After witnessing Andre Ward pick apart Carl Froch, what’s next for the king of the 168-pound weight division? Ward, now the WBA and WBC 168-pound champion, won on all three scorecards, 118-110, 115-113 (twice).
The 115-113 score is a bit of a head scratcher considering the way Ward (25-0) dominated Froch (28-2). But the point is Ward got the win and now has got to be considered a top five pound-for-pound fighter.
Logic would dictate a bout with IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute, but Ward was clear in pre and post-fight interviews that he is in control of his next fight. While Bute has become a favorite in the division, he doesn’t have the resume Ward has.
Ward will have his choice of bouts over the next year if he doesn’t like the idea of taking on Bute. Even if there are some who don’t believe Bute is deserving of a shot at Ward, it would be nice to see a true undisputed champion of a major fight division.
If not Bute, how about a match against Sergio Martinez (48-2-2)? Martinez and his promoter Lou DiBella have been itching for a major fight against a big-name boxer. He’ll have to move up to 168 or at least fight at a catch-weight, but it’s an interesting matchup.
Jean Pascal, Chad Dawson and even Tavoris Cloud could all be legitimate options for Ward. Sorry, we won’t see Miguel Cotto and Ward, at least not in this lifetime. Cotto is far too small to move up to super middleweight or even fight at a catch-weight at say 164 or something of that nature to fight Ward.
Dan Goossen is likely to shop around before settling on Bute, but even money says we’ll see him the ring with Ward sometime late spring or early summer.
On a network note, Showtime deserves its due respect for putting on a good tournament. There were bumps and bruises along way, with three fighters –Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler– dropping out, but that didn’t stop the show.
Boxing fans got to see eight of the top 168-pound fighters in the world fight each other for two years. It doesn’t get better than that.