The Super Six Final Needs More Buzz

By John Brady: After a lackluster summer we finally have a strong fall schedule to look forward to. Floyd’s return against “Vicious” Victor Ortiz will be followed by quality matchups such as Hopkins/Dawson, Bute/Johnson, Pacquiao/Marquez 3, and Cotto/Margarito 2 not to mention Berto/Zaveck, Klitschko/Adamek etc. However, the one fight we’re approaching that’s grabbed my attention more than any of these is the Super Six Final between Andre “SOG” Ward and Carl “The Cobra” Froch which takes place on Saturday October 29th.

Andre Ward is a 2004 Olympic gold medalist who was the first American to capture gold since the 1996 games. Before the Super Six his signature moment was a one sided win over Edison Miranda. When the Super Six began Andre was not named as one of the favorites to come out on top. However, he is the only one who has won every single bout and maintained his undefeated record throughout the tournament. He has been criticized because all of his fights for the Super Six have been staged in his home state of California while all of the other fighters had to travel.

Although there’s no question about it this has been an advantage, Andre has still handled himself with pure class and does the only thing he can do, just go out and keep on winning. He is often referred to as “Floyd Mayweather” in the ring, but the “anti-Floyd” outside the ring meaning that inside the ring he’s all business, very hard working, can adapt to any style, and is not particularly concerned with knocking his opponent out as long as he comes away with the win. The whole “anti-Floyd” part would come from the fact that you will never see Andre Ward tossing hundreds in a club as a way of promoting a fight, that’s just not the way he rolls. He has stated in the past that he has a dream of commentating when his fighting days are over, and judging by his performance last week on ESPN’s Friday Night Fight’s I’d say that’s a great choice.

Carl Froch, pre-Super Six, was a 25-0 WBC Super Middleweight Champ who was trying to expand his name past the UK. He had just finished beating Jean Pascal for the vacant strap, and followed that up by knocking out Jermain Taylor in the 12th round in America. Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe were two UK fighters who had made huge names for themselves in the USA by traveling over and beating American fighters on their own turf, and Carl was going to be the next UK fighter to do that. After the Taylor win he continued to call out Calzaghe for a fight which obviously would never materialize. Carl then accepted an invitation into the Super Six and fought his way to the final with only one controversial defeat to Mikkel Kessler. From 12/6/2008 until now Carl Froch has probably faced some of the stiffest competition of just about any fighter in boxing period. He fought Pascal on that date followed by Taylor, Dirrell, Kessler, Abraham, Glen Johnson, and now Andre Ward.

This fight will be two different styles, two different personalities, USA vs. UK, 3 major belts on the line (The Ring Belt included) what more can you ask for? This bout is not just something that a couple of matchmakers threw together. This fight represents the perseverance, dedication, and sheer will that both of these men have put on display for the whole world to see since this tournament started two years ago. Half of the original Super Six did not make it to the finish line unfortunately as a result of injuries, so Froch and Ward both acted like professionals and adjusted by beating the replacement fighters Glen Johnson, and Allan Green respectively. They now collide in the long awaited final, with two conflicting styles going head to head, and sadly this major title fight only seems to be talked about among the hardcore fans. I love a Floyd or a Manny fight just as much as the next guy, but for the good of boxing we need to get more “average Joe’s” familiar with the Andre Ward’s and Carl Froch’s.

Boxing is a superstar driven sport, personality along with salesmanship also plays a role and I understand that. Mayweather’s fights will generate attention no matter what, as will the Pacquiao fights but I would think that a unified title fight when two men just fought themselves through some pretty stiff worldwide competition to meet in a tournament final for all the marbles would generate a little more buzz that this one has so far. All I can say is hopefully the winner of this bout takes a giant leap forward because it will have been more than well deserved.

Article posted on 26.08.2011

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