Andre Ward: ‘I would consider fighting George Groves next’
RING and WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward would consider making his next fight against previously unbeaten 168-pounder George "Saint" Groves, who scored a first-round knockdown during last month's disputed ninth-round stoppage loss to IBF belholder Carl "The Cobra" Froch in an all-British brawl.
Froch (32-2, 23 knockouts) came up with his fourth straight win and his third knockout during that run against Groves (19-1, 15 KOs) since falling to Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) by unanimous decision in December of 2011 in their bout for THE RING, WBA and WBC belts.
Ward is coming off last month's unanimous decision over Edwin Rodriguez that followed a 10th-round knockout of then-RING and WBC light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson last September.
"I would consider fighting George Groves next. He showed a lot his last fight. He's a good fighter and deserves a shot," said Ward, who faced Dawson after vanquishing Froch, on his Twitter account. "#UK fans still not happy with Carl "The Cobra" Froch huh?? That's why I respect #UK fans, they ride for the home team, but tell the truth!!"
Having turned 36 in July, Froch entered the bout with Groves as THE RING's No. 1-rated 168-pounder. Froch had last been in the ring for May's unanimous decision over Mikkel Kessler in a rematch of their 2010 bout when Kessler unanimously decisioned Froch as part of Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic.
Froch had earned consecutive stoppage victories over Philadelphia's Yusaf Mack in the third round and previously unbeaten IBF beltholder Lucian Bute in the fifth in May and November of 2012 prior to facing Kessler.
Froch has stoppage wins over Robin Reed, Jermain Taylor and Brian Magee, and decisions over Jean Pascal, Arthur Abraham, Glen Johnson and Andre Dirrell.
On the Froch-Kessler II undercard, Groves scored his third straight stoppage victory in the fifth-round over Noe Gonzalez, ending the loser's winning streak of two consecutive first-round knockouts.
"Thing is…if he is going to live up to his tough guy image, he has to rematch Groves or try to avenge his loss to me," stated Ward. "He's got two options. His fans won't except anything else. What do you think #UK??"
Although Ward is involved in a his a lawsuit seeking separation from career-long promoter Dan Goossen, with whom he has had an ongoing contractual rift, the RING super middleweight champion still expects to return to the ring in "March or April," Ward informed RingTV.com earlier this month.
The 2004 Olympic gold medalist has been spent his entire professional career with Goossen, who learned on Monday that Ward had filed suit in attempt to end a contract that ties him to Goossen until September of 2015, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Ward had previously informed RingTV.com that he wanted to return to action in September from successful surgery in early January to repair his injured right shoulder, with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. being his "dream" opponent.
Ward's injury had forced the cancelation of a scheduled March 2 defense against former middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik, who was promoted by Top Rank.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]