By Clive Bernath: When Carl Froch defends his IBF super-middleweight crown in front of his home city fans at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham, England on Saturday night he will start an overwhelming favorite against American challenger Yusaf Mack.
In fact the 35 year-old three time world champion is such a hot favorite some experienced observers are calling the fight a mismatch. I certainly do not believe Saturday night’s clash is a mismatch and there is certainly no such thing in a two horse race but I do believe ‘The Cobra’ will triumph via mid round stoppage. You know what, though? I don’t care because as far as I’m concerned if anyone has earned the right to an easier than expected night’s work its Carl Froch.
Since December 2008 the exciting British boxer has fought eight times and fought seven world champions and every one apart from one was in his prime. Off the top of my head I cannot recall one former or current world champion in the last 10 years (if not longer), that has fought such a high quality of opponent eight fights in a row, not even Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Think about it, three common opponents the two pound for pound best boxers have faced, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Shane Mosley were all past their best.
When you break down Froch’s list of opponents over the last four years it does make for pretty impressive reading. First off Froch out-pointed Canadian Jean Pascal to win the vacant WBC 168lbs title in December 2008, in one of the fights of the year. Four month later the British boxer pulled off a dramatic 12th round stoppage win over former undisputed world middleweight champ Jermain Taylor to retain his title when behind on two of the three judges’ scorecards. Then came a controversial split decision win over the cagey American and then undefeated Andre Dirrell. After two tough defenses Froch ventured over to Denmark in April 2010 to face former champion and national hero Mikkel Kessler, where he dropped a unanimous decision over 12 tough rounds. Seven months later Carl was back in the ring, this time against former IBF middleweight king Arthur Abraham. After 12 completely one sided rounds the ‘Cobra’ was a champion once again when he scored a near shut out 12 round points win to re claim the WBC 168lbs crown. After successfully out-pointing the always tough to beat Glen Johnson in defense of his WBC crown, Froch was forced to succumb to the skills of unbeaten American pound for pound top 10 boxer Andre Ward in the final of Showtime’s excellent Super Six tournament in December 2012. Ward proved a handy winner on the night but Froch, as always fought his heart out to the very end.