Posted December 16, 2011 on AP on Fox
Two years have passed since Showtime began its ''Super Six Boxing World Boxing Classic'' in an effort to find the top super-middleweight boxer. There were some obstacles along the way. Some contenders, such as IBF champion Lucian Bute, opted not to participate. Injuries forced Jermain Taylor and Mikkael Kessler to withdraw during the round-robin tournament. And Andre Ward suffered a cut while sparring and had to postpone the final bout for nearly two months. But the search for the best 168-pounder will finally end Saturday at Boardwalk Hall, when Ward (24-0, 13 KOs), of Oakland, Calif., puts his WBA title on the line against WBC champion Carl Froch (28-1, 20 KOs), of Nottingham, England, in one of the most anticipated fights of the year. ''Have there been problems? Sure,'' Ward's promoter, Dan Goossen said. ''But for Showtime to be able to get past the politics of boxing, promoters' egos and everything else to keep this tournament together, has been quite an accomplishment. It was a brilliant concept and when the bell rings on Saturday night, people are going to enjoy an outstanding, exciting fight.'' Both Froch and Ward fought their way through top competition to earn their spots in the final. Froch, 34, went 4-1 in the previous rounds of the tournament. He opened with a 12-round decision over Andre Dirrell on Oct. 17, 2009, then rebounded from the first loss of his career - a 12-round decision to Kessler on April, 24, 2010 - with decision victories over Arthur Abraham and Glen Johnson, respectively. Froch has never backed away from a challenge. His last 18 opponents sported a combined record of 449-63-12 at the time he fought them. ''I've come up the hard way, but I'm finally starting to get the recognition and credit I deserve,'' Froch said. ''People are counting on me to restore pride in British boxing.'' British boxing fans have been searching for a hero since former champions Joe Calzaghe and Ricky Hatton retired. Heavyweight David Haye lost a lot of support with a listless performance against champion Wladimir Klitschko last July. Middleweight prospect Darren Barker, who suffered an 11th-round knockout loss to Sergio Martinez at Boardwalk Hall two months ago, has yet to record a signature victory. Former super-welterweight champ Amir Khan suffered a split decision loss to Lamont Peterson last week. ''The problem is that every UK boxer talks a great fight, but they've seldom delivered,'' Froch's promoter, Eddie Hearn, said. ''You know what you're going to get with Carl Froch. I'm expecting an impressive performance from Carl on Saturday night. I want him to beat Ward in devastating fashion.'' That figures to be a daunting task. Ward, 27, hasn't lost as an amateur or a professional since he was 14. He capped an outstanding amateur career by winning a gold medal for the U.S. in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece and has since dominated his competition in the pros. He entered the Super Six tourney as an underdog to the more experienced Abraham, Froch and Kessler, but is favored to win after posting an 11th-round TKO over Kessler, then posting decisions over Allen Green, Sakio Bika and Abraham. ''You're going to have two hungry fighters in the ring, two fighters who don't want to lose,'' Ward said. ''I know I'll bring it and I believe (Froch) will bring it. This has been a long time coming and I'm ready.''

Ward-Froch Fight Pictures, Post-Fight Quotes, Video & Official Recap

Andre Ward is the Super Six World Boxing Classic champion and the No. 1 super middleweight in the world. Ward dominated England’s Carl Froch to win a unanimous decision by the scores of 118-110, 115-113 two times in front of 5,626 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. The victory unified the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council super middleweight titles and also...

Control, And Lack Thereof: Andre Ward Vs. Carl Froch Preview And Prediction

It has taken two years to get to Saturday night, when we find out on Showtime who is the best super middleweight in the world. It's been a convoluted journey, to say the least, but with a day to go waiting for Andre Ward and Carl Froch to bring the Super Six tournament to a big finish, it sure feels worth it to me, a journey enhanced -- oddly enough -- by how difficult it was...

Super Six tourney fails to impress

The Super Six World Boxing Classic has been hailed as an innovative tournament that broke the mold of current boxing matchmaking, guaranteeing fight fans the big fights between the top contenders that promoter politics has denied them. But in the final it became clear that far from being a break from the boxing's current flaws, the tournament actually embodies them. Firstly...

Andre Ward wins unanimous decision over Carl Froch in AC

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Andre Ward had his hands more full on stage than he ever did in the ring against Carl Froch. Ward...

Ward earns unanimous decision over Froch in Super Six final

Andre Ward had his hands more full on stage than he ever did in the ring against Carl Froch.
Boxing News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.