15 Years Ago Today: The Froch-Pascal War And “The Cobra” Wins His First World Title

By James Slater - 12/06/2023 - Comments

When we look back on the career of Carl Froch, we really do understand what a thrilling, exciting ring career “The Cobra” had. In terms of world level, it all started 15 years ago today, when 31 year old Froch met Canada’s Jean Pascal in his Nottingham fortress. Fighting for the vacated (by Joe Calzaghe, Joe the one man Froch really wanted to fight) WBC super middleweight belt, Froch and Pascal gave us an absolute barn burner of a fight.

Both men were unbeaten, and both men wanted that WBC title. Badly.

26 year old Pascal was 21-0(14), Froch was 23-0(19). Neither guy wanted to experience the pain of defeat, and both men fought tooth and nail for 36 savage minutes.

Froch went right at Pascal at the sound of the opening bell. The war was on. For 12 rounds, with scarcely a clinch in sight, or any thought of showing real defensive ability, come to that – the duel challengers tore into one another. Both men were guilty of hurling themselves off-balance at times, and the fight was just that, a FIGHT. It wasn’t pretty or artistic, but it was entertaining as hell. Indeed, when we look back, this fight might just be deserving of being called one of the greatest in 168 pound history.

Froch, his hands held low, pumped out hard shots with both fists, with Pascal’s remarkable chin taking it all. Pascal, the better boxer of the two, unloaded bombs of his own, with Froch’s remarkable chin taking it all. Both men looked troubled at times, but neither man really did come close to going down. Both men were marked up at the end, yet the fire was never close to being extinguished on either side.

It was vicious, the almost relentless trading something to see. There was not one dull round, with rounds three, eight, nine, and ten being quite incredible. Finally, after both men had given their all, it went to the cards, and they were surprisingly wide, at 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112, all for Froch.

Later, we found out how Froch had suffered a perforated eardrum in the fight, while Froch also claimed he had broken his ribs in training for the Pascal battle. There was never any thought of Froch pulling out, however. As was there no sign of either man quitting due to the going getting too tough on fight night. Together, Froch and Pascal gave us a classic street fight that played out inside a boxing ring.

It turned out that Ring Magazine handed their 2008 Fight of the Year award to the third brutal encounter between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez (and what a superb fight that was). But there is no doubt, the Froch-Pascal slugfest was the best fight fans saw in the UK that year.

And, boy, how many more classic fights, how many more thrilling moments would Froch go on to give us! Some fighters are only truly appreciated some years after they have retired. Carl Froch is one such fighter.

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