The Cobra Shows Venom: Carl Froch Stops Gronewald

05.12.05 - By Cris Neill: Carl Froch continued his impressive rise through the super middleweight ranks on Friday, with a convincing defence of his Commonwealth title against Ruben Gronewald. Spurred on by a vocal home crowd at the Nottingham Arena, Froch became the first fighter to stop the South African, following a barrage of unanswered blows in the fifth round. The victory gave Froch his 17th professional victory after outclassing the former WBU middleweight champion.

Froch drew criticism from boxing commentators in the early stages of the fight, who questioned his initially slow work rate and lacksadaisical jab. The 28-year-old seemed utterly confident in his superior fire power and durablity. During the first and second rounds he carried his left hand insolently low, and repeatedly beckoned Gronewald in. The South African responded with several spirited countering shots, but lacked the strength and authority to threaten Froch..

A crisp left hook from Froch in the third round forced Gronewald to the canvas, and the Ramsgate-based fighter took a flurry of heavy punches at the end of the round. Froch continued to emphasise his dominance in the fourth round, packing more venom into his jab, despite valiant retaliation from Gronewald. By the fifth round, Froch was finding his range effectively and began to pick his shots, rattling his opponent with heavy right hands. It seemed clear that the end was in sight - a suspicion which was confirmed when, following a barrage of unanswered blows, referee Howard Foster stepped in and stopped the bout, to Gronewald's fury.

It was a fight where a victory was expected for Froch; the real interest lay in how he dispatched his opponent. It was, for the most part, everything a potential world champion could hope for: clinical and convincing.

Froch will defend his crown against Brian Magee in February, with the possibility of subsequently targeting a European title.

Article posted on 05.12.2005

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