By James Slater – Fresh of their performances last night, “Super Six” participants Carl Froch, Andre Ward and the defeated Arthur Abraham look ahead to their next step in the fascinating, great-for-boxing tourney. Froch, who surprised practically everyone with the utter dominance with which he mastered “King” Arthur, will face ageless “Road Warrior” Glen Johnson in his semi-final, while Ward, who out-pointed Sakio Bika in a non-tournament bout last night, will meet the Armenian in his semi-final..
The Froch-Johnson fight looks like a tough one for both men, yet if Froch boxes like he did last night it could be Johnson who finds it harder going. But what about Abraham-Ward: can the former middleweight ruler, who has now lost two fights in a row, possibly stage an amazing comeback and shock the unbeaten “S.O.G” when the two clash?
There have been plenty of shocks and surprises in the “Super Six” already, but if Abraham were somehow able to regroup and beat Ward, that would top everything we have seen thus far! But being realistic, there isn’t too much of a chance of it happening. For a while now, even after his tourney-debut win over Jermain Taylor, the knock on Abraham has been that he can be outboxed in a major way. The thing was, though, the German-based warrior with the rock chin and the lethal power made a habit of coming on late and obliterating any points lead his opponent might have built up in the fight – via brutal KO. He did it to Taylor, and he might have been on his way to doing it against Andre Dirrell back in March had he not landed that illegal blow on the fallen Dirrell.
But last night, Froch took that away from Abraham – proving that if you do not get tired, and if you do not fall into Abraham’s traps, you can see it through to the final bell, your points lead intact. If Froch was able to do that against Abraham it figures the younger, perhaps faster Ward will be able to do so also. Ward is an excellent boxer and he is also mentally strong and he can punch. No way will the 26-year-old allow all his hard work from the early to mid rounds go to waste by being taken out late by Abraham. In the Armenian’s case, that ship has sailed. The trademark he was known for has gone.
Abraham, if he’s to revive anything of his former glory, will have to do it the hard way against Ward. That means Abraham will have to come out fighting and fighting hard from the opening bell, to not let up, and to try and take Ward to a place he has not been before. And who knows, maybe a desperate Abraham will be an even more dangerous Abraham. As good as he is, as tough as he is and as proud as he is, Arthur cannot be written off. But he faces massive odds going into the fight with Ward, and his confidence has surely taken a hit due to what has happened to him in his last two fights.
Arthur Abraham has ahead of him the single biggest, the most important and potentially the hardest fight of his pro career!