Ward (27-0, 14 KOs), who easily trumped the 36-year-old Froch (32-2, 23 KOs) during the Super Six World Boxing Classic, universally outscored Edwin Rodríguez to successfully defend The Ring and WBA super middleweight belts in November.
Using elite footwork, a brilliant jab, and ferocious left hook, Ward dominated Rodríguez and absorbed virtually no punishment over 36 minutes.
Meanwhile, Froch retained the IBF and WBA super middleweight titles with a controversial ninth round TKO victory over Groves (19-1, 15 KOs) on November 23.
The 25-year-old Groves, whose awkward style gave the Nottingham native fits, floored Froch with a right jab in the first.
Although the champion recovered, Froch was consistently outdone by Groves’ speed, movement and deft footwork.
Bruised and swollen, “The Cobra” finally connected with a barrage of punches that left Groves wobbled and referee Howard Foster quickly halted the bout.
Froch, who has battled premier pugilists and possesses a granite chin and solid power in both hands, unsurprisingly agreed with Foster’s decision.
In actuality, despite being a legitimate bruiser, Froch hadn’t done enough to stop Groves.
“If (Froch) is going to live up to his tough guy image, he has to rematch Groves or avenge his loss to me,” said Ward, 29, the sport’s second premier pound-for-pounder.
“He’s got two options. His fans won’t accept anything else. If not, I would consider fighting George Groves next. He showed a lot his last fight. He’s a good fighter and deserves a shot.”
A gold medalist as a light heavyweight at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Ward is a brilliant tactician who hasn’t been conquered since he was a 12-year-old amateur.