Englishman Carl Froch will be taking on Andre Ward of America in the championship fight of the Super Six World Boxing Classic Final on Dec. 17 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The fight will also be for Ward’s WBA Super Middleweight Belt and Froch’s WBC version of the championship at 168 lbs.
The bout is the finale in the ill-fated super middleweight tournament which began in 2009. The event suffered several setbacks along the way and three of the fighters, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, and Mikel Kessler ultimately pulled out of the tournament while it was in progress and had to be replaced.
This fight was scheduled to take place on Oct. 29th, but an injury to Ward pushed it back to December. The 27-year-old Ward is undefeated as a pro with a record of 24-0 with 13 knockouts and was a gold medalist in the 2004 Olympic Games. The 34-year-old Froch, with a record of 28-1 with 20 knockouts, has lost just one fight in his pro career and that came in this tournament when he suffered a decision loss at the hands of Kessler.
Froch managed to beat Dirrell by a split decision in his tournament opener, but then lost his WBC title to Kessler in his second bout. Kessler then dropped out of the tournament and Froch defeated Abraham by unanimous decision to win the vacant WBC belt. He then beat Glen Johnson by majority decision in June to reach the tournament final.
Ward won the WBA belt by defeating Kessler by a technical decision in his first bout of the tournament. He then beat Allan Green by unanimous decision in his second fight. However his third fight was to be against his Olympic teammate Dirrell, but he took on Sakio Bika instead after Dirrell pulled out of the tournament. Ward beat Bika by a wide unanimous decision and then heat Arthur Abraham the same way in his semi final match.
If it all sounds a little confusing, it’s probably because it is. But with or without this being a part of the tournament it’s an elite matchup and a title unification bout. Ward is a fine boxer, but lacks real power and is often quite boring in the ring. Froch is the opposite and prefers to trade punches with opponents who are willing to engage him. Boxers like Ward usually give him trouble and this could lead to a dull fight.
In addition, Ward has been accused of being a dirty fighter who often leads with his head. His victory over Kessler was evidence of this and the fight had to be stopped due to cuts over Kessler’s eyes that came from head butts. They were ruled accidental though and Ward won the WBA belt when the fight went to the scorecards.
Along with his power, Ward’s chin is also questionable, but his superior boxing skills and footwork means he rarely gets hit squarely. Froch has a lot more heart and determination than skills and while this can often lead to victories in the boxing ring, it’s unlikely to result in one here. He’ll try to press the action and he has a good chin, but the problem is Ward isn’t going to be drawn into a slugfest.
This will probably be an interesting fight, but ultimately not an exciting one. Ward should take this one by a 12-round decision at the end of the night.
Sportsbook 5dimes.com currently has the odds of Ward winning at -350 and a Froch victory at +290. The odds of the fight going over 9.5 rounds are -625 and the odds of it going under 9.5 rounds +430.
Check out some of the past boxing betting predictions to see how I have faired.