Andre Ward (right) connects with a right punch to the head of Carl Froch during the fifth round of the Super Six super middleweight tournament final Saturday night in Atlantic City. Ward retained his WBA championship and won the WBC belt. Photo by Rich Schultz/AP
It’s hard to find the right words to adequately describe the performance of pugilistic display turned in by Andre Ward last Saturday night in Atlantic City. The best word that could sum it all up, superb. There’s no other way to put it.
This young man, who was the 2004 Olympic gold medalist, and who had everyone in doubt as to whether or not he could survive this tournament sponsored by the Showtime network some two and a half years ago, is now the new unified WBA and WBC super middleweight champion.
After defeating Carl Froch in a hard fought contest that went the distance of twelve rounds, Ward was awarded the bout with a unanimous decision by all three judges at ringside. And in doing so, also captured the coveted Super Six middleweight trophy and is now being labeled in some circles as the ” Mayweather” of the middleweight division.
Ward is a very smart, intelligent, hard hitting, and a slick counter puncher who literally dominated Froch throughout the bout with straight right hands, combinations and uppercuts to the surprise of many at ringside. There is now talk that he may possibly be considered fighter of the year after turning in a brilliant performance.
What makes Ward an unique individual is that he is a very humble and sincerely devoted to his family. But above all, he is a devoutly religious person, who has adopted the moniker,”S.O.G.” (Son of God).
He now has a ring record of 25-0 with13 knockouts.
When asked about the fight at the post fight press conference, Ward responded by saying, “This is not the end, it’s the beginning. Believe it or not, you haven’t seen the best of Andre Ward.”
When asked about the close scores from two of the judges he responded, “To me, it felt like a tight fight. I’ve got to go back and watch the fight again.”
To most fight fans it was not even close.
Froch, whose ring record is now 28-2 with 20 knockouts, said afterwards, “I’m bitterly disappointed but you can’t win them all at this level. I was in against a very tricky, very awkward, and very good fighter. I felt like I was missing a lot of time. He fought a better fight on the night, I’ve got no excuses whatsoever.”
So the question now is what’s next for Andre Ward? Well there is Lucian Bute, who is the IBF super middleweight champion. A win over Bute would not only solidify Ward’s position as the top super middleweight in the world, but it could also put him in the position of being the RING magazine champion, which is a coveted title nowadays.
With a solid management team led by James Prince and Antonio Leonard, there is no telling how far this young man could go with his career. Ward has been superbly developed into a champion by the one and only Virgil Hunter since his Olympic days.
Coming up in the new year there will be a rematch between Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto. That bout is scheduled for February 11 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. The first time they fought turned out to be a grueling and competitive bout with both fighters knocking each other down in the fight. This one should be just as exciting as the first. Look forward to this Showtime telecast.
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