ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Saturday night’s highly-anticipated Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic final and battle for THE RING’s vacant super middleweight crown between Andre Ward, of Oakland, Calif., and Carl Froch, of England, may get an unanticipated boost.
Last weekend, junior welterweight Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 knockouts), of Washington, D.C., overcame tremendous odds with his HBO-televised split-decision victory over heavily favored Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KOs), of England.
In the wake of Peterson’s triumph, Ward (24-0, 13 knockouts) is feeling the need to sustain the American advantage, and Froch (28-1, 20 KOs) now finds himself with the pressure to redeem his nation’s honor.
“I’m a boxing fan, so I watched that fight, and Lamont Peterson is somebody that I roomed with in the past in the amateurs, and I’ve come up with him over the years, so I was excited to see that fight, and it was a good fight. I’m just happy for Lamont,” said Ward, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist.
“My thinking with that was, ‘one down, one to go.’ You’ve got two hungry fighters, and you’ve got two fighters who don’t want to lose. That’s what you have in this fight. I know that I’m going to bring it, and I know that Carl Froch is going to bring it. It’s going to be a high-level fight.”
Ward-Froch is a match that fans have been clamoring for since the Super Six semifinals, which featured Ward routing middleweight titleholder Arthur Abraham by unanimous decision in May, and Froch doing similarly to former light heavyweight champ Glen Johnson in June.
With Ward ranked as the THE RING’s No. 1 super middleweight and Froch No. 2, the winner of the fight will be instated as the magazine’s champion of the division, as well as the WBC/WBA beltholder.
“That [Peterson-Khan] was a great fight for the fans, great fight for the broadcasters, great fight for anybody to watch,” said Froch. “Obviously anything that brings attention to the sport is good for the sport and good for boxing. With that fight being so close, it’s obviously a positive thing.”
Peterson won, 113-112, on two judges’ cards, while the third had it for Khan, 115-110. Khan was deducted one point each during the the seventh and 12th rounds by Virginia’s Joe Cooper.
“The result wasn’t the result that the British fans wanted, and it wasn’t the result that I wanted as a fighter coming from the UK. But what happened happened, and it was a good fight and a close fight,”
“In my opinion, you couldn’t really argue about the decision. It could have gone either way and Peterson did a fantastic job. Amir Khan did a great job, and it was a great effort by both men. Khan took the chance or the risk of going into his back yard, and that’s part and parcel of fighting.”
On Saturday night, however, Froch will be fighting to restore the pride of Britain, this, as he returns to the site of his win over Johnson.
“Of course, [Peterson-Khan] sets the stage and sets the scene for this big showdown on Saturday night,” said Froch. “And that’s something that I and everybody else should be looking forward to.”
Photos by Tom Casino, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org