British Boxing - 4 Big Fights, 4 Losses?

By John Jackson - In the next two months four of British Boxing’s biggest names take part in high profile bouts. This Saturday Carl Froch makes the first defense of his WBC Super Middleweight Title against Jermain Taylor, on May 2nd Ricky Hatton squares off against P4P King Manny Pacquioa, on June 20th David Haye attempts to dethrone heavyweight giant Wladmir Klitscho and finally on June 27th Amir Khan has his first World Championship bout against WBA Welterweight Champion Andriy Kotelnik..

As a Brit myself I am hoping for four victories, but when I analyse these bouts I arrive at completely the opposite conclusion, I believe that unfortunately all four Brits will fail. I will leave Hatton, Haye and Khan until closer to their fights and in this article focus on Saturday’s WBC Super Middleweight Championship bout.

Part 1: Carl Froch V Jermain Taylor - April 25th

This Saturday Britain’s only reigning World Champion, Carl “The Cobra” Froch makes his United States debut and the first defence of his WBC Super Middleweight Title at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, Connecticut. After triumphing in a 12 round war for the vacant WBC strap last time out, Froch could have been forgiven for taking an easy fight back home in front of his adoring Nottingham fans. But showing a true Champion’s pride and desire to test himself he’s left his comfort zone to take on the undoubtedly talented but also erratic Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor.

Taylor of course came to prominence by fully utilising his speed to end the long unbeaten run of middleweight legend Bernard Hopkins and then beating him again in the rematch, after making 3 defences of his titles Taylor was brutally knocked out by his nemesis Kelly Pavlik. Despite losing the rematch Taylor was very impressive in parts against “The Ghost” but was out pointed after fading down the stretch. After this catch weight fight Taylor then made the decision to move up permanently to the SMW division and in his last outing widely out pointed former Joe Calzaghe victim Jeff Lacy.

In analysing this fight what immediately becomes apparent is the different levels that these two fighters have operated at, Taylor has on his record world class fighters such as William Joppy and Winky Wright and of course Bernard Hopkins and current middleweight boss Kelly Pavlik, granted he lost both fights against Pavlik but pushed him all the way in their second contest. Then we come to Froch, a record of 24-0 is not to be taken lightly, a fighter can only beat what is put in front of them, but in analysing Froch’s past opponents it is glaringly obvious he has not yet operated at the same level as Taylor. At this stage it hard to gauge how impressive Jean Pascal’s scalp is as he is still a bit of an unknown quantity, Froch pulled through and showed a great chin and a lot of heart but on the down side at times he looked ponderous and his defence was sometimes non-existent. The only other name on Froch’s record that really stands out is former WBC Champion Robin Reid. Reid was a very solid fighter back in the late 90’s and lost narrowly on a split decision to SMW great Joe Calzaghe, but by the time he faced Froch in 2007 Reid was a shell of his former self but tellingly managed to take advantage of a major flaw in Froch‘s style, the low held left hand. Reid landed more than a few hard right hands on the granite chinned Froch before retiring at the end of the fifth round, unable to take any more punishment from the heavy handed Froch.

Taking all the different factors into account Jermain Taylor seemingly holds all the aces, he has home advantage, has very good speed and is experienced at this level. I expect him to take advantage of Froch’s porous defence and lack of speed to consistently land clean scoring punches, he has to be wary of Froch’s power but maybe this is slightly overrated as Pascal was on the receiving end throughout the full 12 rounds but stayed on his feet.

So what does Froch bring to the party? He has a great chin and a lot of heart, there is no doubting the man’s desire to hold onto his recently won crown. Then we come to his power, Froch has a high KO ratio and his power could be the key to retaining his title, we’ll only really be able to tell how significant this factor is going to be when he lands the first big shot.

In conclusion I expect Taylor to use his superior speed to triumph in a relatively one sided contest, Froch will have some success with his power shots, but he won’t be able to apply the same kind of pressure that Pavlik put on Taylor. The end result being a wide unaminous decision or late stoppage victory for Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor.

Article posted on 23.04.2009

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