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Carl Froch has offers to fight Lucian Bute and Mikkel Kessler

Froch receives support and fight offers from rivals after Ward defeat

Carl Froch has received support from the unlikeliest sources after rivals Lucian Bute, Mikkel Kessler and Saturday”s conqueror Andre Ward all offered him lifelines following his crushing defeat by the American.

The Englishman was outclassed by unbeaten WBA champion Ward in Saturday”s Super Six final in Atlantic City, losing his WBC super-middleweight title in a unanimous decision defeat.

Nottingham native Froch was visibly devastated by the result but will perhaps be cheered this week by words of support from unexpected allies.

Outclassed: Carl Froch was beaten by Andre Ward on Saturday, but his career is far from over

Outclassed: Carl Froch was beaten by Andre Ward on Saturday, but his career is far from over

IBF champion Bute is open to a fight with the Englishman if a unification bout with Ward cannot be made quickly and talks are believed to have already begun with Froch”s team.

Kessler, who beat Froch in a close thriller in Denmark last year before pulling out of the tournament with injury, would also be interested according to his promoter Kalle Sauerland.

And even Ward is open to a rematch with Froch, despite the decisive nature of his win.

Sauerland, who hopes Kessler takes the WBO title against Robert Stieglitz in April, said: “It”s funny because the final at the weekend was not really the end of the Super Six. There are so many questions left.

“Froch and Kessler is a fight we”ve got to see again. Wherever the venue is, it is the sort of fight that is made for fans.

Super slick: Andre Ward celebrates defeating Carl Froch and winning the Super Six tournament

Super slick: Andre Ward celebrates defeating Carl Froch and winning the Super Six tournament

“I think you could even do a part two and a part three with one in the UK and one in Denmark, wherever it makes sense and you”ll get a big crowd.

“I would obviously love for Mikkel to get a belt around his waist again but I also think Froch v Kessler is a fight that doesn”t need belts to sell. It”s a war.

“Carl has come out of the tournament with a big name. His brand value has increased hundred-fold so I think he should still see himself as a winner, not a loser.

“The fairest option could be one in England and one in Denmark.”

Ward fighting against Canada-based Romanian Bute would seem to be the logical next step but neither man likes to concede home advantage.

Re-match One of Froch

Re-match One of Froch”s options could be another fight with Mikkel Kessler

Bute against 34-year-old Froch would sell huge numbers in Quebec or England, however.

“I”m Carl”s best opportunity now,” said the unbeaten IBF champion.

“He put in a good fight, with 115-113 by two judges, and he reached the Super Six final between the best super-middleweights.

“Right now I”m his biggest payday but I”m the champion right now and if Carl Froch wants to become a world champion again then he”s going to have to fight me.”

Bute added: “It would be logical for me to fight Ward and Kessler and Froch to fight, then the winners meet, but sometimes boxing is political rather than logical so it”s about money, timing and TV, so we”ll see.”

Froch said: “I”d definitely take the fight with Bute, 100 per cent. It”s a fight I”d want.”

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He”ll be back: Froch has vowed to return to the ring and fight again

Despite being comprehensively beaten by American Ward – albeit with two judges scoring it too close at 115-113 – Froch has gained huge respect around the world for his performances over the last three years.

Indeed, he remains more of a box office draw than the awkward and under-appreciated Ward.

Ward himself said he would be “absolutely” open to a rematch with Froch despite the ease of his victory while the Briton is understandably keen for a chance to address the defeat.

“When you get beaten you always want to avenge the loss,” Froch said.

“Because you come away from the fight and see where you went wrong and now I need to go back and have a look at it.

“Obviously as a fighter, a warrior and a man who is proud, then I want to try to put it straight. But the fight has just happened, it”s been and gone and we can”t yet talk about it happening again. Andre has won the fight fair and square but certainly it”s something I”d like in the future.

“You”ve not seen the end of me, that”s for sure.”

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.