Benn backs Ward to defeat Froch in Super Six final

By Ben DirsBBC Sport
Listen to Mike Costello, Steve Bunce and Eleanor Oldroyd preview the Ward-Froch fight on the BBC iPlayer

Former super-middleweight world champion Nigel Benn has tipped Andre Ward to beat Carl Froch in the final of the Super Six tournament this weekend.

Nottingham's WBC title-holder Froch faces American WBA champion Ward in Atlantic City, with Ward the favourite.

"I fancy Ward to win it. He's very slippery, a very good fighter," Benn told BBC Sport.

"Don't get me wrong, Carl's a good fighter, a strong guy, and it will be a close fight, but Ward will edge it."

Former Olympic champion Ward has won all 24 of his professional fights, including a victory over Denmark's Mikkel Kessler, who in turn beat Froch.

That defeat by Kessler, in 2009, is Froch's only loss in the paid ranks and the 34-year-old has since beaten Arthur Abraham and Glen Johnson to reach the final of the tournament.

However, Froch is a 2-1 underdog with British bookmakers, while most pundits expect the 27-year-old Ward to outsmart his English rival.

But one man who thinks Froch has a chance is the venerable Manny Steward, trainer of heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko and former trainer of British great Lennox Lewis.

"Ward is the best technical fighter of the two but Froch is so mentally strong, you can never rule him out," Steward told BBC Sport.

"He doesn't realise his own limitations - he's so strong-minded his will sometimes overcomes the other man's talent.

"Also, the fact the fight is on the east coast will favour Froch because Andre has always fought in his comfort zone and Carl should have a lot of support from British fans."

While Froch has often complained about a lack of media and public interest in his fights, Benn insisted modern fighters were partly to blame for their lack of exposure.

"I wish I saw more of them, they box once every six or seven months," said Benn, who was a central figure in British boxing's last great boom in the early 1990s, when his fights with Chris Eubank were watched by millions on terrestrial television.external-link

"How are you going to get a name? Carl Froch is a great fighter but we see him once in a blue moon. You've got to keep busy and then 'bang, bang, bang', prepare for another one.

"I was fighting every month - one year I had 13 fights - 'bang, knock him out, bring on somebody else, bang, knock him out, bring on somebody else'.

"The British public watched us grow up because they didn't have to pay for it. Now boxing is scattered all over the place, on Sky Sports or pay-per-view, and people can't afford it."