It was the most frustrating, horrible night of Carl Froch’s entire boxing career, one the retired “Cobra” still has nightmares about some six years on. And it is due to the bad night Froch had against Andre Ward, along with Ward’s particular fighting style, that Froch says he will not miss the two-time champ one bit.
As fans know, 33 year old Ward shocked many people by announcing his retirement yesterday. Though he’s still very much on top of his game – scoring a very impressive stoppage over arguably the most dangerous 175 pounder on the planet, Sergey Kovalev in his most recent fight – Ward has had enough. And Froch, who says he was as shocked as everyone else was by the decision of his former foe, says he wouldn’t be too surprised if the unbeaten former champ decided to make a comeback down the road.
Froch, though, says he will not miss Ward if he doesn’t ever fight again.
“It’s quite shocking, he’s young enough at 33 to have a couple more big fights,” Froch said to Sky Sports. “Andre Ward was a very good fighter, tough to hit. When I boxed him I could barely land a glove on him and it was a very awkward, tricky, horrible night. With that style, it doesn’t really get the juices flowing. It doesn’t really get people excited. I won’t be sad to see the back of him. It’s not sour grapes. I know he beat me, but I never really got that excited when he boxed. He’s retired at the top and not everyone gets to do that.”
Froch added that he wouldn’t like to see it, but that Ward is young enough to be able to change his mind and come out of retirement. Judging from what Ward had to say yesterday, though, a return does not look likely – although you never know in boxing.
Froch cannot be argued with when he says Ward was far from exciting during his fights (although, quite ironically, his “final” fight, the return with Kovalev, saw Ward fight in a more aggressive and fan-friendly style) but this does not detract from Ward’s greatness. Very possibly destined to go down as one of the top four or five greatest defensive fighters of the last 30 years, Ward defeated all manner of styles: clever boxers, sluggers, big punchers – and he came out on top each time out.
There are plenty of other great fighters who reside in The Hall of Fame (where Ward is certainly headed for one day) and are recognised throughout the world as having been exceptional fighters despite being, for want of a better word, “boring.” Bottom line, Ward enjoyed a fantastic career, going out a perfect 32-0(16). Yes, many fans would prefer to get the kind of value for money action fights Froch gave us throughout his career, but Ward did things his way, on his own terms.
As he said yesterday, “Mission Accomplished.”