Andre Ward beats Carl Froch: Boxing weekend review
We look back at the best of the weekend's boxing action, including Andre Ward's convincing defeat of Carl Froch
Boxer of the weekend
Andre Ward. The undefeated super middleweight title holder dominated rival Carl Froch on Saturday night in Atlantic City, confirming his status as the division’s undisputed champion and one of the sport’s best fighters. Ward was the favourite going into the bout but the nature of his victory was stunning; he out-boxed Froch as was to be expected, but he was also tougher and rougher. Froch had based his fight strategy around bullying Ward into submission but the American harassed and dominated Froch throughout. Ward used his boxing skills and underrated durability to win a convincing unanimous decision, the judges’ score cards reading: 118-110 115-113 and 115-113. Froch was a competitive and brave as ever but was no match for his opponent’s superior boxing skills, athleticism and game-plan. By fighting on the inside before moving out of range, Ward executed the perfect tactics, keeping away from the rangy Froch’s blows. A former Olympic gold medallist and a devout Christian, Ward is a promoter’s dream in America, but he deserves all the plaudits he receives for this most recent performance. Against one of the sport’s toughest operators, Ward looked sensational and walked away from the 12 round scrap with little visible damage. The victory improved Ward’s professional record to 25 fights, 25 wins, 13 by the way of knockout.
Fight of the weekend
Andre Ward v Carl Froch. The top two super middleweights fought on Saturday for the title of the best in the division. Ward, the pre-fight favourite, silenced all doubters with an excellent performance against Carl Froch. In the first round, Ward landed his left hook with ease past Froch’s low guard. The American also dictated the tempo of the early exchanges by shifting in and out of engagements, with his superior athleticism whilst also reacting to Froch’s roughness with his own. In this manner, the opening round encapsulated the entire fight; Froch was brave and unrelenting but was unable to keep up with the skills and movement of Ward. Perhaps the most startling aspect of the fight was the sheer gulf in class between the two men. At times it appeared as if Froch had become so disheartened by his opponent’s superiority that he wanted the fight to be over. Ward was better than Froch in every aspect. This fight was a great spectacle because it was one of those rare fights where you get to watch a boxer become elite. Ward totally dominated his nearest divisional rival and appears to have combination of both skill and mental durability to be one of the sport’s best for many years to come. The only weakness that was apparent was the way in which Ward tired in the final two rounds – but against some as grinding and durable as Froch this can be forgiven.
Knockout of the weekend
Kell Brook. Undefeated and heavily-touted British welterweight contender Kell Brook was always meant to impress on his American debut, and against Luis Galarza he did exactly that. On the undercard of Carl Froch’s fight against Andre Ward in Atlantic City, Brook out-boxed his Puerto Rican opponent from the opening bell, before forcing a fifth round stoppage. No one punch ended the fight, but rather a succession of well placed and hurtful blows, forcing the referee to bring an end to the spectacle. The victory improved Brook’s unbeaten record to 26 fights, 26 wins, 18 by way of knockout. As Brook improves the level of his opposition he will continue to win fights in this manner. He does not have devastating one punch knockout power but he has fast and accurate hands which will overwhelm opponents, even at world title level.
Decision of the weekend
Scoring of Ward v Froch. At end of the 12th round on Saturday night in Atlantic City, everyone knew that Andre Ward had just outclassed Carl Froch and was going to win a wide unanimous decision. However, no one could have guessed that two of the judges would only give Ward the fight by two points. The judges’ score cards read: 118-110 115-113 and 115-113. A victory by an eight-point margin is fair and accurate, and full credit must be given to judges who scored the fight this way. The two other score cards were a joke. Anyone who watched the fight will know that it was never that close. Ward dominated almost every round and was never really in trouble, whereas Froch was out-fought throughout and struggled to land any meaningful punches. Luckily, the fight was not tarnished by abhorrent scoring””sadly a common feature in the sport””but it is still worrying. Boxing is a difficult sport to judge and there are times in a close fight when a judge can justifiably argue why he scored the fight in a certain manner. Yet in fights such as this one, the one-sided nature of the bout means there is no room for debate. Both judges should have to state how and why they scored the fight this way. If Froch had won just two more rounds they could have potentially given the Englishman a split decision victory, which would have been a travesty.