Tommy Barber – London
Ahead of the Super Six World Boxing Classic final, due to be concluded on Saturday, December 17 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, former heavyweight world titlist David Haye has talked up the chances of his English compatriot Carl Froch, the WBC super middleweight world championship incumbent who is attempting to annex the WBA belt currently held by fellow finalist Andre Ward.
The Super Six final is the culmination of over two years’ worth of competition and a long road already trodden by it’s participants, Froch of Nottingham and Ward of Oakland, California. Haye regards Ward (24-0-0, 13ko) to be a technically skillful pugilist who has an obvious winning mentality having been unbeaten as a professional and enjoying an undefeated streak that is 15 years and counting, however, the plus point for Froch (28-1-0, 20ko) is that, he believes, Ward is yet to test himself against a gladiator.
“Ward isn’t going to be able to put a dent in him,” mused Haye to Sky Sports. “The guy’s got a lot of skills, he’s got great natural ability, he’s an Olympic gold medalist, undefeated since he was 12 years of age… but he’s never fought anyone like Carl Froch before.”
Haye then claimed that, of the selection of fighters Ward has boxed since mixing it up with the super middleweight elite… prizefighters like Edison Miranda, Mikkel Kessler, Allan Green, Sakio Bika and Arthur Abraham, there are many whom lacked mettle: “He’s fought a lot of guys who come to win, but they give up halfway,” said the Londoner, currently retired yet warm to the prospect of battling Vitali Klitschko in a returning contest in boxing’s glamour division, potentially in 2012.
He continued: “Carl won’t [give up], Carl will just keep grinding him down and grinding him down. He’ll put this guy in his uncomfort zone. Carl’s boxed world champions, he’s boxed guys with unbeaten records before [Andre Dirrell, Jean Pascal, Albert Rybacki and Alan Page] and he’s never come off second best. So I’m envisaging a tough fight for Carl, it’s not going to be easy by any stretch, he’s going to have to really dig deep, but I believe he knows this is his moment of destiny and he will win the fight.”
Froch, meanwhile, does not share Haye’s confidence. He said: “It’s always a concern, I’m fighting an American on American soil. He’s an Olympic gold medallist, he’s the golden boy, he’s undefeated, he’s a great talent, he’s young, good-looking [and] he speaks well.
“He’s got all the marketable things that a broadcaster like Showtime wants,” the 34-year-old concluded in an allusion to the possibility that, in order to guarantee himself victory, he will need to rely on his own two judges – his fists, to get the knockout – rather than the three at ringside, who may have a pre-existing bias.
Related article: Andre Ward on Froch: Carl ‘puffs up and bleeds’