If physically able to after undergoing the knife to repair a small tear in his right shoulder capsule earlier this month, The Ring, WBA, WBC and super middleweight champ Andre Ward is determined to knockout IBF super-middleweight titlist Carl Froch should a rematch occur later this year.
Ward (26-0, 14 KOs), who became the first American to capture boxing gold in eight years as a light heavyweight at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, suffered the injury in November while training to scrap past titleholder Kelly Pavlik on March 2 at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, California.
Most recently, the Bay Area native easily retained his belts by battering formidable Ring Magazine and WBC light heavyweight titleholder “Bad” Chad Dawson en route to achieving a 10th round TKO on September 8 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Prior to dominating Dawson (31-2, 17 KOs), Ward unified two crowns and won The Super Six World Boxing Classic when he trumped Froch (30-2, 22 KOs) by unanimous decision in December 2011 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
Conversely, the 35-year-old Froch, a Brit who is also a former two-time WBC super-middleweight king, is now expected to battle Danish scrapper Mikkel Kessler for a second time in May or June.
Ward, who is rated by Ring Magazine as the second pound-for-pound boxer in the world and is now in position to become a national superstar and household name like fellow American gold medalists Muhammad Ali, “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya, also overcame Kessler (46-2, 35 KOs) in November 2009 and expressed dislike for the powerful Dane to ES News.
"Neither one of those guys (Froch or Kessler) wants to fight, they're just using my name to keep their name out there,” said Ward, 28, voted last winter as the 2011 “Fighter of the Year” by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). "I wouldn't be talking about those guys if they didn't keep bringing my name up. For some reason they keep bringing my name up in a disrespectful manner, and because they can't accept defeat, I've lost all respect for them. If I fight either one of these guys, I don't care what country it's in, it will not go the distance."
Roger “Pit” Perron is a venerable boxing trainer from Brockton (Mass.) who now works with Mike and Rich Cappiello at their gym, Cappiello Brothers Boxing and Training.
Perron raved about Ward and predicted “The Son of God” will recover and outclass all challengers for the foreseeable future.
“Ward clearly sticks out in the division,” said Perron, 75, who worked with International Boxing Hall of Famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler at the Petronelli Brothers Gym. “He had just a great performance his last time out. There’s no telling when, or if, he’ll next lose. With his age, his shoulder won’t be a lasting issue.”
In contrast to the thoughts of Perron, it’s concerning that an orthodox boxer like Ward, especially one who displayed newfound power against Dawson, has sustained such an injury.
Regardless, a unique talent for the ages like Andre Ward, a man who has unbelievably not vacated the squared circle on the losing end of a bout since he was a 12-year-old amateur, would still manage to knock either Carl Froch or Mikkel Kessler onto Queer Street in any “country” in the world.