Posts Tagged ‘Carl Froch

01
Jun
13

Mayweather vs. Alvarez: Will Superfight Fuel Boxing’s Comeback?

BY JONATHAN SNOWDEN (LEAD WRITER)

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Boxing has supposedly been dying since your great-grandparents’ day, when Jack Johnson demolished the great white hope, Jim Jeffries, before a stunned nation. The incursion of African-Americans, it was said, would kill the sport in a matter of years.

They claimed it was dying in your grandparents’ day, when televised fights bit into local club action and threatened the sport’s infrastructure. Beyond the systemic problems, none of the fighters compared favorably to Jack Dempsey, the greatest of them all.

It was dying in your parents’ generation, when Larry Holmes and a cast of pretenders tried to fill Muhammad Ali’s giant shoes. New commercial stars like Ray Mancini and Sugar Ray Leonard were just flashes in the pan and, without them, boxing didn’t have the voltage to stay on network television.

To this day, boxing is still allegedly dying. Pundits have all but buried the sport over and over again. This time the culprit is politics, stagnant matchmaking and diva-rich fighters like Floyd Mayweather who call their own shots.

It’s hard to unring a bell, recall an ambulance or overcome the persistent power of the Internet echo chamber.

Persistent success over the years couldn’t stop the talk. Canelo Alvarez putting nearly 40,000 fans in the Alamodome for his fight with Austin Trout barely caused pundits to pause between condemnations of the sport. Astounding success overseas, with the Klitschko brothers continuing to fascinate German fight fans and Carl Froch replacing Ricky Hatton in England?

It’s like anything outside the States never happened at all.

Just like Richard Nixon in China, only Floyd Mayweather was powerful enough to put a halt to the discussion of boxing’s demise. After all, he was a big part of the problem. Right or wrong, fingers have always pointed at him as the roadblock preventing the fight of the century with Manny Pacquiao.

It was up to Floyd to fix what he had helped break, to pick up a shovel and dig the coffin from the grave, prove the corpse was still breathing and restore order to his kingdom.

Love him or hate him, Mayweather has stepped up to the plate and is swinging for the fences. He whiffed badly with the Pacquiao fight, failing to deliver the bout fans craved for years. This time, Floyd didn’t intend to let an opportunity slip through his fingers.

What the fight fans wanted—more than any other, even the great Pacquiao—was a showdown with Alvarez, the top Mexican star in the world. It was a fight most were skeptical about ever seeing.

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Mayweather, with a single tweet, proved all the critics wrong.

“I chose my opponent for September 14th and it’s Canelo Alvarez,” he wrote. “I’m giving the fans what they want.”

At 36, Floyd’s not content to glide into retirement, coasting on a string of undersized contenders like Robert Guerrero. Mayweather could have picked anyone, but he chose the biggest, scrappiest dog in the pound for a fight the Las Vegas Review-Journal has reported will be contested at a catch weight of 152 pounds.

Alvarez will be, by far, the largest man Floyd has ever fought. A legitimate 154-pounder, he will likely top the scales at over 170 pounds on fight night. Floyd rarely even approaches 150 pounds, giving the challenger (who turns 23 in July) a 20-pound edge.

Unlike Guerrero, who seemed overmatched from the start, Alvarez is a true test for this generation’s greatest boxer. He’s already racked up 42 wins and proved himself against top competition.

It’s a classic battle—youth, size and gumption against consummate skill, technique and blazing speed. And, once again, it’s a fight that will, at least temporarily, dispel the myth that boxing is a dying sport.

Although it isn’t likely to approach Mayweather’s pay-per-view record set against Oscar De La Hoya, it is a fight that should attract well over a million buys. And it’s not alone. In Europe, the sport continues to hold off advances from mixed martial arts, while Pacquiao will attempt to reinvigorate an Asian marketplace that has long been a sleeping giant.

Here at home, compelling fights abound, now on two different premium networks. Showtime has become the home of the most compelling fights in the world, but HBO’s time-tested power to make stars gives hope that a new generation of superstars will emerge.

There is reason for boxing fans to be hopeful. An Alvarez win ushers in a new-generation superstar, much in the way that victories over De La Hoya established Pacquiao and Mayweather as top draws. A Mayweather win further establishes the legacy of an all-time great, and potential bouts with Pacquiao and Adrien Broner remain.

Either way, boxing wins. Thanks, Floyd.

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25
Jun
10

Showtime Super Six Forecast

Michael Shou-Yung Shum – The group stage of the Super Six World Boxing Classic on Showtime is entering its final round, and – other than Andre Ward who has already advanced – the remaining five fighters are still in contention to reach the knockout stage. Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler, and Carl Froch are all on two points after two matches, and will be looking for results in their next fights to go through. Arthur Abraham is in second place with three points and is likely to advance. Allan Green needs a knockout and some help. Here’s how I see the rest of the tournament playing out:

ANDRE WARD VERSUS ANDRE DIRRELL (Sept. 25)

I like Ward on points in this match-up. He has looked great in his two tournament wins (over Kessler and Green), and shown a level of toughness that bodes well for his professional future.. Dirrell has faster hands and is more mobile, but Ward’s reflexes are sharp (as shown against Green) and he may negate Dirrell’s advantages with his excellent timing. Because Ward is already through to the knockout stage and Dirrell needs points to advance, one may suspect that Dirrell has greater motivation, but it is difficult to find a young American fighter that is more competitive and focused than Ward. “S.O.G.” doesn’t want to lose a) his zero, and b) the WBA title he wrested from Kessler; expect him to retain both in another mauling type of effort. Prediction: WARD UD 12 in a potentially tedious fight.

CARL FROCH VERSUS ARTHUR ABRAHAM (Unscheduled)

Both fighters are coming off their first losses, Froch to Kessler in a hard-fought war and Abraham to Dirrell in a match where Abraham was dominated and then disqualified for a late blow. Abraham does have an extra point from his K.O. of Jermain Taylor In the first round, which may be enough to see him through to the knockout stage regardless of outcome. Froch will be looking for a result here, and I think this additional incentive is enough to give him an edge in this fight. He is also the bigger man with a 2.5” reach advantage. Froch has had problems with quick opponents (i.e., against Jean Pascal, Taylor, and Dirrell) and Kessler outworked him, but Abraham is neither especially fast nor active. I expect Froch to use his size to maintain range and box his way to a close decision, although no doubt there will be some dicey moments. Prediction: FROCH SD/MD 12 in a tense fight.

MIKKEL KESSLER VERSUS ALLAN GREEN (Sept. 25)

As is his wont, Green talked a lot prior to his fight with Ward and then phoned it in once inside the ring, barely throwing any meaningful punches after the third stanza en route to losing every round on all three judges’ cards. I’d like to say that he shows up against Kessler, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Kessler, who just picked up his third belt at 168 lbs. by beating Froch for his WBC title, doesn’t have any clear physical advantages over Green: this isn’t the same Kessler who faced Joe Calzaghe; Mikkel is older, slower, and no longer seems to have the same zip in his straight right. However, he does have a champion’s heart, which is the ingredient Green seems to lack, for all his physical talent. Prediction: KESSLER UD 12 in another fight where Green fades badly down the stretch.

KNOCKOUT STAGE FORECAST

Ward will have six points from three victories, and will be seeded #1 in the knockout stage. Both Kessler and Froch will have four points from two victories, but Kessler will be seeded #2 due to his head-to-head win over Froch. The #4 seed will be Arthur Abraham, on three points from his KO win over Taylor.

In the #1 vs. #4 match-up, Ward easily outboxes Abraham, possibly winning every round. In a rematch of their fight from the group stage, I see Froch coming out on top this time over Kessler in another rugged brawl. Froch just seems to have a little more left in the tank at this point.

In the final, I expect Ward to beat Froch, and then to face Lucian Bute sometime in 2012 to unify the 168 lb. titles (Bute has the IBF belt). This would be the biggest fight in the super middleweight division since Roy Jones fought James Toney in 1994.

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31
May
10

Carl Froch rules out fighting Arthur Abraham in Germany

Carl Froch
Froch’s defeat against Mikkel Kessler in April was the first of his career

 

Former world champion Carl Froch is refusing to travel to Germany for his next fight against Arthur Abraham.

The Nottingham fighter, 32, lost his WBC super-middleweight title on points to the Dane Mikkel Kessler in April.

But he fears fighting on Abraham’s home patch in Germany would not help him get a decision, admitting: “Anywhere east of Nottingham it’s not happening!

“There’s a decent amount offered to get me there. But I’m too cute for that,” he told BBC Radio Nottingham.

“That might sound ridiculous because, if they offer you an obscene amount of money, maybe I should just go out there.

“But there won’t be an obscene amount of money.”

Froch won his title against Jean Pascal in Nottingham in December 2008, before successful defences against Jermain Taylor and Andre Dirrell in the USA and his home city respectively.But he still feels hard done by, after losing to Kessler in Herning.

“After losing my belt to Kessler in Denmark in a fight I feel I won, and didn’t even come close to winning on the judges’ scorecards, there’s no way I’m going to put myself in that position again.

“My team and my promoter shouldn’t want to put me in that position either,” he added.

Froch needs to beat Abraham to progress to the semi-finals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic.

“In Denmark or Germany, or anywhere east of Nottingham, I’m not going to be in a position where I can win the fight on points.

“I put myself in that position once, and lost my world title. So the fight is in Nottingham or it’s on neutral territory – in America or maybe Canada.”

Froch is spending a lot of time at home in Nottingham at the moment, with girlfriend Rachael, awaiting the birth of their first son next month.

He is also recovering from the eye and ear injuries sustained in the build-up to the Kessler fight, but insists that they do not trouble him at the moment.

“I’m not going to be ready to box in August,” he added. “I’m not 100% sure I’m going to be ready to box on September 11, another date which has been pencilled in.

“Late September or early October would be an ideal date because that gives me my usual three months of training camp.

“We’re working hard to get the fight in Nottingham, and I’m confident that it can happen.”

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25
Apr
10

Mikkel Kessler decisions Carl Froch in Denmark

 by SC on Apr 24, 2010 6:16 PM EDT in Post-Fight Analysis Comment 40 comments

Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler did battle today in Denmark. (Photo by John Gichigi / Getty Images) Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler did battle today in Denmark. (Photo by John Gichigi / Getty Images)

In a tremendous fight that likely leads the Fight of the Year race for 2010, Mikkel Kessler outpointed Carl Froch to take Froch’s undefeated record and his WBC title, and get himself squarely back into the Super Six World Boxing Classic race.

 Kessler (43-2, 32 KO) won on scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111. Bad Left Hook scored it 115-113 for Kessler, with the “Viking Warrior” sealing the deal in an electric, Rocky-like 12th round effort from both men. It was Kessler who controlled most of the fight, pressed most of the action, and just did the better overall work. Froch had his moments, and won some rounds, and was close in some more, but he came up just short. Carl Froch has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and immediately post-fight he didn’t complain too much. He simply said if it was at home, he feels he would have won. (In a bit of hilarity, the in-ring interviewer basically said, “Yeah, we saw that in your last fight,” and moved on.)

 This is probably the biggest, best and most important win of Kessler’s career. He looked relaxed in the ring, and even when a bad cut was opened late in the fight, he didn’t panic or get out of his gameplan. Froch seemed a bit off in this one, truthfully, but that was probably more caused by Kessler not ever getting too flustered. Froch just did not get the openings he might have expected, and found himself in a dog fight with a guy who supposedly could be beaten mentally.

 Froch (26-1, 20 KO) faces Arthur Abraham next, tentatively in August. Kessler’s third Super Six fight will be against Allan Green, who fights Andre Ward on June 19. Froch-Abraham is shaping up to be a crazy war of a brawl, as both will have everything to gain and lose in that one. The updated Super Six standings have Abraham still ahead at 3 points (two fights), followed by Andre Ward (one fight), Andre Dirrell (two fights), Kessler (two fights) and Froch (two fights) at two points apiece. Green has no points. Can you imagine if Allan Green upset Andre Ward in June? This whole thing would be bananas.

 Hats should be off this evening to Mikkel Kessler, who came back strong from a terrible loss to Ward and out-fought the always-game Froch, who gave his all as usual and can hold his head up high. It was a fantastic fight and a gritty display

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25
Apr
10

Boxing news and results-Mikkel Kessler Out-Points Carl Froch In Classic War!

 

by James Slater – Tonight in Denmark, 31-year-old Mikkel Kessler managed to take the WBC super-middleweight title from defending champ Carl Froch in the latest instalment of the “Super-Six” tournament. In a great action fight that had some truly memorable trading, especially in the later rounds, Kessler prevailed via a unanimous decision. Kessler won by scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 116-112. The Dane is now 43-2(32) and well and truly back amongst the favourites to win “Super-Six.” 32-year-old Froch, who gave it everything he had tonight, is now 26-1(20).

A cagey start in the opening round, any fears any-one may have had of the fight being a letdown were soon to be removed! It was very much a battle of the jabs in the early going, and both men had their success. Froch was guilty of being a touch wild, even missing so badly he spun completely around in the 3rd-round. The early rounds were quite tough to score, but Kessler was probably doing a little more..

Kessler slipped in the 5th, and though he hadn’t been caught with a punch, Froch went for it as soon as the local man got up. Froch did get through with a sharp right hand to the head, but Kessler was the man coming forward. The 5th-round was Froch’s best session yet, however.

Kessler was again dictating the pace in the 7th, as Froch, with his low-held hands, was a little static. Kessler landed a right hand to the back of Froch’s head at the end of the round. The 8th-round was the first truly exciting round, as “The Viking Warrior” landed a smashing right hand on “The Cobra’s” chin as he was charging in. The WBC champ’s knees buckled, yet his granite chin saved him. Froch was also cut on the bridge of the nose now.

Kessler was back on the attack in the 9th, and Froch appeared to be still a little hurt. Both men swung wildly at the end of the three minutes, and Froch seemed to have re-found his strength. Kessler also picked up a nasty cut at the side of his left eye.

The last three rounds elevated a good fight into a great fight! Both men traded pretty much all the way to the final bell, and Kessler, with the blood pouring from his ugly wound, really dug deep and gave it his all. Froch did too, and it was debatable who was getting the better of it. Froch forced himself to work in the 11th, landing a left uppercut to Kessler’s chin.

Then, in the last round, the action was jaw-dropping. Both guys were on the verge of being exhausted, yet they reached deep inside and pumped out the punches. It was sensational two-way action, with both warriors swinging away with both hands. A definite round of the year candidate, the 12th-round was pretty much dead level. Froch finished the fight with a cut at the side of his own left eye.

After an agonisingly long wait for the reading of the scorecards, Kessler’s hand was deservingly raised. Froch later disputed the verdict, but he hasn’t really got too much of a case. This aside, both guys were respectful of one another at the end of their war and the fans cheered the efforts of both men – Kessler especially getting the cheers, naturally.

A great fight, arguably the best yet in “The Super-Six,” tonight’s war left Froch with who knows how much left for his next fight; with the formidable Arthur Abraham. Kessler, however, will have all his old confidence back.

Article posted on 25.04.2010

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