by Rachel Swan
Not only did Hayward-raised boxer Andre Ward win Saturday's Super Six World Boxing Classic final in Atlantic City, he won handily. At least, that's the word from Merc correspondent Jon Marks, who praised the "superior quickness and elusiveness" — not to mention the fast left hook — that helped the 27 year-old East Bay pugilist trounce his British opponent, Carl Froch. That's no small victory. Though Ward is seven years younger than Froch, he was still considered the underdog in this match, which was hyped extensively via a behind-the-scenes Showtime documentary. Moreover, he's become something of a folk hero in Oakland, not only because he trained here, but because he still shows up to smoker matches at King's Gym, where his newspaper clippings plaster the wall. Oh, and get this — he also won the bout with an injured hand.
While two judges at Super Six declared Ward the winner by a narrow 115-113 margin, the third, who was British, had a more conclusive score of 118-110. As a result, Ward got the title and maybe a shot at being 2011 Fighter of the Year. At the very least, he'll be lauded as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world.