Seated at ringside in the cozy and plush confines of London’s sterling O2 Arena, 168lb juggernaut and ring great Andre Ward, sized up Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler as a fight commentator for HBO, prior to their brutal rematch last night.
Froch dominated Kessler for most of the affair, banging his way to a unanimous decision win, and set the stage for a rematch with Ward this fall. As these things go, it all comes down to negotiations and terms across the board that make sense.
Putting all that aside for the moment, it is the only fight that makes sense for both men.
Froch (31-2, 22KO’s) has been on a tear as of late. He was even better than he was for his 5th round destruction of Lucian Bute, displaying a stronger frame and conditioning to go along with better punch variety.
Standing with Max Kellerman afterwards, Froch credited the studying of Ward in helping him to victory over Kessler, and then made it clear it is who he wants to face next.
‘I said before this fight that the winner should really be concentrating on moving on and my only other loss was against pound-for-pound number two in the world Andre Ward,’ Froch, who added the WBA belt to his IBF strap, told Sky Box Office.
‘What a fantastic fighter he is and a great, great champion, but he is there to be beaten.
‘But not over in America – let’s get him over here. I went over to America and now let’s get him over to England.’
Froch can be an irascible malcontent with a penchant for some really ridiculous things that spill from his lips. He views every opponent, as someone who was just offered a declaration of war against him and his family, and is actually ready to die during a prizefight.
This is not hyperbole- it is who the man is.
He will have to be all of that and more to defeat the “Son of God”, viewed by many (including this writer) as the best pound for pound operator in the sport. Judging by the back and forth between him and a not so distant Froch over the airwaves, Ward seemed to relish a chance to cement his superiority over the surging Nottingham product.
‘America is where you have got to go to become a star,’ he said. ‘You can be a great domestic fighter but, to become a worldwide fighter, you’ve got to stake your claim there.
‘His record is 4-2 on the road and he is undefeated here, so I know why he wants to fight me here. If Eddie Hearn and Carl Froch really want the fight, they can call my manger and let’s talk about it.
‘The UK is not out of the question so pick your phone up and let’s talk about it if you’re serious.’
In a case of irony, Ward can do a whole lot better for himself and his worldwide appeal by taking his game to London in a rematch with Froch. Expect this deal to get done relatively soon, with Ward vs Froch II more than likely taking place in Wembley this fall.