Article by british boxing reporter NATHAN COWARD for EsNewsReporting
Since Andre Ward’s gold medal at the 2004 Olympicsboxing experts have always regarded the 27 year old a potential star but it was up to him to live up to the hype and hope surrounding his professional career.
Little more than a touted prospect entering the super sixtournament over two years ago, many saw Ward as the huge underdog, as he was highly untested against elite level competition. Over the past two years Ward has produced dominating performances over world level opponents such asKessler,Green,Bika and Abraham.
Saturday night saw Ward (25-0 13KOs) solidify himself as the number one super- middleweight on the planet as heproduced yet another dominating performance against an elite level opponent in England’s Carl Froch (28-2 20KOs)winning a unanimous decision (115-113 twice & 118-110)over the tough brit and becoming the new WBC/WBA unified world champion, and taking home the highly regarded Ring Magazine belt.
The early rounds saw Ward start as he meant to go on as Froch struggled to land anything solid whilst a sharp lookingWard seemed to surprise Froch with his ability to not only fight on the outside but outhustle Froch on the inside repeatedly landing cleaner blows due to his quicker hands and overall better polished technical ability.
Showing his ever strong will, Froch repeatedly kept comingbut his lack of head movement and low guard proved to be his undoing as Ward was consistently scoring with counter left hooks and straight right hands which resulted in Frochbecoming more hesitant with his punches. Ward limitedFroch’s activity to an average of just 56 punches per round in compared to his previous four super six outings which saw him throw an average of 69 punches per round.
Froch looked like he had finally started to limit theeffectiveness of Ward in the fifth but was still struggling to land anything clean, however, due to his overall workrateand aggressiveness Froch seemed to edge a close round, however this was not a turning point and the following round saw Ward settle back into his rhythm scoring with the left hook that could miss, beating Froch to the punch from the outside and outhustling Froch on the inside getting the better of the exchanges and forcing him back to the ropes whilst catches the judges eyes with crisp blows and a sustained body attack.
The ninth saw Froch become slightly more aggressive and his sense of urgency was apparent, the Brit knew he needed a knockout, he began pushing forward attempting to walk through Ward’s shots and impose himself upon Ward but still had no success as Ward continued his evasion of Froch’shopeful,sometimes wild looking shots whilst standing right in there on the inside to trade toe-to toe with Froch, both fighters throwing with mean intentions.
Each round down the stretch saw slightly more of the same with the urgency of Froch growing round by round and probably having his most success in the 12th but the defensive skills of a tiring Ward continued to overcome the offensive will of Froch.
Overall, Ward had banked enough rounds to cruise to a unanimous decision victory and although the rounds were all competitive it was clear who was the dominant fighterthroughout.
Wards victory not only solidifies his status as number one super-Middleweight on the planet but quite possibly a top five p4p ranking, the sky is the limit for the talented Olympian and with another possible showdown on the horizon against the highly regarded IBF champion Lucian Bute(30-0 24 KOs), who knows how bright Ward’s star can shine?
By Nathan Coward
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