Saturday evening, Oakland-based fighter Andre Ward will face off against Nottingham, England-based Carl Froch with the Super Six Super Middleweight trophy on the line. Ward and Froch were two of eight fighters who took part in the World Boxing Classic. The tournament was meant to help crown an undisputed super middleweight champion and was the first of its kind in professional boxing.
Ward and Froch have both emerged as stars through this tournament with Ward likely gaining the most from the tournament. Ward enters the fight as a significant favorite thanks in part to his dominance throughout the tournament. While he has not fought perfectly, he has won virtually every round of his tournament fights.
Andre Ward has benefited in the tournament by fighting two of his fights in Oakland and one in Carson, California. He will face Froch in Atlantic City, which is viewed as a much more neutral option for Froch than a California location. While Ward has fought outside of California during his career, a vast majority of his fights have taken place in the Golden State.
We had a chance to chat with Scott Christ from Bad Left Hook to get an idea of what to expect on Saturday. BLH has been covering the build up to the fight and will have round-by-round coverage of the bout. Scott had the following to say about Ward vs. Froch:
What to expect: Those expecting a high-action fight could be left disappointed, as Ward and Froch both lean toward the cerebral side of things. As much as Froch talks about bringing action and heavy-hitting, he's a smart fighter and knows that he has to find openings. Ward is a highly intelligent fighter. This could also get a little chippy, as neither man is afraid to get physical with the head, with elbows, with rabbit punches. At best we could get a terrific tactical fight, but tactical fighting isn't for everyone, so casual fans need to go in not expecting two guys to come out guns blazing. It's not that type of matchup.
What Ward needs to do to win: Be himself, basically. Carl can be easily frustrated at times, as he has a habit of fighting emotionally, and he can be driven to make major mistakes. Ward is good enough to capitalize on those, to win the fight at range or inside, and has the right strengths to really take Froch out of his game plan.
What Froch needs to do to win: Put in the best performance of his career. Froch's tournament wins have come against Andre Dirrell in a debatable foul-fest where many felt Carl got a hometown decision; Arthur Abraham in a shutout against a guy whose stock dropped like a rock in the tournament; and Glen Johnson, who is in his 40s and hasn't beaten an A-level fighter in years. Carl's best tournament performance may actually have been his close loss in Denmark to Mikkel Kessler, which was also by far the best fight of the Super Six. Froch has proven critics and skeptics wrong time and again, though -- so don't simply expect that he can't do it once again. He's an underdog here, but he's been one before and come out the winner.
Thanks to Scott for his thoughts on Ward vs. Froch. We will have weigh-in information and and plenty of fight-day news, but make sure and check Bad Left Hook on Saturday for round-by-round analysis during the fight.