With the wave of disappointment following Amir Khan’s loss still lingering, he will aim to leave nothing to chance against the pious ‘Son of God’ Ward. Khan’s defeat marks a worrying trend in a year that has witnessed many British greats find their undoing in overseas battles. Carl Froch (pic right) faces an arduous mission to return home with the titles along with his pride intact.
The concern of fair refereeing, judging, and facing an American in Atlantic City must play on the Englishman’s mind as the long wait for Saturday’s battle draws to a close. He has to be decisive, determined and display pure mettle in order to leave no doubt regarding the winner. Too many have faltered in his position, letting the victory slip from them and opening the outcome to debate. When facing an undefeated Olympic gold medallist and WBA champion, there is no room for error. He must establish his authority early on, and use his strength and unconventional mix of shots to unsettle the Californian.
Ward is young, fast with a defensive style that may prove to be a tricky test for the Nottingham prizefighter. Though he has been criticised for not frequently displaying one-punch KO power, it does not mean he cannot produce it. He is adaptable, and will try to neutralise Froch’s best weapons. Whether it is a close-quarter exchange or crisp boxing at range, Ward has exhibited a vast array of skills throughout Showtime’s super middleweight challenge. It has been a smooth trajectory towards the final for him, his title win over Kessler boosting his appeal with fans. The rising American star will do everything in his power to triumph this Saturday and expand on his growing popularity.
With Britain’s world titlists looking like an endangered species, the pressure now lies squarely on the shoulders of ‘The Cobra’ to restore belief among bewildered fans. His bid to capture the inaugural Super Six trophy has not been plain sailing. During a demanding competition, which he entered back in October 2009, he has lost and regained the WBC title. Froch dreams of a victorious return to British soil with the Super Six crown, and hopefully, having gained the acknowledgement that has evaded him for much of his career.
Though he remains a firm favourite among fans for his down-to-earth attitude and hard work ethic, Froch has suffered from lack of television exposure in his home country. The tournament has elevated his profile in the States, and ‘The Cobra’ believes his success is finally beginning to pay dividends back in the UK. Froch has never pandered to the showy, starry side of boxing; he is an unpretentious character with an industrious approach to the sport. Having faced a list of seasoned opponents and world champions, he boasts a wealth of experience, though not the celebrity status to accompany it.
The showdown between the two super middleweight champions promises high drama should the Californian wish to engage in the brutal variety of trench warfare Froch revels in. He may prefer to use his slick, technical movement to exasperate ‘The Cobra’ and remove the danger of his explosive shots. Froch will be the underdog on Saturday night, but he remains self-assured and deeply ambitious over his future in the sport. Neither age nor the doubts of others will deter him. If it becomes a punishing battle, expect ‘The Cobra’ to persist with his legendary guts and brawn.