Froch vs Johnson: Fighting For Respect

By Joseph Herron: What possesses a fighter to continually lace up the gloves and compete for our entertainment while taking enormous amounts of punishment fight after fight?

The distress levels that these men endure while simply training for a big event is enough to turn most athletes away from the ring.

The two combatants, who will be bringing their best abilities to the squared circle inside the Boardwalk Hall on Saturday night, will be punishing each other for something that is more elusive than any belt belonging to any sanctioning organization: Universal Respect.

Both fighters have yet to be recognized and accredited worldwide as huge stars of the sport, and a victory on Saturday night would make a resounding argument for their mutual cause.

Carl “The Cobra” Froch and Glencoffe “The Road Warrior” Johnson square off this weekend in what should prove to be a tremendous test of will.

The bout is being billed as the semi-finals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic on Showtime premium cable network and is expected to be one of the more entertaining fights of the entire tournament.

The style match-up is a great one, with both men showing a history of effective aggression and strong mental resolve.

As a bonus, Froch’s WBC Super Middleweight title will be on the line as well as advancement to the Super Six finals to face WBA Super Middleweight Champ Andre Ward in a highly anticipated unification bout.


Carl “The Cobra” Froch – Born in Nottingham, England, this 6’ 1” fighter has shown numerous dimensions to his craft over the course of his last five fights and has proven to the world that he is more than just a banger. The 33 year old pugilist has a 75 inch reach and brings a record of 27-1 with 20 knock-outs into this Saturday’s fight.

Although Froch has power in both hands, his greatest weapon is his iron will and overall intelligence. “The Cobra” proved in his last fight against Arthur Abraham that he “knows when to hold ‘em and knows when to fold ‘em”. He showed great discipline in executing his fight plan throughout every round and was never baited into a firefight with the hard punching Armenian. Carl knows he has a great chin but also knows that he doesn’t have to test it when he isn’t required to do so.

Can he show that same type of discipline against someone with a more active punch output? Will he be able to neutralize Johnson’s aggression with his powerful jab at different angles just as he did against Abraham?

In order to neutralize Johnson’s strength’s, Froch must gain respect early and hurt Johnson with the overhand counter right hand as the Road Warrior brings back his pawing jab. Just as Dawson displayed in their second meeting, you can slow Johnson down and keep the action in the center of the ring if you use an effective stiff jab with good lateral movement.

Bottom Line: Froch must be able to fight all twelve rounds at a fast pace under tremendous pressure. If he can score effectively against Johnson’s peek-a-boo defense while maintaining distance, he can easily win a unanimous decision and advance to the finals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic.

Glencoffe “The Road Warrior” Johnson – This durable fighter gained his nickname by creating a reputation for accepting any challenge in any fighter’s hometown; so his record of 51-14-2 is a bit misleading. The 42 year old bulldog is 5’11” with a 75 inch reach, although he very seldom uses his height and reach to his advantage during the fight.

Although Johnson has had limited success over his last five fights, his campaign throughout the last ten years of his career has been at 175 lbs. The “Gentleman” is 1-0 with a knock out since moving back down 168 lbs and plans on continuing his winning streak in Atlantic City this weekend.

To accomplish this he will have to be persistent in his attack and sustain it for all 12 rounds. He is the epitome of effective aggression and has an iron chin with a very stable defense. Johnson doesn’t have overwhelming power, but is a very tough style match-up for most fighters due to his ring generalship and high punch volume. Although he has lost 3 of his last 7 fights, he is always in the fight until the final bell sounds and has only been stopped once in his entire career.

Most boxing scribes and ring experts felt that the “Road Warrior” was no longer a relevant force in boxing until he entered the Super Six tournament. The ability to make 168 lbs at the age of 42 is a testament to Glen’s dedication to the sport of boxing as well as his physical and mental toughness.

Bottom Line: Johnson cannot get discouraged if he doesn’t have success early against Froch; he must sustain his attack and stick to his fight plan for the entire bout. His best chance for getting the victory over the younger fighter is to outwork him while marching him down with intelligent pressure, using feints to the head and the body. He more than likely will not seriously hurt the WBC champ, so he must outland and outwork Froch to win.


This fight has the potential of being a fight of the year candidate, but Froch will not let it be. As Froch has proven against quality opposition, he is capable of being a boxer first and a puncher second. The WBC Champ will keep Johnson at a safe distance for most of the fight and will stay out of harm’s way by pumping the jab with regularity and shooting the overhand right whenever Johnson gets in close.

Froch will prove to his detractors that he is indeed a very intelligent fighter and will move on to the finals of the Super Six tournament with a 12 round unanimous decision.

This Saturday’s big fight will be televised on Showtime premium cable network. Fight coverage will begin at 9 PM EST/PST with Kessler/Bouadla on taped delay.

Carl “ The Cobra” Froch vs. Glencoffe “The Road Warrior” Johnson is presented by Lou DiBella Entertainment and Seminole Warriors Boxing, in connection with Matchroom Sports and Caesars of Atlantic City.

Article posted on 02.06.2011

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