Carl Froch Fights For The Legacy He Deserves

Carl FrochBy Tony Pill: This saturday night Carl Froch has his defining fight as a prizefighter. The fight takes place in Atlantic City against unbeaten american Andre Ward and is for the 'Super Six' title.

The general public and a great section of boxing fans could be forgiven for never hearing of such a tournament. Whereas stateside it seems to have been a great success. The top six rated super middleweights were all pitched against each other in a revolutionary concept, and eventually our very own Nottingham man landed himself in this prestigious final.

The man in the opposite corner is unbeaten professional and olympic gold medallist Andre Ward. Accumulating 23 victories with 14 stoppages, Ward is featured in the pound for pound ratings and touted for great things. His first fight in the tournament was against the then world champion Mikkel Kessler. The Dane was a firm favourite to win the tournament, an old foe of Joe Calzaghe and the only man to later stamp a loss on Carl Froch's record.

The american boxed beyond expectation and comfortably made easier work of the contest than anticipated. The fight was unfortunately stopped in the eleventh round due to a cut sustained by Kessler, caused by an accidental head clash. It was then in the judges hands who had Andre Ward unanimously ahead. The american's hand was raised and he was crowned world champion. With their progression through the tournament, it is widely thought the two most deserving competitors made it to the final.

The Nottingham man had an extensive amateur career also, winning two ABA titles and a bronze medal at the world championships.

December 2008, five years after entering the paid ranks, with 23 wins and 19 knockouts, he found himself in deep waters against WBC champion Jean Pascal. He won 12 gruelling rounds to become world super middleweight champion.

This should of been the emergence of Carl 'The Cobra' Froch. The fight was broadcast live on terrestrial television and was hailed as a British classic. With a national audience of three million viewers this was Carl's inaugural night.

Since adorning the 8oz gloves, Carl has always spoken of achieving world honours. Even in the amateur ranks he conveyed this certainty of his ability, belief and willingness to get to the top and to be recognised in doing so. This was soon to prove true with his first defence of the title. He was pitted against well renowned and former undisputed world champion Jermain Taylor. It was a winnable contest for the cobra but problems started to arise.

Being champion he should of enjoyed full advantage of fighting on home soil. Not only did this fail to materialise, Froch had to travel across the atlantic as champion whilst failing to secure a TV deal back in the UK. ITV was then his platform, who meanwhile withdrew their contract to broadcast boxing with Froch's then promoter, Mick Hennessy. Eventually at the eleventh hour the fight was shown delayed the next day, but was seen as too little too late by many.

Like any entertainment business, there's a need for a platform to showcase your talent. Without it you're going to find it extremely difficult, if nigh impossible to reap the rewards and recognition you deserve. This is the issue and dilemma Carl has had to face since that fight.

The contest turned out to be a thrilling one, Carl was knocked down for the first time in his career and was behind on two of the three judges scorecards going into the 12th round.

Carl being the way he is, bit down on his gum shield and with his WBC title on the line went for the stoppage and turned the fight on it's head. He stopped Taylor with thirty seconds left in the fight, these were extraordinary scenes and it was to make Froch a stateside favourite.

The super six final now makes for compelling viewing, two men at the peak of their careers putting themselves to the test. Both have visited the canvas but have shown champions resolve to seek victory. Both have shared a ring with Mikkel Kessler, and even though Froch was on the wrong end of a decision, the fight was very close. Will Froch's strength, both physical and mental, overwhelm the american or will Ward's movement and speed of hand prevail? Either way they are both likely to hear the final bell but whose hand will be raised is to be seen.

In years to come people will reminisce of times gone by with fighters such as Benn, Eubank, Watson, Bruno, Hatton, Calzaghe... The list could go on and rightly so, as these fighters were great entertainers and achieved great honours. But there is a possibility we've overlooked or more sourly been deprived of witnessing our best ever and that is Carl 'The Cobra' Froch. Can he secure his legacy saturday night by winning the Super Six tournament?

Only time will tell.

Article posted on 17.12.2011

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