Boxing

Not by the hair of Froch's Chinny-chin-chin

By Paul Strauss: Froch wins, but old man Glen Johnson did his job. In fact, he probably did better than many, including Carl Froch, thought he would do in the big Super Six Semi-final bout against Nottingham's Cobra. In the pre-fight hype Froch stated that he couldn't envision The Road Warrior winning a round. Well, Glen did a little better than that; he almost won the fight. At least that's the way Judge Nobuaki Uratani thought when he scored the fight a draw at 114 a piece.

A good portion of Boardwalk Hall crowd in Atlantic City, N.J. agreed with Uratani, but the important thing was the other two judges didn't. They both scored the fight for Carl Froch as much more one-sided at 117-111 and 116-112. The fact is Glen Johnson landed harder punches against Froch than he did in his knockout win over Alan Green, but Froch shook them off like some kind of annoyance, and then fired back with a rapid punch assault of his own.

His toughness didn't dissuade Johnson though, who kept up the attack, mixing in a good mix of hard left hooks to the body. But, Froch was not about to let anything bother him Saturday night, and in the end was just too much for Johnson. It didn't start out that way though, as Johnson gradually stalked Froch, and eased into to range, and then bam, he landed a big right. The first one certainly got the crowd's attention, and gave hope to The Road Warrior that he could get to this guy.

In those first few rounds, Johnson did a good job of coming in behind his jab, and he also used the jab as a counter punch, but later in the fight Froch's speed and punch variety was just too much for Johnson to keep up with. He wasn't necessarily hurt, but he was outgunned by shear numbers. Johnson blocked most of the punches, but there were just so many, and from so many different angles that more than a few got through, and the balance of power shifted in Froch's favor.

Froch is often described as a fighter, meaning he isn't a skilled boxer, but that is a mistake. Froch can do a lot of things, and do them well. He manages distance well; although, he might not look as graceful as some while doing it. His odd version of the low left, bent to the right style gives opponents fits, because they have trouble seeing his up jabs and uppercuts. He mixes in wide looping big hooks with straight shots, so simply trying to block his shots doesn't work. You need head movement. If you don't, he'll come up between or behind your gloves, and then when you adjust, he'll blast right up the middle with some zingers.

Come this fall, fans will be treated to the matchup everyone's been waiting for.........a battle between Andre S.O.G. Ward and Carl "The Cobra" Froch. When it comes to confidence, neither man is lacking. I think Antonio Tarver called it "Swagger". They both truly think they can win. Lots of times a fighter will talk a good game but, as Ward said, when the lights come on the truth comes out. These two fighters are the real thing. There will be no let downs, or second thoughts. Neither will be intimidated or distracted. They both feel they know how to beat the other guy. They both know how to adjust and do enough different things to give anyone trouble. One of their biggest assets is they are both "tough minded". Ward might have a bit of an edge there, simply because he is undefeated. Froch had lots of trouble with Pascal, Taylor and Dirrell, and then lost to Mikkel Kessler. Ward has proven that he can beat different styles, and no body roughs him up. Froch likes to be unorthodox in his attack, but Ward can match him in that department as well. He has demonstrated superior athletic ability in transitioning from right to left, while staying covered or well positioned. When Froch does it, he sometimes leave himself vulnerable. But, then there's that tough chin again. Ward is not a big puncher either, but he might be able to mark up Froch. Speaking of such things, Froch will have to be very careful about jumping in with lead uppercuts, because his face might be meeting with the top of Ward's head.

Let's hope there are no surprise injuries, problems with negotiations, or other unplanned for delays to ruin this tentatively scheduled fall matchup. If Froch pulls off a win, Mikkel Kessler will be licking his chops for a big rematch and repeat victory. If Ward wins, then there's Lucien Bute or maybe B-Hop. Most don't think there's anyway the Old Man will be taking Ward to school. Keep your finger crossed that everything gets ironed out quickly, so fans can be treated to a very intriguing matchup.

Article posted on 05.06.2011



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