Carl Froch: The Real Deal

By Dean Parr - After his scintillating performance on Saturday night, I don’t think that Jermain Taylor’s friends will have much trouble identifying Carl Froch anymore. Froch showed the heart of a champion to come back after a horrific start, and achieved his goal of making himself known in the United States. Whether you love or hate Froch, what cannot be denied is that every fight of his brings real excitement and drama. While he possesses knock out power, particularly in his huge right hand, his defence is very sketchy, which makes for intrigue as his fights can always go either way..

However, as of yet, he has never had to taste defeat in the professional ranks, and now he has made the big journey to the United States once, it should be easier the next time round for him there.

With regards to the Taylor fight, Froch was worryingly stiff and tense in the first six rounds. He definitely wasn’t himself in the ring and against a fast starter like Taylor, it was looking more and more like he would get stopped, especially after he was knocked down for the first time ever (in the amateur or the professional ranks) in round three. However, when he began to find his rhythm with what boxing legend and ITV pundit Barry McGuigan called a ‘rapier like jab’, things began to go his way and less was coming back from the Bernard Hopkins conqueror. Taylor was still a potent threat though, and at the end of the eleventh, Froch looked rocked after a big, last gasp uppercut from Taylor. Unfortunately for ‘Bad Intentions’ though, Froch was not willing to pass up his chance to shine and proceeded to batter Taylor for the duration of the twelfth, knocking him down and then forcing a stoppage with fourteen seconds remaining.

One couldn’t help feeling sorry for Jermain Taylor at the end though. He looked a lot more like the pre Pavlik Jermain Taylor in the early going and was dominating the scorecards, but didn’t have quite enough to sustain it for the twelve. It is hard to see where Taylor will go from here, as he was stopped in his own backyard by a fighter that was perceived to be the underdog. Also, it should be taken into account that since the defeats to Pavlik, he hasn’t been mentally strong, and after being knocked out yet again, Taylor will most likely struggle to make it to the top level again. Retirement, as his promoter Lou DiBella suggested before the fight (in reference to a Taylor loss) is probably the best option for Taylor now.

In contrast though, the sky is the limit for the champion. While he called out Joe Calzaghe after his victory, I can’t see Calzaghe coming out of retirement for what would be one of the hardest fights of his career. A much more likely route for Froch is IBF Champion Lucian Bute, as I think Mikkel Kessler is still a couple of fights down the line for Carl. After such a hard fight though, a long rest will most likely be (and should be) ‘the Cobra’s’ next move, and despite the UK live television snub, Froch will probably want to come back to his comfort zone for a fight or two.

A question that had to come out of this fight though is how far can Carl Froch go? Personally, I believe styles wise, Taylor was a really hard match for him, as he made Froch look slow for the majority of the fight and gave the impression that Carl was out of his depth. However, the likes of Lucian Bute and even Mikkel Kessler aren’t nearly as quick as Taylor, and if Froch learns from his mistakes in his last fight, I don’t see him slipping up at the top level of super middleweight any time soon. Even if Joe Calzaghe does decide to try and prove he is better than Froch, Calzaghe, or ‘Calslappy’ as it should be noted doesn’t have the power of Taylor, and because of Froch’s good chin, would prove to be an excellent fight for the Nottingham man, as Froch would catch him in the end.

I believe that in Saturday’s fight, the world saw something special; the birth of Carl Froch as a world level competitor, and someone that has the chance to become a British boxing legend. He’ll fight anyone, anywhere and has a burning desire to achieve as much as he possibly can do, so bring on the challengers and lets enjoy ‘the Cobra’ at his peak.

Article posted on 26.04.2009

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