It’s finally here. Over two years since the beginning of the tournament, we’re down to the final two, and these are the right final two. There were three group stages. Andre Ward is undefeated in the tournament, besting Mikkel Kessler (the early tourney favorite) and Allan Green. Carl Froch beat Andre Dirrell (remember him?) by split decision and lost a close decision to Mikkel Kessler, before easily defeating Arthur Abraham. Ward didn’t have a stage 3 fight because Dirrell withdrew because of injury. Ward took a tune-up belt, beating Sakio Bika in a pretty rough fight.
In the semi-finals, Ward defeated Abraham while Froch beat Glen Johnson, who was a replacement. The finals was supposed to happen in October, but was postponed until tonight because of a cut to Ward’s eye.
If Ward does pull out a decision in a close fight, I’d love to see them fight in Froch’s home town in an immediate rematch. Give Kessler to Lucian Bute.
Carl Froch vs. Andre Ward
They are going to be able to fight on the inside. Ward landed a nice left hook out of the break. Froch looks a little slow early on. Both were able to land their jabs a couple of times. Ward is slightly more elusive so far and is landing after Froch misses with short lefts and jabs.
Ward is gaining confidence with his left hand. He landed a nice left hook and them immediately a jab, jab, left hook combination. Ward’s not even really using his right hand. Froch is throwing shots inside and to the body, which don’t look fantastic, but will probably do more damage later on in the fight. Ward hit him with a big left hook that looked like it may have been the back of the head. I have Ward up 2-0 on my card.
This was the best round so far and really close. Ward probably edges him again, but Froch is landing to the body and he’s hooking back. Ward’s left hook is still his best shot, but Froch is throwing back off the hook. Business is about to pick up.
Lots of inside fighting in the round and Froch is looking tired. The ref is letting them rough house a bit, though it’s not bad. Ward had his elbows up a few times. Ward ended the round strong. Froch needs a second wind or he may go down.
Ward had his hand on Froch’s chin and then pushed it and hit Froch with a hook. The problem here is that Froch can’t land from the outside and when he goes inside, he pays for it. Froch needs to figure out how to fight from the outside in order to have a chance. Ward is pushing him around. Ward with a short left hook to end the round that looked like it caught Froch’s attention. I have Ward up 5-0.
Froch is a tough man. He took some brutal left hands and is being outclassed, but he’s still on his feet. Ward is just too quick for him and is landing that left hook at will.
Both guys pretty much took a break for the round. Froch should’ve won this round, but he looks tired. Though they weren’t hard punches, Ward outlanded him nearly 3-1. I don’t have Froch winning a round yet.
Ward is allowing the pace to slow down, rather than going for the kill. Froch looks arm weary. Ward landed a huge right hand. Froch missed a right hand and looked so exhausted that he threw a backhanded slap too. He also threw a right hand after the bell.
I know the stats may say differently, but I think Froch won this round. For whatever reason, Ward is fighting left-handed, and Froch was able to hit him more often. Ward looked confused fighting left-handed. He needs to switch back.
Another pretty lackadaisical round in which Ward won it closely. Froch started out well, but faded in the end. Ward continues to dominate.
I think I may give Froch that round as well. Right now, I have it 9-2. Ward was sloppy and did a lot of running.
I’m not sure if Froch hit him in the round. Froch was throwing huge right hands, but didn’t land any of them. Ward landed the best punch in the round, which was a big left hook. I have it 10-2 for Ward.
Winner: Andre Ward
115-113, 115-113, and 118-10