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Andre Ward beat Carl Froch with broken hand

I beat Froch with one arm! Superstar Ward reveals he fought with broken hand

American Andre Ward has revealed he beat Britain’s Carl Froch in the Super Six super-middleweight final earlier this month despite breaking his left hand in two places in training.

Ward, who recorded a clear points win in Atlantic City on December 17, told ESPN: ‘Early on, the adrenaline was working. But in the sixth round, when I hit him on top of the head, I hit a wall in terms of the pain. But we got through it.’

Champ: Andre Ward was a comfortable winner despite his broken hand

Champ: Andre Ward was a comfortable winner despite his broken hand

Carl Froch outclassed by Andre Ward

Brave Froch outclassed by Ward as empire falls on icy Boardwalk

NO controversy this time, no recriminations, no protests, no excuses, no appeals . . . albeit no world titles, no Super Six Cup, no glory to apply a glittering finish to a gloomy year for British boxing.

Carl Froch fought his heart out here on Saturday night only to be left slipping and sliding on the frosty, famous Boardwalk as he chased but failed to catch the new whizzkid of United States boxing.

Andre Ward, the self-anointed Son Of God, was too fast and too clever for the Nottingham Cobra.

Outclassed: Froch was no match for Ward who lifted the Super Six title

Outclassed: Froch was no match for Ward who lifted the Super Six title

Froch”s WBC world supermiddleweight title joined the WBA belt around the waist of the 27-year-old American who has come of age during the two years it took to reach this Super Six tournament final, and there could be no arguing with this decision.

Froch, proper fighting man that he is, admitted as much immediately. “I lost fair and square to the better boxer on the night,” he said.

That in itself was as refreshing as Froch”s fights are exciting. Win or occasionally lose, he gives his all and the first rush of tweets suggest that his honesty may have won him more admirers back home in Britain than all his preceding victories.

The British love nothing if not a gallant loser and Froch is never less than heroic, even when he is being outboxed.

That is why he was able to claw back some pride at the end of a lost cause, with a late if otherwise meaningless rally which should have answered the only minor quibble to nag at this fight.

Hard graft: Froch tried to drag Ward into a brawl with little success

Hard graft: Froch tried to drag Ward into a brawl with little success

Hard graft: Froch tried to drag Ward into a brawl with little success

Peculiarly, the one English judge gave victory to Ward by the widest points margin, 118-110. That coincided with the opinion of the majority in the hall and the view of the television commentators.

The other two, an American and a Canadian, scored it only 115-113 in the American”s favour. That gave some solace to Froch while raising eyebrows at how close we may have come to another deeply contentious verdict.

Jeff powell scorecard

Ward was indeed dominant. Froch was especially vulnerable to his snappy left hook and unable to pin his man down, saying later: “He ducks, he slips, he slides. He is very good at it and very hard to hit. He is an exceptional defensive fighter.

“I never felt in the zone. He was either too close and smothering me or was dodging far out of range.”

Yet it was not difficult to argue the case for a decision less than totally lopsided. I gave it to Ward by 116 points to 112 – no small margin in a 12-round fight but still I have to explain why.

Yes, Ward was overwhelmingly in control early. He landed so many left hooks that you began to wonder if Froch could survive the distance. He could not cope with Ward”s speed and rarely saw coming that left hook, thrown off the jab.

Ward”s effectiveness with that punch made it all the more surprising that he said he had hurt that hand, first in sparring last week, then when hitting Froch on the top of the head in the sixth round.

When Froch tried to fight back he often found himself punching thin air.

But that chin is made of Polish iron and in the fifth Froch found a glimmer of light by edging his first round.

Game over: Froch was left to rue what could have been after Ward lifted the Super Six title (below)

Game over: Froch was left to rue what could have been after Ward lifted the Super Six title (below)

Game over: Froch was left to rue what could have been after Ward lifted the Super Six title (below)

The one-way traffic resumed in the sixth, seventh and eighth but then Froch”s phenomenal fitness forced him fully into the fight for the first time.

It had been my hope that the Cobra could strike late. So he did, but not venomously enough. Although, in my view, he took three of the last four rounds he still could not connect concussively with that fast-moving target.

He sought him here, he sought him there, he sought him everywhere, that elusive Californian. But he never really found him with one of his trademark bazookas and by then he needed a stoppage.

Blow by blow Blow by blow

That was like trying to knock out a wisp of smoke and Froch only came close to unravelling that mystery once the fight was over to all intents and purposes.

Ward only had to ease through the concluding phase – which he did partially by holding as he tired somewhat – to win decisively.

The punch statistics, not always the most reliable barometer, tallied overwhelmingly in Ward”s favour.

But the discrepancy on the scorecards can be accounted for by the American skating most of his rounds by the length of the Boardwalk, while Froch won his narrowly.

Unanimous: Froch failed to land enough shots to claim the crown, but has already said he

Unanimous: Froch failed to land enough shots to claim the crown, but has already said he”d like a rematch

Unanimous: Froch failed to land enough shots to claim the crown, but has already said he

It was not as bad as it looked, though Froch conceded that it appeared a bad night for him.

Meanwhile, Ward, whatever the true scale of his victory, lived up to the American hype now acclaiming him as the future successor to Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Manny Pacquiao as boxing”s pound-for-pound king.

For Froch, with two fights against IBF world champion Lucian Bute set up next year in Montreal and then Nottingham, this is not so much the beginning of the end, rather the clarion call to a new beginning.

12 to two . . . how Britain”s champions tumbled

Britain”s world title fighters have had a nasty bout of travel sickness when boxing away from home. From 12 world title fights on foreign soil this year, only two have emerged as winners and both of those – Amir Khan and Carl Froch – have now lost their crowns. Here is the rundown (British fighters in bold):

Mar 5: WBC light-middleweight title – Matthew Hatton v Saul Alvarez (Mex). Lost on points in US.

Mar 19: IBF super-middleweight title – Brian Magee v Lucian Bute (Rom). Lost TKO in 10th in Canada.

reason to be cheerful

June 4: WBC super-middleweight title – Carl Froch v Glen Johnson (Jam). Won on points in US.

June 18: WBC light-middleweight title – Ryan Rhodes v Saul Alvarez (Mex). Lost TKO in 12th in Mexico.

June 25: WBA middleweight title – Matthew Macklin v Felix Sturm (G). Lost on points in Germany.

July 2: IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO heavyweight titles – David Haye v Wladimir Klitschko (Ukr). Lost on points in Germany.

July 23: WBA, IBF light-welterweight titles – Amir Khan v Zab Judah (US). Won TKO in 5th in US.

Oct 1: WBC diamond middleweight title – Darren Barker v Sergio Martinez (Arg). Lost KO in 11th in US.

Dec 2: WBA middleweight title – Martin Murray v Felix Sturm (G). Draw in Germany.

Dec 3: WBA lightweight title – John Murray v Brandon Rios (US). Lost TKO in 11th in US.

Dec 10: WBA, IBF light-welterweight titles – Amir Khan v Lamont Peterson (US). Lost on points in US.

Dec 17: WBC, WBA super-middleweight titles – Carl Froch v Andre Ward (US). Lost on points in US.

Carl Froch: Andre Ward was just too good for me

Slippery eel Ward was too good for me, but I”ll be back, says vanquished Froch

Carl Froch had to admit the better man won after being left “bitterly disappointed” by a lacklustre points defeat against Andre Ward.

Froch came up short against Ward as the classy, unbeaten American won the Super Six tournament final in Atlantic City and added his opponent”s WBC belt to his own WBA super-middleweight title.

Ward, now boasting a record of 25-0 with 13KOs, revealed he had a hand injury from training which he aggravated in the sixth round but it did not stop him producing a typically slick and awkward performance which left Froch to describe him as “a slippery eel”.

Too quick: Froch praised Ward

Too quick: Froch praised Ward”s ability to stay out of harm”s way

“I”m bitterly disappointed,” said Froch, who lost the unanimous decision to scores of 115-113 twice and 118-110 at the Boardwalk Hall.

“Obviously I”ve lost my title and I”ve lost the chance to win another title and the Super Six cup.

“I”m at the end of a wonderful run of fights. I”ve had six or seven fights on the spin all at the top level and you can”t win them all at this level. Elite level fighters do get beaten.

“I don”t want to put myself up there with Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali and some of those top level fighters but they all got beaten and they all came back.

“I”ve been beaten before and I”ve come back stronger. I was in against a very, very tricky, very slick and awkward very good fighter.

“I take nothing away from Andre Ward – he”s very good at not getting hit, and keeping out of harm”s way. He”s like a slippery eel in there sometimes. That”s what boxing is about. It”s about not getting hit.

Coming up short: Froch failed to find his rhythm against a classy opponent

Coming up short: Froch failed to find his rhythm against a classy opponent

Coming up short: Froch failed to find his rhythm against a classy opponent

“He kept himself in the safe zone. I was unable to unleash my power punches consecutively which I felt if I could have, I would have got to him.

“But that is credit to Andre Ward for doing what he did in there. He fought the better fight on the night and I”ve got no excuses at all.”

Froch, now 28-2 (20KO wins) would like another crack at his conqueror.

“I”ll speak to my promoter and have a look at what options are out there,” he said.

“I honestly feel I could beat Andre Ward on a good night. I”d have to work on some technical things. But there are other fights out there.”

Nice guy Ward, for his part, was typically gracious in victory.

“I”m thankful,” he said. “This is not the end, this is really the beginning. We”re going to get better and believe it or not, you haven”t seen the end of Andre Ward.

Cup flows over: Ward can now look to build his career following the Super Six win

Cup flows over: Ward can now look to build his career following the Super Six win

“I”m still growing, I”m still a young fighter and I”ve still got a long way to go. I”ve had some negative press but I need that because it keeps me hungry, humble and keeps me focused.

“I take my hat off to Carl Froch. I”ve got nothing bad to say about him. I”m now looking forward to the next chapter of this journey.”

Andre Ward beats Carl Froch lift Super Six title

Froch outclassed by Ward as Cobra lacks venom to land Super Six title

Carl Froch had no answer to Andre Ward”s class and pedigree as the unbeaten American lifted the Super Six tournament trophy and unified two world titles with an impressive unanimous decision win.

Ward, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist, produced a performance of technical brilliance to see off dangerous Briton Froch in Atlantic City with a relatively comfortable points win.

Defeat for Froch will hurt the Nottingham man”s pride but he will take heart from the fact his participation in the final, and his reputation as one of the sport”s genuine warriors, will allow him opportunities to bounce back.

Outclassed: Froch was no match fr Ward who lifted the Super Six title

Outclassed: Froch was no match fr Ward who lifted the Super Six title

The 34-year-old Briton was putting his own WBC title on the line against unbeaten American Ward, who was defending his WBA belt.

Despite his incredible recent record, Nottingham”s Froch (now 28-2, 20KOs) was rated as generously as 14/5 by some bookmakers to win while Ward (now 25-0, 13KOs) had been quoted at 4/11.

A Ward left hook was the highlight of a quiet opener as Froch landed a jab but then took two accurate jabs.

Sharp jabs and left hooks, combined with his trademark awkwardness, were edging it for Ward in the early exchanges.

Froch landed a solid left-right double to Ward”s body in the closing moments of the second but Ward had surely taken the points over the three minutes.

A close third was busier but Ward”s quick jab and smart left hooks were giving him the advantage while Froch had to be content with sporadic but solid body shots.

Hard graft: Froch tried to drag Ward into a brawl with little success

Hard graft: Froch tried to drag Ward into a brawl with little success

Hard graft: Froch tried to drag Ward into a brawl with little success

Froch needed to press the issue and both men landed single uppercuts at the start of the fourth.

Ward”s weakness is supposedly his lack of power but a right hand landed hard on Froch”s chin after being set up by a flick of the jab.

Ward, not Froch, was forcing the issue and had his opponent looking uncomfortable on the ropes.

Froch roared back though, firing off winging shots which were untidy and largely inaccurate but still got Ward off his case for a moment, only for the

American to finish strongly with another left hook. Two more searing lefts began the fifth brightly for Ward. Froch later chased him across the canvas only to be picked off once again by the cool Californian.

A rare jab landed for Froch but Ward still had the upper hand.

Froch, whose nose had been reddening since the early stages, was making more of an argument of it but a right in the sixth was Ward”s best work at that point.

Froch then landed a power shot but was stung by a left coming the other way as the fight threatened to burst into life.

Slippery: Ward bobbed and weaved around Froch

Slippery: Ward bobbed and weaved around Froch”s shots and picked off the Nottingham man almost at will

Slippery: Ward bobbed and weaved around Froch

The scrappy nature continued as Ward drove him an overhand right before tying his man up on the ropes.

Froch desperately needed to revert to a back-up plan and force Ward into a fight but that was easier said than done against the skilful and canny American.

The first sign of contentious tactics saw Froch warned for an unorthodox shot with the back of the hand before Ward held him off dubiously after being caught by a rare body shot.

Froch jumped forward with a left hand but still lost the eighth – which ended with Froch catching Ward with a naughty shot after the bell.

Ward trapped Froch in a neutral corner in the ninth and chopped in a right hand but the Englishman showed his resistance to shake it off and at least try to battle back. A right landed to little effect before both men traded in the centre of the ring.

Froch won perhaps his first round of the night in the ninth as he threw more jabs from his hip and finally started following them up with straight rights.

Game over: Froch was left to rue what could have been after Ward lifted the Super Six title (below)

Game over: Froch was left to rue what could have been after Ward lifted the Super Six title (below)

Game over: Froch was left to rue what could have been after Ward lifted the Super Six title (below)

Froch was finally injecting some spite into his punches even if Ward was still boxing well using the jab and left hook.

Froch fired off a powerful right in the 11th and was belatedly making a real fight of it but at that stage it looked too little, too late.

It was time for Froch to lay it all on the line in the 12th but he needed a knockout, and was not helped by a time out for Ward”s mouthguard to be rinsed and put back in.

Ward tried to keep Froch at arm”s length while the Englishman scored with an uppercut.

Ward had the crowd on their feet as he coasted to the win via a unanimous decision with scores of 115-113 by two judges and 118-110 by the third, British judge John Keane.

Carl Froch believes his experience is crucial

After seven black nights Carl the Cobra aims to strike back for Britain in the USA

The Cobra or the Son Of God The English iron man or the American preacher boy The slugging warrior or the smooth operator

Plenty of big fights are difficult to predict but this one is as close as Shane Warne to Liz Hurley.

Separating Carl Froch from Andre Ward is a tricky business but in casino city you take your money and you place your bet.

Showdown: Carl Froch and Andre Ward stand face to face after their weigh-in

Showdown: Carl Froch and Andre Ward stand face to face after their weigh-in

And after seven black nights this year for British boxers in world title fights abroad, Froch assures us that the roulette wheel will come up red here.

“If you”re a gambler the odds must be in my favour,” he says. “We are due a red.” Britain”s No 1 prize-fighter is acutely aware that he is going to battle for his country – as well as for his WBC and Ward”s WBA world super-middleweight titles – in this final of the long and gruelling Super Six tournament.

Matthew Hatton, Matthew Macklin, David Haye, Martin Murray, Darren Barker, John Murray and most recently Amir Khan have all returned home without the big belts. Now Froch says: “Right. I need to bite down on my gum-shield even harder because I”ve got to restore Britain”s pride. It”s not looking good for us as a nation. That puts even more pressure on me but that”s OK. I desperately want us back on the world map. We can”t be a nation of losers.”

Fighting fit: Froch weighed-in half a pound under the 168lb limit on Friday, with Ward exactly on the 12 stone limit

Fighting fit: Froch weighed-in half a pound under the 168lb limit on Friday, with Ward exactly on the 12 stone limit

Yet even in terms of the patriotic call, there is nothing between him and his rival. Ward was the only US boxing gold medallist in the 2004 Olympics and he says: “Carl is my third European opponent in this competition and I am conscious every time that I am fighting for America – and am proud to do so.”

If styles make fights then this could be the fight of the year.

Ward is a slick, elusive stylist who has established a 24-fight undefeated record as a professional by doing enough to rack up the points.

Froch, beaten only once in a 29-fight career, will hunt him down and test Ward”s response to more physical pain than he has endured to date.

Ward says: “I can be a warrior too if needs be.” Froch says: “I”ll hit him in the face hard and often and then we”ll see.”

Each has accused the other of fighting dirty and Froch is hoping the eye cut which obliged Ward to postpone this final from its original date in October will inhibit the American from lunging in with his head.

What it

Battle of styles: Ward (left)and Froch

In a fight potentially this even, every tiny advantage assumes huge importance. Ward, at 27, is seven years the younger but Froch cites thevalue of his experience, which now runs to an unprecedented six world-class fights in a row. He says: “Andre”s had it easier in this Super Six Classic than me and he”s not faced anything like the same number of top-flight opponents.”

While Ward has developed quickly into a force during this tournament, Froch has added more skills to his repertoire and should be regarded now as a box-fighter rather than just a physical brawler. He not only beat up Arthur Abraham and Glen Johnson but outclassed them.

In terms of experience, the Froch camp also question the man in the opposite corner. When he was dying, Ward”s father entrusted his son”s future to trainer Virgil Hunter, who is also Andre”s godfather. Unusually, Hunter never boxed and Rob McCracken, trusted trainer of Froch and Britain”s London 2012 Olympic boxers, says: “Since Ward has not been in a real battle yet, it will be interesting to see what happens if and when they themselves in a crisis against Carl.”

Prime condition: Both fighters came in at the optimum weight for the fight Prime condition: Both fighters came in at the optimum weight for the fight

Prime condition: Both fighters came in at the optimum weight for the fight

Ward, however, is boxing at home and the officiating at Amir Khan”s controversial defeat by Lamont Peterson in Washington a week ago has put the spotlight on tonight”s judges. Steve Smoger is New Jersey”s most experienced referee and well respected but he is American, as is one of the three judges, John Stewart. The other two are Britain”s John Keane and Canadian Craig Metcalfe.

Froch”s promoter Eddie Hearn has expressed confidence in that team but Carl says: “If the rounds are close we know the temptation will be to give them to Ward. So if it”s even after five or six rounds but Rob and I fear that means we will be behind on the scorecards then I”ll have to get on the front foot and go after him.

“The good thing is that he”s not a massive puncher so I”m prepared to walk through his punches so as to hurt him.”

Hard-hitting: Froch believes his experience is crucial to winning the bout

Hard-hitting: Froch believes his experience is crucial to winning the bout

Therein lies the key for Froch, who has a granite chin while Ward does not appear to have the power to keep him at bay in the Boardwalk Hall.

The stakes are high and the winner can also expect more big-money fights against the likes of Lucian Bute and Mikkel Kessler.

Carl Froch or Andre Ward

Albeit with heart in mouth, I”m taking the Nottingham Cobra to strike late and upset the odds in favour of the Son Of God.

l Froch v Ward is live tonight on Sky Sports 1 HD, programme starting at midnight, main event no earlier than 2.35 am.

Mario Balotelli and Micah Richards boxing again

Er… it”s not Boxing Day yet, lads! City pair Balotelli and Richards square up again

They do like a scrap at Manchester City! Here Mario Balotelli and Micah Richards are play-fighting in the dressing room at their training ground.

This picture was taken 24 hours before the pair had a real bust-up during training when Richards had to be held back by team-mates.

Boxing Day comes early: Mario Balotelli and Micah Richards square up in the Manchester City changing room

Boxing Day comes early: Mario Balotelli and Micah Richards square up in the Manchester City changing room

City boss Roberto Mancini said of that incident: ‘Mario and Micah were boxing, but they are like twins. They are good friends.

‘I asked Mario why is it always him. He said it was because Micah hadn’t passed the ball to him. When we play eight v eight at the end of training it’s passionate.

“These things happen but it is stupid. I used to always be involved in things like this when I was a player. Once (while at Sampdoria) with Trevor Francis.

Clash: The pair had to be separated by team-mates after a coming together during training

Clash: The pair had to be separated by team-mates after a coming together during training

‘Mario is king for this isn’t he This has happened with him four times now.’

Exiled England defender Richards regularly works out in the boxing area of the gym on a punchbag, but wanted to show his skills to striker Balotelli, who has been a knockout buy for City.

Perhaps Carl Froch, who fights to be Super Six champion on Saturday, had better watch out!

Andre Ward preaching the right way ahead of Carl Froch fight

Son of God is on a mission: Ward preaching the right way, but can he handle the Cobra

The Son Of God, as Andre Ward proclaims himself, smiles slowly at the suggestion that Carl Froch has rattled him prior to their super-fight here on Saturday night.

After a moment”s reflection, he says: “As long as I continue to let God lead my life I know great things are bound to happen for me.”

There is an unnerving aura of certainty about this most unusual prize-fighter. It is rooted in Ward”s conviction that his eventual destiny is to become a minister of the church, while the purpose of him being a world champion boxer is to use that platform to spread the gospel.

Faith: Ward (centre left) says boxing is a means for him to spread the gospel

Faith: Ward (centre left) says boxing is a means for him to spread the gospel

Froch believes he has got under the skin of the gifted American who confronts him in a battle which will unify the WBC and WBA world super-middleweight titles, while bringing to a thunderous climax the two-year Super Six tournament to find the supreme champion in this division.

The Nottingham Cobra says: “Andre is genuinely wound up about me calling him a dirty fighter who goes in with his head. He does what Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins do, leads with his head before he punches. That way there”s less chance of getting caught with a shot going in and more risk of a clash of heads. He”s agitated that I”ve rumbled him and that I”m alerting the referee to his tactic.”

Ward replies: “The only remarks of Carl”s which have offended me were those which disrespected my faith. It”s not right to do that.

“But you will never hear any trash talking from me, I”m certainly not into that gangsta stuff. I pause to think before I speak. I want to be sure that everything I say is in keeping with my religion and good for my sport.

Head to head: Carl Froch (right) insists he has got under the skin of Ward

Head to head: Carl Froch (right) insists he has got under the skin of Ward

“I want to portray boxing as a decent sport and try to set an example with the way I live. We have kids watching us and a lot of adults who have lost their way in life. It is important for people in our position to set an example, to remember that we are role models.

“What I have to say trades into my faith. Beliefs, morals and principles are important.”

This thoughtful young man – America”s only boxing gold medallist at the 2004 Olympics is 27, Britain”s WBC world champion 34 – says he is as faithful to his wife as he is to his religion: “Tiffiney was my school sweetheart and will be the only woman ever in my life.”

Then that smile again as he adds: “I couldn”t be the playboy. I was never any good at chatting up the girls.”

Enlarge Super Six: Everything you need to know

There have been accusations of extraordinary ego in his choice of ring nickname but Ward says: “I am humble. Firm but with humility. The Son Of God name came to me at aroundthe time of my second fight. A friend told me it was a line in a song and it stuck with me. (The initials S O G are also tattooed on his arm).

“There is no arrogance in this. It simply feels right for me because I lead a pure Christian life. It is anopen statement of my faith. My ultimate goal is to be a minister. That is my true calling. I view my life now as a ministry, including my time in the ring and my time with the fans.”

Ward is aware of the growing anti-Christian sentiment here in America and elsewhere and says: “I know full well that these days not everyone will like you if you are a Christian. The Bible tells us that doing right will not necessarily make you popular. But principles and beliefs are more important to me.”

Even his trainer, Virgil Hunter, is his godfather. Andre and Tiffiney have three children, Andre Jnr who is 10, Malachi 8 and the one girl, Amira 3. As well as going every Sunday to church – The Well in a town called Dublin near Oakland, California – they work there as volunteers at least twice a week.

“We had our first son when I was 17, a year before we married,” says Ward. “I am very happy being a devoted father and husband. I strongly believe in family and family values.”

He sees no conflict between his religion and the violence of boxing: “I don”t use my faith as a crutch. It is the source of my strength and my main motivation for working so hard.”

Humble not rumbled: Andre Ward (left) beat Arthur Abraham in May

Humble not rumbled: Andre Ward (left) beat Arthur Abraham in May

Those attributes drove him to his Olympic glory and have kept him undefeated thus far in a seven-year, 24-fight professional career highlighted by victories in this Super Six made-for-television series over Mikkel Kessler, which also won him the WBA title, Allan Green and Arthur Abraham.

Nevertheless, he has enjoyed an easier ride to this final in the historic Boardwalk Hall. He was given a walkover when Andre Dirrell withdrew and met Abraham after he had been softened up by Froch, who is confident his experience of many harder fights will count.

Another smile from Ward: “I do my best at all times and I believe that will be good enough for me to out-box Carl. And I thank God when I succeed.”

Froch v Ward is live Saturday on Sky Sports 1 from midnight.

Carl Froch plans to show Andre Ward he"s the best in the world

I”m the best in Britain and I”ll show Ward that I”m the best in the world, says Froch

Carl Froch has declared himself Britain”s best boxer as he bids to be crowned the world”s top super-middleweight on Saturday.

The WBC champion from Nottingham meets WBA champion Andre Ward in the final of the innovative Super Six tournament in Atlantic City hoping to do what fellow Britons Amir Khan and David Haye could not.

Khan lost his WBA and IBF light-welterweight belts to Lamont Peterson last weekend while Froch”s friend Haye came up well short against heavyweight rival Wladimir Klitschko in the summer.

Show time: David Haye visits his friend Carl Froch at the Trinity Gym in New York ahead of the Nottingham Cobra

Show time: David Haye visits his friend Carl Froch at the Trinity Gym in New York ahead of the Nottingham Cobra”s big bout with Andre Ward

Froch can lay claim to being the world”s best super-middleweight if he beats unbeaten American Ward at the Boardwalk Hall but insists he does not care about public recognition.

“I am the top fighter in Britain at the minute,” he said. “If people want to give me credit for what I have achieved, then great. If they don”t, I”m not bothered.

“I have gone past that stage of caring what people say about me.”

Froch admits Khan deserved to lose the split decision verdict against Peterson in Washington.

However, he remains wary of leaving Saturday”s outcome in the hands of the judges.

“You can”t trust any judges,” he said.

Head-to-head: Froch stares down Ward as the pair meet at the last press conference before their Super Six Final showdown

Head-to-head: Froch stares down Ward as the pair meet at the last press conference before their Super Six Final showdown

“We are doing what we can in the build-up and I do appreciate judges and referees have a job to do. But, ideally, you cannot leave a fight verdict in the hands of the judges. They will do anything they can if it is a close fight to give him the decision.

“I am fighting away in this tournament for the umpteenth time. I am back in Atlantic City to fight an American in America against their golden-boy superstar. So they all want him to win.

“In my fight against Glen Johnson in Atlantic City I couldn”t believe that one of the judges, a Japanese fella, scored it a draw. It wasn”t even close. Even Glen admitted that, and his manager, Lou DiBella, said it wasn”t close.

“After what happened to Amir, of course I am concerned. But I am a fighter and I will go in there to stop him.”

Carl Froch has vowed to repay his loyal followers for their support when he aims to unify the two world titles.

On the line: Froch wants to prove himself as the world

On the line: Froch wants to prove himself as the world”s best when he takes on Ward in Atlantic City

The initial October 29 date had to be postponed when Ward suffered a cut in training and Froch is particularly grateful for the support of those Britons who are still backing him having lost out financially first time around.

Froch (28-1, 20KO wins) came face to face with unbeaten Californian Ward (24-0, 13KO wins) at the final fight press conference in New York on Tuesday and made it clear he is ready to fight.

“The time for talking is most definitely over,” he said. “I”m going to do my talking in the ring on December 17.

“It”s a cliche, but trust me, I”ve had a great response from the British fans – and the American fans.

“Hundreds, nearly a thousand actually, of people are flying over from England and it”s taken me by surprise, being so close to Christmas.

“They have dug deep and I want to say a big thanks to them and say I guarantee you will not be disappointed with what you see on Saturday night.”