Tag Archives: cobra

George Groves wants Carl Froch fight after Glen Johnson bout

Groves eyes Battle of Britain with world champion Froch after he conquers veteran Johnson

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UPDATED:

14:36 GMT, 11 December 2012

George Groves believes a convincing win over veteran Glen Johnson on Saturday will catapult him into an all-British showdown with super-middleweight rival Carl Froch.

Groves, 24, has been drawn into a war of words on Twitter with the IBF world champion and his promoter Eddie Hearn with the latter claiming the Londoner would not last three rounds with the 35-year-old.

But Groves insists an emphatic victory over Johnson will prove he belongs at the elite level.

London calling: George Groves will take on veteran fighter Glen Johnson at the Excel Centre in the Docklands on Saturday

London calling: George Groves will take on veteran fighter Glen Johnson at the Excel Centre in the Docklands on Saturday

‘It’s kind of sweet that Carl and Eddie threw their toys out of the pram,’ he said.

‘I think I am a threat and everyone will know that after Saturday; people will sit up and take note and see that I’m in the mix.

‘Glen has boxed everyone and he doesn’t get stopped but that doesn’t mean he won’t get stopped on Saturday. I plan to beat him impressively and convincingly. I’m looking to move into world class boxing and this is the right move for me.

‘I’m going to need to find answers that I haven’t had to find previously and I know I can do it.’

Groves has fought just once in 2012 having twice seen a rematch with Scot Kenny Anderson, and a world title challenge against Robert Stieglitz, called off through injury.

The Cobra: Groves wants an all-British showdown with Carl Froch

The Cobra: Groves wants an all-British showdown with Carl Froch

His sole outing this year saw him stop Francisco Sierra in the sixth round in California in July but a nasty cut has kept him out of action until now.

‘I’ve had a frustrating year and not boxed as much as I wanted but I’m going to cap it off with a great win against a great boxer,’ Groves added.

‘Glen Johnson has been a great fighter for a long time and this is a step up to world class level.’

Johnson, 43, has lost his last three fights, including challenges for Froch and Lucian Bute’s respective world titles, and announced his retirement following a points defeat to Andrzej Fonfara in Chicago in July.

But having backtracked on that decision, he will fight for the 71st time as a professional on his fifth visit to these shores.

A former light-heavyweight world champion, Johnson shocked Roy Jones Jnr in 2004 before recording a similarly sensational victory over Antonio Tarver three months later.

He has failed to hear the final bell just once, against Bernard Hopkins in 1997, and plans to re-launch his career once again with victory on Saturday.

‘I’m here to win,’ he said. ‘George Groves is a talented guy but I’m here to take care of business and move on.’

Andre Ward warns Carl Froch he will beat him again – Jeff Powell boxing column

EXCLUSIVE: Credit to Froch but I WILL beat him again, warns unbeaten rival Ward

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UPDATED:

23:01 GMT, 11 June 2012

Andre Ward believes Carl Froch has re-established himself as the second best super-middleweight in the world with his stunning destruction of Lucian Bute.

However, the American prodigy insists that if and when they meet in a re-match the fight will go the same way as his December victory over the Nottingham Cobra.

Ward is full of praise for the way Froch came back from that defeat to KO Bute, who was highly rated as the holder of the IBF version of the world title in the 12-stone division.

Ready to rumble: Carl Froch, fresh from his victory over Lucian Bute, wants to avenge his defeat to Andre Ward

Ready to rumble: Carl Froch, fresh from his victory over Lucian Bute, wants to avenge his defeat to Andre Ward

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But he was not as surprised as many by the beating Froch inflicted on the Canada-based Romanian.

Ward says: ‘Bute’s reputation had been protected by taking carefully selected opponents instead of joining us in the big Super Six tournament in which I beat Carl in the final.

‘He has punching power but he is much more easily hit than I am. Carl has a great chin and big heart and I expected him to walk through Bute’s big left hand to land his own shots.

‘All credit to Froch. He fought a great fight. He is clearly back as No 2 to me, above Kessler and Bute and the rest of the 168lb pack.

‘But that performance would not change anything if we fight each other again.

‘When I beat him, Carl conceded he had lost to the better man. But since then he has been excusing the defeat by saying he was much more fully focused and on his game against Bute.

‘I don’t buy into that. What I do believe is what he said at the time, that he was in the best shape of his life for our fight.

Victorious: Ward claimed the Super Six and world titles after defeating Froch last December

Victorious: Ward claimed the Super Six and world titles after defeating Froch last December

‘Why wouldn’t he have been As the Super Six final and a title unifier it was the biggest fight of his life. The fact is that I had a lot to do with his problems that night. He couldn’t get to me and there will be nothing different if we meet again.’

Froch is lining up another re-match against the only other man to have beaten him, Mikkel Kessler, in Nottingham in September.

Ward beat Kessler, also, in the Super Six, and says: ‘We hear a lot from Mikkel and Carl about wanting to fight me again but to be honest I’m not sure that either of them really want the re-match. None of us are all-time greats yet. We still have work to do. But I think they know that I am improving all the time.

‘I get accused of not being exciting. That’s odd. Sometimes I seem to get more appreciation of my skills from genuine boxing fans in the United Kingdom than I do at home.

‘But I am beating everyone and now I am working on being a more ruthless finisher, going for the KOs.

Target man: Froch is also eager to meet Denmark's Mikkel Kessler

Target man: Froch is also eager to meet Denmark's Mikkel Kessler

‘I’m not the same type of character as Floyd Mayweather but inside the ring I see some parallels with my career. It took a long time for Floyd to get recognition for his boxing but it came in the end and I believe the same thing will happen for me.’

Ward makes a home-town defence of his WBC and WBA titles in Oakland, California on September 8 against Chad Dawson.

His fellow American beat legendary veteran Bernard Hopkins to become world light-heavyweight champion. He says he is happy to come down half a stone and surrender home advantage to Ward in a 19,000 seat arena.

In return, Ward anticipates moving up to light-heavy himself with a re-match with Dawson for that world title a possibility.

When that happens, assuming he gains revenge over Kessler, the way would be clear for Froch to reassert his dominance at super-middleweight.

Ward was talking in Las Vegas, where he joined in the world-wide condemnation of the decision which robbed Manny Pacquiao of his world welterweight title and probably his chance of a $200million mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather.

He said: ‘Ridiculous. I had Manny winning ten of the 12 rounds against Tim Bradley.

‘Judging like this is very bad for boxing.’

Quigg and Monroe: be careful what you wish for…

Two fine ambassadors for British boxing put their futures on the line this Saturday but the real loser will be Sky Sports following their decision to pull the plug on their long-time poster boy Ricky Hatton.

If any Hatton promotion since the Hitman’s retirement deserved major television exposure it is this one at the Manchester Velodrome.

Scott Quigg, who looks every ounce a world champion in the making, and Rendall Munroe, the former dustman who went close to that distinction with an heroic performance in Japan, come together in a classic British match-up.

Packing a punch: Scott Quigg (R) has a promising future ahead of him in the ring

Packing a punch: Scott Quigg (R) has a promising future ahead of him in the ring

The belt up for grabs this time is for the WBA interim super-bantamwieight title but the winner will be in pole position for a shot at the world championship proper. Mind you, they should be careful which belt they wish for.

The WBA champion, Guillermo Rigondeaux, lived up to his billing as the best amateur to come out of Cuba since fabled heavyweight Teofilo Stevenson with a stunning defence of his title on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao controversy.

Rigondeaux, a late-starting professional following his defection to Miami after winning two Olympic gold medals, destroyed his American challenger.

Teon Kennedy had been off his feet only once in a one-loss, 20-fight career but Rigondeaux’s pinpoint punching floored him five times on the way to a fifth round stoppage.

Quigg or Munroe might be advised to review the other belt holders.

Tough: Randall Monroe will look to impress his world title contender credentials

Tough: Randall Monroe will look to impress his world title contender credentials

Quigg, the British champion, has prepared with tough sparring in America and although only 23 he admits: ‘The time has come for me to make a statement. I’ve not got to step up or shut up.’

Munroe knows he needs to win to get his career fully back on track.
Both men come to fight and have solid chins so their encounter promises to be explosive and likely to come down to a test of will and stamina.

Quigg is the favourite to come through the sternest examination yet of his glittering potential and assuming he does so a new star of the British ring will be in the ascendancy.

He and Munroe top an action-packed championship bill.

The popular Ryan Rhodes takes on Sergey Rabchenko for the vacant European light-middleweight title. Reformed convict Richard Towers intends putting himself in the heavyweight mix with David Price and Tyson Fury by beating Frenchman Gregory Tony for the also-vacant European championship.

Forget television, this is a show worth travelling to see. All the prime ringside seats have been sold but cheaper tickets are available via the Hatton hotline, 01925755222 or online from Tickemaster, Ticketline or HMV.

Manny's plea to Obama

Manny Pacquiao’s first thought the morning after Saturday night’s bank robbery by Tim Bradley was not for himself but for a fellow countryman.
Hermie Rivera, a close friend who lives in America, is fighting to prevent his son’s deportation to the Philippines.

Gerardo, now married with children and a long-time US resident, was caught up in a government sweep of immigrants because of minor drug offences when a teenager.

The PacMan, in his role as a congressman in his own country, delayed his return home by a day so he could petition president Barack Obama, who he has met and dined with on several occasions, on behalf of the Riveras.

Sad end for tainted Margarito

Tainted: Antonio Margarito

Tainted: Antonio Margarito

Three former world champions have been lost to boxing in less than a week. Shane Mosley, Winky Wright and then Antonio Margarito have hung up the gloves.

For Mosley and Wright, at 40, the time is right.

The saddest figure is Margarito, His legacy is tainted by his gloves being ‘loaded’ for his fight against Mosley and who is being forced to quit by a serious eye injury inflicted during a beating by Manny Pacquiao and aggravated in defeat by Miguel Cotto.

Roach's private jet dash to New York

Freddie Roach flew hurriedly out of Las Vegas on Saturday night but not in disgust at the dodgy decision against Manny Pacquiao.

At a cost of $20,000, the master trainer hired a private jet to take himself and ten of his family and friends to his richly deserved induction into the Hall of Fame in up-state New York.

Carl Froch and Lucian Bute under the weight limit

Froch and Bute weigh in under the limit ahead of world title showdown

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UPDATED:

14:30 GMT, 25 May 2012

Carl Froch weighed in comfortably under the limit ahead of his world title bout with Lucian Bute in Nottingham on Saturday.

The Cobra, who fights in front of a home crowd for the first time since 2009, came in at 11st 13lbs 5oz.

Bute, the reigning IBF super middleweight champion, weighed in slightly heavier at 11st 13lbs 12oz.

Raring to go: Carl Froch (left) and Lucian Bute weighed in under the limit

Raring to go: Carl Froch (left) and Lucian Bute weighed in under the limit

Froch said: 'He's probably brave and stupid, a bit of both, to come here. He's looking at my last fight against Ward and is thinking “maybe Froch is finished, he's coming off the back of a loss”.

'I don't know what he's thinking in his mind but I just think he's got the safety net of a rematch clause and he's stepping up now to this level. Does he know he can do it or not I'm not so sure if he's convinced.

'He'll be feeling the nerves and the pressure. He's got a lot to prove and he's got it all to do on Saturday against me in my hometown. It's going to be very difficult for him to get a win in Nottingham.'

Carl Froch outclassed by Andre Ward

Brave Froch outclassed by Ward as empire falls on icy Boardwalk

NO controversy this time, no recriminations, no protests, no excuses, no appeals . . . albeit no world titles, no Super Six Cup, no glory to apply a glittering finish to a gloomy year for British boxing.

Carl Froch fought his heart out here on Saturday night only to be left slipping and sliding on the frosty, famous Boardwalk as he chased but failed to catch the new whizzkid of United States boxing.

Andre Ward, the self-anointed Son Of God, was too fast and too clever for the Nottingham Cobra.

Outclassed: Froch was no match for Ward who lifted the Super Six title

Outclassed: Froch was no match for Ward who lifted the Super Six title

Froch”s WBC world supermiddleweight title joined the WBA belt around the waist of the 27-year-old American who has come of age during the two years it took to reach this Super Six tournament final, and there could be no arguing with this decision.

Froch, proper fighting man that he is, admitted as much immediately. “I lost fair and square to the better boxer on the night,” he said.

That in itself was as refreshing as Froch”s fights are exciting. Win or occasionally lose, he gives his all and the first rush of tweets suggest that his honesty may have won him more admirers back home in Britain than all his preceding victories.

The British love nothing if not a gallant loser and Froch is never less than heroic, even when he is being outboxed.

That is why he was able to claw back some pride at the end of a lost cause, with a late if otherwise meaningless rally which should have answered the only minor quibble to nag at this fight.

Hard graft: Froch tried to drag Ward into a brawl with little success

Hard graft: Froch tried to drag Ward into a brawl with little success

Hard graft: Froch tried to drag Ward into a brawl with little success

Peculiarly, the one English judge gave victory to Ward by the widest points margin, 118-110. That coincided with the opinion of the majority in the hall and the view of the television commentators.

The other two, an American and a Canadian, scored it only 115-113 in the American”s favour. That gave some solace to Froch while raising eyebrows at how close we may have come to another deeply contentious verdict.

Jeff powell scorecard

Ward was indeed dominant. Froch was especially vulnerable to his snappy left hook and unable to pin his man down, saying later: “He ducks, he slips, he slides. He is very good at it and very hard to hit. He is an exceptional defensive fighter.

“I never felt in the zone. He was either too close and smothering me or was dodging far out of range.”

Yet it was not difficult to argue the case for a decision less than totally lopsided. I gave it to Ward by 116 points to 112 – no small margin in a 12-round fight but still I have to explain why.

Yes, Ward was overwhelmingly in control early. He landed so many left hooks that you began to wonder if Froch could survive the distance. He could not cope with Ward”s speed and rarely saw coming that left hook, thrown off the jab.

Ward”s effectiveness with that punch made it all the more surprising that he said he had hurt that hand, first in sparring last week, then when hitting Froch on the top of the head in the sixth round.

When Froch tried to fight back he often found himself punching thin air.

But that chin is made of Polish iron and in the fifth Froch found a glimmer of light by edging his first round.

Game over: Froch was left to rue what could have been after Ward lifted the Super Six title (below)

Game over: Froch was left to rue what could have been after Ward lifted the Super Six title (below)

Game over: Froch was left to rue what could have been after Ward lifted the Super Six title (below)

The one-way traffic resumed in the sixth, seventh and eighth but then Froch”s phenomenal fitness forced him fully into the fight for the first time.

It had been my hope that the Cobra could strike late. So he did, but not venomously enough. Although, in my view, he took three of the last four rounds he still could not connect concussively with that fast-moving target.

He sought him here, he sought him there, he sought him everywhere, that elusive Californian. But he never really found him with one of his trademark bazookas and by then he needed a stoppage.

Blow by blow Blow by blow

That was like trying to knock out a wisp of smoke and Froch only came close to unravelling that mystery once the fight was over to all intents and purposes.

Ward only had to ease through the concluding phase – which he did partially by holding as he tired somewhat – to win decisively.

The punch statistics, not always the most reliable barometer, tallied overwhelmingly in Ward”s favour.

But the discrepancy on the scorecards can be accounted for by the American skating most of his rounds by the length of the Boardwalk, while Froch won his narrowly.

Unanimous: Froch failed to land enough shots to claim the crown, but has already said he

Unanimous: Froch failed to land enough shots to claim the crown, but has already said he”d like a rematch

Unanimous: Froch failed to land enough shots to claim the crown, but has already said he

It was not as bad as it looked, though Froch conceded that it appeared a bad night for him.

Meanwhile, Ward, whatever the true scale of his victory, lived up to the American hype now acclaiming him as the future successor to Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Manny Pacquiao as boxing”s pound-for-pound king.

For Froch, with two fights against IBF world champion Lucian Bute set up next year in Montreal and then Nottingham, this is not so much the beginning of the end, rather the clarion call to a new beginning.

12 to two . . . how Britain”s champions tumbled

Britain”s world title fighters have had a nasty bout of travel sickness when boxing away from home. From 12 world title fights on foreign soil this year, only two have emerged as winners and both of those – Amir Khan and Carl Froch – have now lost their crowns. Here is the rundown (British fighters in bold):

Mar 5: WBC light-middleweight title – Matthew Hatton v Saul Alvarez (Mex). Lost on points in US.

Mar 19: IBF super-middleweight title – Brian Magee v Lucian Bute (Rom). Lost TKO in 10th in Canada.

reason to be cheerful

June 4: WBC super-middleweight title – Carl Froch v Glen Johnson (Jam). Won on points in US.

June 18: WBC light-middleweight title – Ryan Rhodes v Saul Alvarez (Mex). Lost TKO in 12th in Mexico.

June 25: WBA middleweight title – Matthew Macklin v Felix Sturm (G). Lost on points in Germany.

July 2: IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO heavyweight titles – David Haye v Wladimir Klitschko (Ukr). Lost on points in Germany.

July 23: WBA, IBF light-welterweight titles – Amir Khan v Zab Judah (US). Won TKO in 5th in US.

Oct 1: WBC diamond middleweight title – Darren Barker v Sergio Martinez (Arg). Lost KO in 11th in US.

Dec 2: WBA middleweight title – Martin Murray v Felix Sturm (G). Draw in Germany.

Dec 3: WBA lightweight title – John Murray v Brandon Rios (US). Lost TKO in 11th in US.

Dec 10: WBA, IBF light-welterweight titles – Amir Khan v Lamont Peterson (US). Lost on points in US.

Dec 17: WBC, WBA super-middleweight titles – Carl Froch v Andre Ward (US). Lost on points in US.