versatility to go to when things aren't working.

    Take Khan for example - it's no good being great in one area - speed, if you have no inside game.

    And this is what Ward does superbly - he doesn't have a weak area, which makes a top fighter.

    What next for Froch and Ward - there's plenty of fights still left out there for Froch.

    Froch could rematch Kessler, I think he has some unfinished business at SMW.

    There's huge potential money spinning showdowns depending on how long Froch stays at SMW - with either Groves or DeGale.

    Then isn't any need for Froch to move up yet as he makes SMW with ease.

    When he does step upto LHW.

    There's a potential showdown between Cleverly and Froch that can happen then - I'd at least like to see Cleverly in with a decent test first - as he is very green and it makes a fight with Froch at this stage at uneven.

    At the moment Cleverly is a belt holder and has plenty to prove, Froch won't get much respect for beating Cleverly at the moment, as he is far too green and proven nothing.

    I'm sure Froch would rather face a Hopkins, Dawson or rematch Pascal first.

    I think in 3 fights time, possibly at the end of 2012 that would be a top British fight.

    For Ward - probably Bute next - followed up by a step up to LHW. The only fighter I see beating Ward is Hopkins (although at 47 it gets less likely by the day).

    No doubt there's plenty of huge fights for Ward at SMW or LHW.

    All in all a bad year for professional British boxing.

    Haye, Khan and Froch losing promising the World and knockouts but getting convincly beaten (except for Khan which was close).

    On a brighter note the amateur boxing has had a great year - double gold medals for Wales in the European Championships for Andrew Selby and Fred Evans and Selby also picking up Silver in the World's along with Hull's luke Campbell.

    I think Britain has a excellent chance of picking some medals in the olympics with about 5 lads imo capable of doing so, hopefully the future is still looking promising.

  • Comment number 19.

    how can you see british boxers are overrated and arrogant, firstly it should be appluaded that we produced world champions, if we compare uk to us, uk fits in us 35 times, so yeah us will prodcue better singers sue to the large ratioo, and ward is a good figther but could be something special, but guess what his always fighting home, meaning in us, the crowd was behind him, i would've like to see him with a hostile crowd, and to amir khan his talented but to flashy nowdays and lost to a a better man, but now bradley wants to fight peterson lol thats funny

  • Comment number 20.

    I think Froch possibly started to early, but the speed of Ward was to difficult to cope with. I also think he looked edgy and realised quite quickly that trying to over power him wasn't going to work, as ward was to slick and fast and could mix it well on the inside.

    But saying that if it had been a fight to 15 rounds i think Froch could have beat him.

    There will always be critics and uneducated so called boxing fans and say Froch is no good or whatever, but what we have to realise is that this ward is a special talent, and i can see him retiring unbeaten.

  • Comment number 21.

    Ward is something special, testimony is the six fight series was the cream of the crop, and Ward has hardly lost a round.Kessler was dismantled , dazzled with combinations, the same Kessler who gave Calzaghe as much he could handle.Amercian boxing is not in a healthy state at the moment so Ward is Mana from heaven.But for those who love pugilism , a talent like his when standards are not quite what they where is a cause for all of us to celebrate.Long live the King.

  • Comment number 22.

    @ no.3: "Ward is a remarkable boxer... He is definitely a huge prospect and I wouldn't bet against him emulating the ranks of Roy Jones Jr, Eubanks or even Calzaghe.

    even calzaghe? to imply that roy jones (at his peak) was a level below calzaghe is just plain absurd.

    anyway, i agree that it is great for boxing that some american prospects are stepping up. i thought seth mitchell looked strong vs ibragimov the other week, and im interested to see how he progresses next year. cant wait.

    from a brit point of view, terrible year. although credit is due to froch for who he has fought; he has taken on all comers at the division in a punishing few years. hopefully he has got a few fights left in him, have loved watching him and i feel he deserves another crack at kessler

  • Comment number 23.

    I'm amazed to see people saying Froch is not world class; I wonder what they mean by that? To me, someone world class is a fighter who can hold his head up and win most of his matches against the best of the rest of the world. It doesn't mean they have to be the best in their division, never mind pound for pound best. Froch has faced the best available opponents in a way that even Eubank or Benn did not, and he has beaten some absolutely top drawer fighters. He's come up short twice, but then so did Lennox Lewis, Muhammad Ali, Ray Leonard, anyone you care to mention. He's proven himself world class, but he hasn't proven himself the best super middleweight in the world. I also admire the way he's dealt with his defeats; he hasn't cried foul or claimed he was robbed in either fight, nor made excuses, he's simply manned up and said "Fair play, he was the better man tonight". Froch's not the second coming of Hagler, but I wish we had more like him.

  • Comment number 24.

    Called this one wrong. Had a sneaking feeling Froch would edge it.

    He just came up against an excellent world class fighter in Ward who seems to have it all, albeit not a big banger.

    Fair play to Froch for effort.

  • Comment number 25.

    Didn't see the fight, unfortunately, but I'd like to see Froch carry on and even win a title back. As he said before the fight, even the loser last night has somewhere to go. Really curious to see if Ward is as good as some of the drooling over this fight would suggest. I've never really gone out of my way to watch any of his match-ups but I'll see if I can fight them online now.

  • Comment number 26.

    Lol some 'funny' good comments here.

    Froch is world class but not as good as Ward, Kessler or Bute. However his record is already better than Calzaghe's.

    Ward was my pick from the start. The guy has immense skills and that should have been recognised from the start.

    Khan is being a terrible loser and a loser of his own making.

    Haye was firstly unlucky to face a very good HW champ but have no doubt, he lost badly and was exposed.

  • Comment number 27.

    I also admire the way he's dealt with his defeats; he hasn't cried foul or claimed he was robbed in either fight, nor made excuses, he's simply manned up and said "Fair play, he was the better man tonight". Froch's not the second coming of Hagler, but I wish we had more like him.

    You can't be serious - the Kessler fight he still hasn't stopped moaning about even though the majority of Carl Froch fans and British press thought he lost to Kessler.

    He could hardly claim that last night after being dominated like that.

    Like I said, an elite fighter of the division, just not 'the elite fighter of the division'.

    A good fighter but far from great - I don't think anybody that loses to Kessler is a a great fighter.

    Kessler is great a what he does but if you're a great fighter you'll have enough in your toolkit and be versatile and have the ability to adapt to beat a fighter Kessler.

    Froch couldn't do that and I place him alongside Kessler when ranking him i.e. quality but tier below the very best.

    Froch's had a good career - and there's plenty of quality fights left for him, but his true level was shown last night as far as how good he really is.

  • Comment number 28.

    #20.Shadow warrior.
    "But saying that if it had been a fight to 15 rounds i think Froch could have beat him."

    Funnily enough during rounds 11 and 12 when there were glimpses (albeit brief) of Ward looking tired/rattled, I was thinking the same thing.

    But that is hypothetical and probably wishful thinking, bigger picture was a question of 'levels'. No doubt Froch is world class but on the basis of last night Ward could be the best of a generation. Brought home also how Amir Khan has alot going for him but not yet the complete package like Ward.

    As a fan I hope Froch carries on, there are some exciting fights and memorable nights still left in his career; definitely one we will miss when he is gone.

    Ben's point on amateur pedigree is an interesting one and at least for British boxing not a cause for despair. Very excited about what the current crop can do at the Olympics next year and beyond, got to take the positives out somehow!

  • Comment number 29.

    Froch is world class but not as good as Ward, Kessler or Bute. However his record is already better than Calzaghe's.

    How do you work that one out? Quite frankly this a laughable statement, particularly now.

    Has he unified twice?

    No.

    Has he held all for belts and the ring? No.

    Has he proven to be the man in his division undisputed. No.

    One common opponent they've had - Kessler - Calzaghe won comfortably, Froch lost.

    Has Froch stepped up a division to beat a legend in a weight above - No.

    Is froch a two weight world Champ. No.

    I can go on and on.....

  • Comment number 30.

    @John, aka Arthur, what nonsense. Firstly, if you listen to any of Carls interviews he is very respectful towards his opponents and realistic about his fights. He is one of the least arrogant boxers out there. Don't forget Ward calls himself son of god (hmmmm). Of course Froch is world class. How else would be win the WBC title twice and beat Pascal, Dirrell et al? Ward is truly exceptional, however. I look forward to George Groves in 2-3 years .. He really is an exciting prospect if he sorts his defence out. He made de gale look stupid and his last fight was a very good performance. Froch should move up to light heavy.

  • Comment number 31.

    Don't forget Ward calls himself son of god (hmmmm).

    Actually, this has been clarified many times. Ward is a 'son of god' not the 'son of god'

    If you go to Ward's website you will see the bible quotation that he is referring to.

  • Comment number 32.

    Froch is World Class - there isn't a doubt about that.

  • Comment number 33.

    I was slightly suprised at the end Carl felt the scoring of 115-113 was about right, because to me you had to bend over backwards to give him maybe 5 and 12 at the most.

  • Comment number 34.

    Froch has nothing for which to reproach himself. Those who are indulging in the strangely British sport of grave-dancing miss the mark by miles and expose themselves as buffoons. Of world class himself, Froch was a clear second best to a great natural talent. It may tell us the truth about his limitations, but he has shown fewer of those than most boxers of his nationality. Not many British fighters (Dennis Andries would be at the head of this category) have made as much use of the talent they possessed as Froch. His achievements entitle him to a place among the top 20 fighters that the UK has ever sent out. That may emphasise the fact that we've only ever really had about three or four true all-time boxing greats, but it's still not a bad epitaph.

    On another note, you called the result correctly, Ben. Nice one.

  • Comment number 35.

    I'd agree with the entire post from the Captain.

    Limited, open defensively, uncoordinated (which actually in a strange way has helped him) due to his long arms and awkwardness being difficult for fighters to decipher, his unpredictable style has been beneficial for Froch even though he it doesn't look great on the eye.

    Froch has made as much from his talent as any fighter I can think of, and this coupled with his professionalism should be commended and shown as an example to all young kids out there looking to box.

  • Comment number 36.

    What is the surprise with the way Ward won? He won in exactly the same fashion two years ago, when he beat Mikkel Kessler. That was his coming out party.

    Great class shown afterwards by Froch - no excuses made. If only the loser from last week had the same sense.

  • Comment number 37.

    Surprised at the copmments by many who should know better, been around boxing most of my life and I am a retired senior , but I watched most of the fight as turned on later, but it was a very poor fight very messy and the refereee was useless or worse he was biased.
    He should NEVER have allowed so much clutching and holding , horrible to watch , granted Froch is not a top class fighter but he could have beaten Ward if the fight was open not grab and hold and hit on the break its Wards modus , ugly to watch , he will not go far if hes in the ring with a proper ref and not in his home country, Froch can not make it in the top class but hes a decnt fighter with a good punch , hes too slow and has not best defense , he was overly generous to his opponent after and most of the boxing commenters did not know what they were talking about , way , way, too much grabbing and dangerous use of the head in close very Bernard Hopkins like , Froch needs to talk to Joe Calzac for tips on inside fighting , but no most of the commenters should watch a replay it looked more like the Waltz of the Toreadors only the boxers were much closer in body contact.

  • Comment number 38.

    The only truly World Class SMW's Froch has fought have beaten him- Kessler and Ward. The others in the tournament which he beat were blown up Middleweights or in Glen Johnson case, a light heavyweight who hadn't fought at SMW for 12 years. Froch would also get beat by Bute, and maybe even Bika IMHO.

  • Comment number 39.

    Whilst I don't necesarily agree withit, I think the comment comparing Froch's record to Calzaghe's was alluding to the quality of opposition faced: While Calzaghe did take on legends like Hopkins, either he or Frank Warren (make you own minds up) made sure that these oppoonents were a way past their peak. The truth is, we will never know how Calzaghe compares to the top fighters of his generation, as he fought them at at time when comparisons were unfair.
    Froch, to his credit has fought the best in his division while they are still performing. He may have sacrificed his unbeaten recod to do it, but I have gained far mor respect for him as a result.

  • Comment number 40.

    McTash, Kessler was past his best when Froch fought him. Calazaghe fought him when he was at his peak. Also I would argue against the suggesion that Hopkins was past his best when Calzaghe beat him. Hopkins was on his best run at LHW, and ignoring his defeat to Calzaghe, he has continued to fight and beat the best in that division since the Calzaghe fight.

  • Comment number 41.

    The only way to settle the Froch/Calzaghe argument is in the ring. Calzaghe is now the same age as Jones jr was when they fought, so can have no excuses.

  • Comment number 42.

    Whilst I don't necesarily agree withit, I think the comment comparing Froch's record to Calzaghe's was alluding to the quality of opposition faced: While Calzaghe did take on legends like Hopkins, either he or Frank Warren (make you own minds up) made sure that these oppoonents were a way past their peak.

    --------------

    Yep, because Hopkins hasn't beaten every fighter he's faced since - like Pascal (Froch's best win has he)?

    Or, actually he has. Joe beat a better, fresher version of Kessler. An undefeated Kessler and took his '0'.

    I don't know why people have to make this about Calzaghe - i haven't seen anyone on here gloating about Froch's loss or mocking Froch with Calzaghe.

    Froch's record is good but way overrated. The reality is because his fights have come one after the other some people lose the ability to actually analyse individually where exactly each fighter was in their career when Froch fought them.

    Pascal - struggled at the weight and moved up straight after. LHW unproven at SMW.
    Taylor - lost 4 and drew 1 out of his last 7 fights - including being stopped 4 times - his best days were long gone. Middleweight unproven at SMW.
    Dirrell - green as they come.
    AA - Middleweight, limited and unproven at SMW
    Johnson - can somebody tell me the last fight Johnson won before fighting Froch? He lost and drew with Clinton Woods, plus moving down a division to fight.

    The harsh reality is Froch has never beaten a proven SMW champion - the only two he's fought he's lost to - Kessler, Ward.

    ----------------

    The truth is, we will never know how Calzaghe compares to the top fighters of his generation, as he fought them at at time when comparisons were unfair.

    Nonsonse - Joe was more on the slide than Hopkins and Hopkins has proven it since - age doesn't mean one fighter has less to offer, some fighters at shot by their late 20's others go on into their 40's.

    It's about preservation and professionalism - looking after yourself, you're style of fighting.

    RJJ was past it but Hopkins - as he's proven since with wins over Pavlik, Pascal etc, not a chance.

    --------------

    Froch, to his credit has fought the best in his division while they are still performing.

    How has Hopkins beaten Pascal then? if Pascal's performing but Hopkins is past it?

    He may have sacrificed his unbeaten recod to do it, but I have gained far mor respect for him as a result.

    Respect to Froch, a true warrior! but a lot of your arguments are nonsense.

  • Comment number 43.

    I take the point about Kessler and, absolutely, but I'm not sure Joe would have beaten Hopkins (or Roy Jones) had he taken them on 5 years earlier. I'm not knocking Calzaghe, but there will forever be question marks over certain opponents. The Jeff Lacy fight was the pinnacle of his career, performance wise, and that victory was against a man that, while being hyped up by the Americans, was rather unproved against top level opposition.
    As I say, I have a ton of respect for Joe and he was hampered by the fact that the very best in and around his division (Jones Jr, James Tony etc) were already moving up to LHW and beyond by the time he was in a position to challenge them. However, this is not really the subject of this blog, and it would be a shame to hijack the discussion debating the career of a different fighter. I'm sure we'll get the opportunity at some point.

  • Comment number 44.

    I didnt read every single comment, we think that its been a bad year for British boxers, but not exactly. I like Brook, and while his opponent was not the best, i think he should be getting more chances to hit the bigger fights, i personally feel he could defeat Khan. I know alot of people of saying Khan is a bad loser, but he must be devastated, as this defeat has set Khan back a few fights to getting his massive fights and world wide recognition. BUt for me Khan should be blaming himself, i think Khan thought he won the fight before even throwing a punch. The ref was bad and Khan should have stepped up a gear which i think he can.

    We also have some good news domestically, Mitchell is back on the map, Grooves i think we need to see 1 or 2 more fights from him, but head and shoulders above everyone is Brooks. Composed, fast powerful, hits well, has a very good style.

    I think Froch will come back a better fighter, he is a true warrior, he spoke about his defeat as being not prepared enough, he will have learned alot and he is for sure someone who has that pride of a fighter to come back.

    Still think Froch is world class as he can mix and go the distance with anyone in the world, but i think that Ward is just one of those fighters that comes about every now and again, cant see anyone beating ward, he has to much diversity in his fighting style, he has plan A, plan B and plan C,D,E and god knows how many more.

  • Comment number 45.

    Mctash - imo Calzaghe was more on the slide than Hopkins, his speed and relaxes had diminished - that had never been Hopkins' game, it had always been his intelligence, which only gets better with age, and he's proven many times since - he's still the best LHW for goodness sake.

    There isn't any question mark over Hopkins - he's a legend and wouldn't still be the best LHW 5 years later if there was.

    Calzaghe would have been worse for Hopkins earlier, with his speed and reflexes.

    But, it isn't the point of the blog and like you say, don't want to go off subject - lets agree to disagree.

    Bute seems to want a fight with Froch regardless, Kessler rematch, Dirrell rematch, Ward - there's plenty for Froch to still get his teeth stuck into.

    Bute's a winnable fight for him for a start - not saying he'll win it, but it's winnable where I just didn't see that with the Ward fight.

  • Comment number 46.

    I notice this has been edited as when I read a very similar post earlier it stated that we had only 1 world champion now, the writer has obviously never been north of the border where we not only have one but a 2 weight one

  • Comment number 47.

    Just reread and he does in fact state Cleverley is the only British World Champion.....another EBB comment...Ricky Burns, arguably the MOST IMPRESSIVE british fighter of the last 2 years

  • Comment number 48.

    lovethehoops - Ricky is the interim champion at the moment, not the fully fledged, so at the moment he isn't a World Champion and isn't a 2 weight World Champion, so, Ben is right.

    He's done great though over the last two years though - you're right about that.

  • Comment number 49.

    If Froch is such a poor boxer as some people seem to think. Why do his critics even bother with him?? Get off the bandwagon and look at his past record!!!

  • Comment number 50.

    Lovethehoops - If you're referring to Ricky Burns, he isn't currently a world champion. He holds the WBO interim lightweight crown, Juan Manuel Marquez is the proper WBO title-holder. So yes, we only have one world champion.

    mrireland - With the greatest respect, I'm not sure we were watching the same fight. Grabbing and holding? Ugly? The referee was almost invisible in there and Ward was very far from ugly, it was a beautiful performance.

    I think some of you are being very harsh on Carl Froch. As his trainer Rob McCracken admitted afterwards, he got beaten by a special fighter, simple as that. That doesn't make him 'ordinary' or 'average', it just makes him not quite top of the heap. No real fight fan will forget the run he's put together over the last few years, he's been a magnificent ambassador for British boxing, and anyone who says any different is being mean-spirited and churlish in the extreme.

  • Comment number 51.

    Ben the referee was invisible , thats why the incidents of clutching and holding continued , while some rush in to stop holding , they at times look selective rather than uniform, its a TACTIC but not one that I admire, however if you do you are entitled to your opinion and no doubt further comments will follow in due course .

  • Comment number 52.

    Damn it, I slept right through it.

    Can we have it in YouTube please somebody?

    Shame though about our boxers not doing so well over there.

    Where are our promoters? Good ol' Harry Levene and Jack Solomon were our best promoters ever, they spoilt us with world class promotion every year in the 60s and 70s.

  • Comment number 53.

    I find it disappointing, though predictable, that Froch is dismissed as an average fighter. Froch is a world class fighter, as being twice world champion proves. He has been willing to travel anywhere to fight the best in the division (unlike many, many others).

    He has limitations in terms of speed and technique, however is one of the fittest and most determined fighters I have seen. He has a massive heart and never knows when he is beaten.

    I suspect he would be an all time great over 15 rounds, unfortunately we live in a world of 12 round fights.

    Those who dismiss him as average also detract from the plaudits that Ward deserves, as he provided a masterclass in boxing this morning. The fight against Froch has catapulted him towards the top of the P4P fighters in the world. Any performance against an average fighter would not do this.

  • Comment number 54.

    We all hoped Froch would come up with some magical force to overcome Wards Natural Skills and very quick Footwork, I felt that leading up to this fight Froch lost his Humble-ness which kind of Made me worry about how Embarrised he would be, if then getting not just beaten, but Beaten soundly and made to look like a Chump in the Process. It was Awful to have to Watch the fight, but remember, The super Six was really just a Super Con, now all the belts are together and the USA have showcased there new great one against a stream of pointless oposition, Bute next for Froch, then Ward and Bute as i can honeslty say..Forget it carl.

  • Comment number 55.

    Andre Ward is the opponent Calzaghe never had. Its such a shame, he came along 5 years too late. That would've been a great fight to see.

    Froch was great in his post fight interview, Haye and Khan could learn a lot from him

  • Comment number 56.

    Froch is certainly not average - he is most definitely World Class as he has proven over his last 6 fights.

    I think it's easy to discredit Froch on the back of last nights performance but Ward is a very talented fighter let not forget.

    Maybe some disappointed fans sick of Brits talking a lot and promising the World - which Haye, khan and Froch have all guilty of.

    Talk is cheap and when our fighters - (particularly Haye and Froch) talk the best game in the World and don't deliver and as was the case with hate and Froch last night get completely outclassed, unfair criticism of Froch as a fighter is bound to happen where frustrated fight fans will be quick to assess with there overriding disappointment weighing heavily still.

    However, Froch, like Ben says, has been a great ambassador for British boxing and has achieved far more than most would have believed possible before he won a World Title.

    He is not 'average' or 'ordinary' - he is a fighter with many deficiencies and limitations but he is an elite fighter of his division, a two time World Champion and that is an achievement to be very proud of.

  • Comment number 57.

    I think some people on here are being very harsh on Froch and also the young British boxers coming through. Firstly, Froch has lost two bouts, Kessler, which was a debatable decision, and Ward who most will agree is a future p4p king. He has held two world titles in two different reigns, and beaten some of the best in his division. Those who say he is average can feel free to give a critique on his record. As for him being 'arrogant', I couldn't disagree more, all boxers are confident guys and his post bout interview was one of a disappointed fighter not an arrogant. This was a career defining fight for Froch and it is hard to be upbeat less than 10 minutes after the fight end when you have been completely outpointed.

    The future of British boxing is still bright, Ricky Burns looks a world class lightweight, Cleverly will continue to improve when put up against proven world level fighters, and the likes of Eubank, Fury, Brook & Groves still have much untapped potential.

  • Comment number 58.

    Do not think any of the six are class acts , Calzac was better than any of them in my opinion, he was under rated , but never had enough great fights to prove himself, did not reckon him earlier , but he won my respect with some good wins over wily fighters , Hopkins was in amazing condition , and as crafty as they come , not a clean fighter , but Froch et al not in his class , did not know Ward as an amateur , he is not attractive to watch and really never hurt Froch who looked ready for another few rounds , Froch is not normally an in your face type like Mayweather , Hopkins etc but must British boxers always be humble , this game is not hopscotch , thats why I liked Calzac , he never minded kicking rather than kissing A..

  • Comment number 59.

    I think I'd want my glorious new dawn for the sport to be a bit less dirty than Andre Ward. Hardly the shining moral example one would expect from his constant references to the almighty.

    Froch didn't object of course - not his style. But if that had been, say, Amir Khan in against Ward, his post-bout whining would have reached supersonic levels: and with a lot more justification than last week I have to say.

    Thought Ward looked very awkward and slippery - good intuitive technique rather than textbook ringcraft, which I do always like to see. Not on the level of Calzaghe I would say, or Roy Jones in his pomp, but the Bute fight should be very interesting.

  • Comment number 60.

    everyone he doesnt say he's son of god he says he is SOLDIER OF GOD look up his profile on wikipedia...........................

  • Comment number 61.

    its SOLDIER guys not SON............

  • Comment number 62.

    Mahmood, It's son of God.

  • Comment number 63.

    Mahmood Hajee - As any self-respecting journalist knows (or should do), never use Wikipedia as your sole source: his own website says 'Son of God' (along with the quote, "For you are all sons of God through the faith in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:26)

  • Comment number 64.

    The idea of the tournament is a good one - best fighting the best. This is what many people have wanted to see for years for boxing. Only downside was that it took too long - 26 months or so.

    The number of belts needs to be slimmed down to 3 or 4 organisations and the best should regulalry fight the best. This is what the public wants to see and this will add to boxing's credibility.

    And hopefully we will see Mayweather Vs Pacquio!

  • Comment number 65.

    Froch looked amaturish last night. He was pondourous and was never, ever going to out box Ward. Carl had to hassle and back him up to win. Ward is both slick in attack, defence and at spoiling. As good as he looked the spoiling ruined the fight. I can't understand how the ref allowed Ward to hold and punch, use the open hand to shove and throw the fore arm in Froch's face.

    Saying that Carl lost because he tried to box. That might sound a daft thing to say but he needed to jump all over him and make the man work harder than he did. Froch's engine proved to be superior and if he'd have used that to up the tempo I feel he would have faired better. Ward stung Froch but never hurt him and with all the gobbing off Carl did, he sould have put more into walking him down, cutting off the ring and robing his strength.

    Matt..

  • Comment number 66.

    if people want to mock Joe Calzaghe's record

    Did not he beat Eubank to win the title in the first place ?

    secondly the Americans Hopkins, Jones Jr, Tarver, Jermaine Taylor, Winky Wright they all ducked him and did not think he deserved a shot..that was until Hopkins and JOnes Jr knew their career were washed up and needed a big fight to keep themselves in the limelight

    They both had plenty of opportunities to take on Joe when he was younger....Joe actually respect Hopkins' dedication once..that was before that goading he took in New York from "the Executioner"

    The Americans said Joe could only box in the UK so what does Joe do come out and take on the best they could offer.

    Joe was right he would beat Froch because his style is adaptable whereas Froch is an unorthodox and not pretty and one dimensional
    Joe beat Hopkins in his own backyard and the Executioner is still moaning about injustice to this day

    It aint Joe's fault the boxing politics of some of his opponents meant they would not meet earlier

  • Comment number 67.

    Froch was never in the fight from the opening bell. He was far too slow, sluggish and his hooks were no more than open palmed slaps. A very poor performance from Froch much amplified by his pre fight boasting. Ward in contrast was an intelligent pre-fight commentator and literally took Froch apart on the night. Froch would have been lucky to win one round on my scoring. The fact he was pushed around the ring like a rag doll shows very poor preperation too : did they really think someone with Ward's record and pedigree would be weak and allow himself to fight Froch's fight? Very poor from Froch and his team but congratulations to him nonetheless for getting there.

  • Comment number 68.

    Carl, seriously gutted for you, you talked the talk but walked my granny`s walk ......Ward was robbed that they did not give him every round and I hope you go home chastened..Rob Mcracken, your top drawer...but no improvements since the Taylor fight when the writing was on the wall........why ? The smart boxer always wins against the brawler!!!!! Wise up and get with them...Ward was smart and well prepared and beat you guys in every round. I love boxing but now firmly believe that the UK is finished..we cannot keep pumping these guys up to think they are world beaters when they get taken apart by guys with no power but slick skills.......this has been happening for years...'I`ll walk through him' - just don`t wash anymore !!!!!!

  • Comment number 69.

    I can't understand why Rob McCraken is coming in for stick. He's improved Froch significantly throughout his reign and is a first class coach who is also doing a fantastic job with the amateur team as the medals reflect.

    If it wasn't for McCraken Froch wouldn't have achieved half of what he has and Froch has said as much himself.

    Trainers aren't miracle workers when their fighter is in with a guy that's a class above.

  • Comment number 70.

    I thought ward would win on points due to carl being to easy to hit, and unfortunately it turned out that way as i love to watch carl fight and wanted him to win.

    oh and i agree with whoever said the referee was horrible, he let holding go on for far to long, it killed the flow of fight in a lot of rounds, only in last 3 or 4 rounds did he begin to break them up. thou i did think carl was to busy looking at ref when they where tangled, while ward kept on finding punches to wear carl down.

  • Comment number 71.

    Carl was slow, lazy and looking to the ref for excuses...a very poor performance and I have always been a huge fan of carls. Last night was a disaster and it was hardly like Ward hid what he could do, he showed it thorughout the super six and based on what I saw last night I thought I had prepared my wife better to even watch the fight......jump on Ward, be busy, wear him out, step back, move etc etc. Carl looked like my grandad and he has a zimmer and moves like a techtonic plate !!! very poor. Good manners to be polite and praise Ward. Ward isn`t anywhere near the absolute pound for pound best, anyone remeber Haye`s crack at the Klitchko`s ? we are all still sick at how bad it went but he is still counting the £1`s !!!! Wake up UK, your being fleeced in front of your eyes......

  • Comment number 72.

    @50 - Ben Dirs
    Got to say I tend to agree with mrireland. I found it to be a very boring fight, Wards style may mean he will outbox or dominate most fights but he never once looked like knocking Froch out. Not my type of boxing and not great entertainment, I wouldn't bother watching another another ward fight

  • Comment number 73.

    lost against Kessler, Lost against Ward....beat taylor, beat Abraham...tells me he`s a middleweight. i never knew a few pounds made that much difference...either that or class I dunno ?

  • Comment number 74.

    There is far too much Froch slating going on here!

    Carl is a fantastic fighter and has represented his country well. He has faced the best in the division and overall come out on top. His loss last night was to a special fighter who may well go on to be an all time great.

    All too often Brits (and others) slate top professionals like Froch after a loss or two. Look at Ricky Hatton for example. I find this ridiculous. These guys are at the top of their sport and coming up short to a better oponent is part and parcel of boxing.

  • Comment number 75.

    @50 - Ben Dirs
    I also agree with mrireland and Reinasbaldhead..... this wasn't a beautiful fight at all. Yes, Ward is clearly a special fighter... but the way he fights is not entertaining at all. From a skill perspective I was impressed. As a spectacle, I wasn't. At no point did Ward look close to stopping or knocking Froch out. If (and yes, it is a huge if!) Froch had connected then I think he may well have stopped Ward.

  • Comment number 76.

    your not at the top of your sport if you lose to Kessler and Ward. He has represented the UK well. Last night he was a swing and lunge merchant and We have seen that before from Carl and it did not work...Rob Mcracken should have changed things but did not, well respectfully, not as much as I could see.
    I watch a fair amount of sport and to be honest I always get nervous when someone tells me they will outmuscle, outwork, 'have too much' 'be too much' etc etc for their opponent. Yet again last night I did not see Carl being too strong, walking down, taking into the trenches etc etc Andre Ward. I bet Andre is somewhere tonight relaxing with a few small bruises...Carl barely clipped him - Wise Up guys !!!! This is all on the back of Lacy v Calzaghe a few years back, JC lucked in with Lacy, he choked big time and Joe went to town. It aint gonna happen again, certainly not in the US against 1D Froch !!!! No movement Carl,No skill, come on.............

  • Comment number 77.

    #29 I agree with almost most of that but none of that matters. I'm not arguing with Joe's ability but his record. If he wanted a great one, he would have stepped up earlier and not so selectively. He only became a name in the US when he fought Manfredo. The guy who lost on the Sly Stallone boxing show!

    One on one, Joe would beat Carl. But thats not the point. Its about greatness. Not could be greatness. Joe's career is littered with the could have been. I.e. welcome to the world of Frank Warren/Sky Sports/British boxing.

    But back on track, well done Carl, one of the best SMW in the world after a gruelling tourno. Thats a great achievement.

  • Comment number 78.

    For boxing to be rejuvenated it will take more than one great fighter to come along. There needs to be at least two... and those two will need to actually compete against each other.
    The problems boxing faces are not just a lack of talent, but when that talent does appear, it is squandered by the sport's fundamental flaws, mainly disorganisation and greed.

  • Comment number 79.

    Stayed up and watched the full programme and there was some pretty good fights. I thought the Froch-Ward was the worst of the lot, on account of Froch being completely outboxed. However, I think perhaps the hype surrounding Ward is a little over the top, Froch was never really in trouble and would probably have walked onto punches for another 12 rounds. The gulf in class between fighters was obvious, but the mention of sticking Ward in number 3 of pound for pound fighters is quite ridiculous. Take Calzaghes destruction of Jeff Lacy as my example, now that was pure class and the boy Lacy could barely get off his stool by round 12. For me Froch is very cumbersome and has been in any fight i have seen him in, but credit to him for fighting a losing battle.
    On the topic of britains poor year on the boxing front, I find it hard to accept it as a poor year. 2011 has seen british fighters fighting for world titles and that in itself is not a bad thing for this small island of ours. We are still producing boxers at both amateur level and professional level who are either winning medals, winning titles or contending boxings biggest prizes. Khan and Haye learnt a harsh lesson, Froch is not as good as he believes but is still a top draw in his weight category.However the so called lesser lights for me actually shone and made us proud -
    Darren Baker gave a great account of himself against Sergio martinez,
    Matthew Macklin was beaten perhaps contentiously against Sturm in Sturms backyard
    Martin Murray followed it up and went out and got a draw against Sturm which is no mean feat,
    Ricky Burns looks tidy and has quietly got himself into contention for a big fight,
    I'm not convinced with Cleverly but others seem more positive about him,
    Kevin Mitchell seems to have his head sorted and hopefully can fulfill early promise, and finally - in my opinion - the best of the British bunch (including Haye, Khan and Froch) - Kell Brook, i genuinely feel he is the real deal and will provide us with some great nights now he has taken the big step across to America.

    So british fight fans, keep the faith, the future's bright, the future's british

  • Comment number 80.

    ward was very very good and is a cut above anyone in the super middleweight division. there is no shame in frochs performance who is the best of the rest in that divsion. i miss joe calzaghe; he was so underated and was a true great. would love to have seen him fight ward in his prime. he would have beat ward.
    hopes for 2012; would love to see amir khan vs kell brook. i think brook would come out on top. would also like to see fury vs david price.

  • Comment number 81.

    To give some idea of the task facing Carl Froch last night:

    I've just perused the roll-call of Olympic champions at light-heavyweight, and apart from Cassius Clay and Leon Spinks, few names stand out...

  • Comment number 82.

    If Cassius Clay was British he'd be slagged off by some British fans. Froch is a great boxer that has been beaten by a better one on the night.

  • Comment number 83.

    Hello all and many thanks for all your comments. I have to say I find some of them a little bit baffling, not to mention dispiriting. To the few people who have said they found the fight boring, or Ward's performance aesthetically unappealing, I just don't understand that at all. It was a technical masterclass, against a two-time world champion who is as hard as nails. Froch hasn't suddenly become an ordinary fighter, Ward just made him look that way. It was one-sided because Ward is so good. It's the same reason there are people out there who claim Mayweather is boring or Lennox was boring.

    A few of you have come to the conclusion that because Ward never looked like knocking Froch out, that somehow detracts from Ward's performance. That's a very shallow way of viewing boxing. Nobody ever looked like knocking Chris Eubank out, any number of great heavyweights couldn't knock out Oscar Bonavena or George Chuvalo - that's because, like Froch, they were hard as nails! Conversely, you get great fighters who don't necessarily knock every single opponent over - Willie Pep is on of the greatest fighters of all time and his KO record was 25%; Bernard Hopkins has only knocked two people out in the last 10 years.

    goblinoflondon - Your comment that "if Froch had caught Ward he would have knocked him out" is just bizarre. But he didn't, though, did he? Because Ward didn't let him. And that's kind of the point of boxing.

    drew3107 - Why do you rate Calzaghe's demolition of Jeff Lacy so much higher? Froch is a two-time world champion who has been in with pretty much everyone there is to go in with in the divison; Lacy was a hugely over-hyped fighter when he fought Calzaghe and two fights later he only just scraped past Peter Manfredo.

    I just find it weird - is it a British thing? - that some boxing fans are so quick to discredit or rubbish a good news story in the sport. God knows boxing needs all the good news it can get...

  • Comment number 84.

    I thought Ward had this in the bag by the 6th & went to bed.
    It was good to see a British fighter admit his failings after a fight, rather than blame a poor ref, biased judges & the like.
    Froch will have a few more fights & hopefully he will have his day, but he will always have been a world champion & how many of us can say that when we retire?

  • Comment number 85.

    I am amazed that so many people here seem to have tunnel vision about our boxers. Haye, Khan and Froch all held World Championship Belts. These are no ordinary fighters, these are very good boxers. In boxing as in any other field of sport or life, there is always someone there to knock you off your pedestal, Frazier floored Ali, Hearn sparked out Duran. Good boxers get beaten as do the greats, it is what defines the sport and makes it a sport. Despite many views here, the three named above are very good boxers and may or may not have their chance again, BUT what cannot be denied is that they HAVE succeeded, simply to be in even a single World Championship fight. Carl Froch came across a very talented fighter who through guile and ring craft and lots of boxing ability managed to get to the punch first, whether on the inside or from range. Against Taylor Froch fought a similar fight but managed to nail him, I think that Carl and by the sounds of it the commentators on Sky, really thought he may get one opportunity. Unfortunately Ward was too good on the night and Carl became more and more tense as he flailing punches disturbed only the air. I really do take my hat off to Froch, he never stopped trying and despite taking far more punches, never looked in any real danger of being stopped. He may never get the chance to face Ward again, but believe me if he does he will go in there knowing that he has the heavy hands to hurt anyone in that division, Ward felt his power, too late, but any of my fellow fans who know a thing or too about the ring will tell you that the way to beat a big puncher is to avoid the punches by throwing yours first , Ward did this in a masterful display last night, but come on, don't start this nonsense about how all our boxers are rubbish.Belts ebb and flow (the Middleweight / Super Middleweight has been a particularly strong division for UK boxers), and I am sure that in the next decade we will have more to cheer about.

  • Comment number 86.

    @50 - Ben Dirs
    You are missing my point Ben..... I agree and wrote that Ward is special.... and that it is my opinion that if Froch had connected then he may have knocked him out... again please note I wrote 'may' and then wrote this is a big if in brackets. It was merely a small point and a feeling but I made it clear that it was just that and nothing more.

    There are plenty of people that enjoy this kind of fight. However there are also plenty of people who would rather see toe to toe action, big punches, knockdowns and knockouts. Surely you can acknowledge that?

    I find it 'bizarre' that you didn't read my comment properly and that you disagree so strongly with people that are just putting their view forward on this fight. People look for different qualities in fighters. There is no doubting that Ward is a fantastic boxer and we may have witnessed the start of a glittering career that pushes Ward to being one of the greatest P4P fighters but that doesn't mean people enjoy watching the way he fights and it doesn't stop people from expressing their views.

  • Comment number 87.

    @83 - Ben Dirs

    I am actually annoyed with this... if you are going to criticise then at least get the comment correct... I did not write:

    "if Froch had caught Ward he would have knocked him out"

    I in fact wrote:

    If (and yes, it is a huge if!) Froch had connected then I think he may well have stopped Ward.

    There is a big difference there.

  • Comment number 88.

    Fair dues Ben. You called it right. I criticised your pre-fight opinion but you were spot on. I'm not really dissapointed with anything Ben has said, he's pretty much nailed it on with this blog, and this coming from a die-hard Froch fan. When your man has been soundly and fairly beat, you HAVE to give it up. You have to.

    No, the only thing that dissapoints me is all these after-fight experts telling us all that Froch was never that good. Where were these people BEFORE the fight? Where were their comments on Ben's pre-fight blog? In fact, dont worry about it, I'm not even wasting my time.

    As for Froch, either Kessler, Bute or Cleverly will do. Clev or Kessler at the City Ground (nowhere else should even be considered. Carl has earned a fight there and then some). I acknowledge that Bute will have to be met in Canada.

    But there is PLENTY of fight left in the battle-axe. Yes he's 34, 34 and never been banged up or knocked unconcious, so he's still got stuff left in the tank. And you can be sure that while there is some juice left, Carl will gladly give it.

  • Comment number 89.

    goblinoflondon - First of all, apologies for not quoting you verbatim, but the sentiments are the same: basically you're saying "if" Froch had landed, he might have done a number on Ward. To me, that's like saying, if Andy Murray had managed to make more forehand returns, he might have beaten Roger Federer. The point being, the reason Murray couldn't is because Federer's serve was probably too good.

    Also, I don't think I'm missing the point at all. I know people like different types of fights and fighters, but some of the stuff on here is, in my opinion, bizarre. To call it a "poor" fight or Ward "ugly" when there was that much skill on display, I can't get my head round that. And to suggest a fighter isn't exciting because he doesn't knock every opponent bandy, I can't get my head round that either. But that's just my opinion, and that's what this blog is all about, the exchange of opinions.

  • Comment number 90.

    P.S While I'm about it, I'd like to give props to Kell Brooks. True, he probably should have got his opponent out of there sooner, but that lad was game and up for it. Kell impressed me with his after-fight speech, and showed a lot of warmth towards Carl Froch before his fight. Something like that goes down very well with someone like me. A nice show of respect, I'll be following this lad closely. He's a credit to us with his attitude.

  • Comment number 91.

    Well said imperialduke - Froch is no failure, he came second in the S6 & proved himself one of the best SMW in the world. He just lost to the Ring champ & #1. I still think Carl could beat Kessler (who I reckon eked past Carl but was far the worse for wear) or Bute, making him possibly 2nd best in the world! If that's failure I'll settle for next year's failed Miss World runner up!

  • Comment number 92.

    @89 - Ben Dirs

    People write 'if' all the time.... that's sport! Commentators for all sports do it... sports fans do it.... sporting professionals do it.

    Yes, if Murray had made a few more forehand returns he may have beaten Federer .... That doesn't necessarily mean Federer's serve was too good... In that particular case I feel it is mental toughness - so in that example I disagree with you (that's my opinion). In this case, I agree that Ward didn't let Froch hit him - hence the "if" and hence the "it is a huge if"...

    I haven't called the fight poor or ugly at all. I appreciated the skill of Ward. As you say, this blog is all about opinions.... I just don't like being misquoted, misinterpreted and I think that people like different things.

  • Comment number 93.

    @89 - Ben Dirs

    Having said all of that... I actually really enjoyed your blog and agree with it!

  • Comment number 94.

    Ben , you have to allow people who have actually been in the ring and trained with world champs no not in the ring with them but fitness training and having watched the fights for 60 years inc many Olympic games finals in person, you may find Ward a great fighter but I do not , so live with it, its an opinion hopefully based on actual experience not watching tv . if you prefer a monologue rather than dialogue say so, all who watch replay will see how the ref allowed holding to go on too long and occur too often, its Wards way of preventing opponents to establish rythm and is boring to watch if you are thrilled with it be thrilled then , but I recall Hatton stopped from holding before he actually even started , because in my opinion the refereeing in states and commentators are frankly biased in my opinion and Froch said as much and knock out is preffered , not saying that Froch is a class act he is a solid fighter with an unusual style bit too slow but his plan is wearing down with jabs then coming in later to finish off , he was never once in trouble with Ward just frustrated, but hey enjoy watching Ward just dont expect everyone else to OK ?

  • Comment number 95.

    whether people like Froch or not you have to respect the fact he has not only been prepared to fight the best out there but has actually sought them out and more often than not fought them in their own back yard, something even the great Joe Calzaghe wouldnt do, to come through so many fights against the very best his weight has to offer with the 2 defeats must surely prove he is a fighter this country should be proud of even after his latest defeat.

  • Comment number 96.

    #88 and #Ben Dirs

    Ben,

    I similarly touted Froch to win this fight and I do not mind admitting I was completely wrong. After Froch had coped with Dirrel so well I thought he would be able to nullify Ward's speed with his power and strength, I thought if Froch landed a couple of hefty shots early on it would deter Ward.

    However Ward proved he is the top of world class. In and out with the jab and on the inside he was buyllying Carl - and who thought that would be the case? Well done Andre a superb performance - poor Bute will be dodging him forever and a day!

    As for those who are saying Carl is not world class they need to get a brain transplant. In boxing not everyone can be a lb for lb king. Hatton was truly world class but got beaten by the best 2 boxers of his generation - does that mean he is not world class?? Look at who Carl has fought and his performances, he is truly world class just not in the upper echelons of it.

  • Comment number 97.

    # 94

    people enjoy different styles of fights and boxers. But to say Ward is not a great fighter is ludicrous. He is the best in his division by a country mile and he has defeated all his opponents - albeit in america - but on wide point margins. Nobody has come close to hurting him or defeating him.

    You say that Froch was never once in trouble - well neither was Ward! When you step into a ring you do what you need to do to win. Rumble in the Jungle is one of the most boring boxing matches you will ever see because you have Ali on the ropes and foreman slugging away. But in the context and history of the boxing world when you then re-watch the fight and realise that Ali did what he had to do to win - then it was a world class performance. Ward did what he had to do to win, he was quicker, he out-jabbed Carl, he was better on the inside, he was better on the outside, his movement and footwork were better - what more do you want from a fighter except him to win ???

  • Comment number 98.

    I cant believe how quickly people have turned on Froch. The guy has fought only the best for the past few years and has only lost twice! Boxing as a sport would be so much better if more fighters followed his example.

    Before this fight i thought Ward was a good fighter but still had a lot to prove. For me he did this at the weekend. Not only did he beat Froch, he played into his hands by fighting mostly on the inside and still outclassed him. Hes proved to be a world class fighter over the course of this tournament and i cannot see any reason for anybody to now suggest otherwise.

  • Comment number 99.

    Does anyone else think Amir Khan is the most miserable pundit ever to appear on a Sky Sports Show ?? I thuoght the way the panel kept asking him questions was brilliant but he could not support and give credit to Kell Brook who was brilliant on the night

    "he shuold be stopping fighters like this earlier" - what like Prescott and Mccloskey????

    Khan should win a re-match with Peterson but he too will get found out at a higher level and I thought everything about him on Saturday night lacked class and professionalism.

  • Comment number 100.

    I've never been able to warm to Froch, despite him being a legit British world champ. I've said it for some time on this board and old 606 that carl had a limited defence and would come unstuck against a slick boxer and the chickens came home to roost on the weekend. The scoring was odd, I gave it to Ward by 8-9 rounds, carl wasnt in the fight.

    That said, carl took on all comers, travelled to make fights (usually in the other guys backyard) and didnt complain when he lost (unlike Haye). I take my hat off to him. People call Froch average, thats perhaps a bit too harsh - he's good, durable and with plenty of heart but he's not great and never will be. he can and will come back and he may well beat Ward on a 'ggod night' but to do that Ward would also need to have a 'bad night'.

    all in all a bad year from british boxing but perhaps a time to reflect on the quality of our stock?

 

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