Ward outclasses Froch to take Super Six title
Andre Ward won the Super Six super-middleweight tournament after outclassing Britain's Carl Froch over 12 rounds in Atlantic City.
The American was too fast, too accurate and too good for Nottingham's Froch as he defended his WBA title, took Froch's WBC belt and also claimed the vacant Ring Magazine championship to complete the two-year tournament contested by some of the best fighters in the division.
Two fighters who did not take part were the WBC's number one contender Anthony Dirrell and IBF champion Lucian Bute, who were both ringside. The undefeated duo could be future opponents of both men.
Judges from America and Canada scored the fight 115-113 with the one British judge scoring it 118-110 in a scorecard matching that of Eurosport-Yahoo!.
"He is very slick and slippery like an eel up close - I couldn't get my shots off," admitted a gracious Froch afterwards, conceding that he lost the fight by some distance on what he called "a bad night".
Ward, who will now enter the pound-for-pound debate after a superb performance, said that he was "surprised at how slow Froch was" in a post-fight interview.
The American, who won Olympic gold in 2004, showed his class from the opening bell as he seemed to control pretty much every facet of the fight.
From distance he was able to spring forward and land, while Froch was flapping about in thin air with his jab; on the inside Ward showed a toughness that some had felt he lacked by winning the close exchanges with quick and powerful shots, albeit sometimes on the back of clinches that bordered on illegal.
In the latter stages, Ward began to clinch and grab even more to slow Froch down, but he had done the hard work in the first two-thirds of the fight, and while the scores were close on a couple of cards, there was absolutely no doubt that the better man won.
Froch said after the fight that he still felt that he could beat Ward "on a good night", but he found the younger man tough to hit all evening. By contrast, Ward peppered the Briton with shots seemingly at will.
Ward's left hand was particularly successful, whether it be in the form of a jab or a hook, and it is a credit to Froch that he kept coming forward to try and find the miracle shot which could have turned the fight in his favour.
From early on though a unanimous points victory for Ward looked on the cards - and perhaps the only surprise at the end was that two judges scored it as closely as they did.
The 27-year-old Ward keeps his perfect record, which now stands at 25-0(13 KOs), intact with the victory.
Froch, on the other hand, moves to 28-2 and at 34 years of age has to question how many big fights he has left in him after what must be the toughest seven-fight stretch any boxer in the world has faced in the last three years.
On the undercard, 25-year-old Sheffield sensation Kell Brook made his debut on US soil with a fifth-round stoppage of Puerto Rico's Luis Galarza.
Brook, who fights in the welterweight division, moves to 26-0(18KOs) - but little was learnt against an inferior opponent who Brook finally took care of with three quick right hooks in succession after a nervy start.
Galarza started to drop after the third of those punches when the referee decided to call time on the fight with a somewhat soft, but ultimately sensible, decision.