Froch destroys Mack with third round KO to retain IBF super-middleweight title
01:28 GMT, 18 November 2012
Carl Froch, British boxing’s standard bearer, furthered his quest to be rated in the top five pound-for-pound boxers in the world by defending his IBF super-middleweight title in devastating style.
Froch knocked out the American Yusaf Mack after two minutes and 30 seconds of the third round at the Capital FM Arena in his home city of Nottingham before 10,000 raucous, adoring supporters. It was a vicious brace of left-handed punches to body and head that had Mack gasping for breath and beaten.
Froch was clearly raring to go — riled by Mack’s pre-fight description of him as a ‘fake Joe Calzaghe’ — and had the Pennsylvanian on the canvas in the first round with a flurry of punishing punches. Home hopes of a finish there and then were dashed, if not for long.
Milking the crowd: Carl Froch was in top form against Yusaf Mack
Sealed with a kiss: Froch and girlfriend Rachael Cordingley celebrate victory
Having grown up on the mean streets
of Philadelphia Mack — who has nine children at the age of 32 —has
survived plenty of violence, including the death of a brother and a
group of friends in a gangland killing.
This was more about technique,
however. Mack was stepping down a weight from his favoured light-heavy
but stepping up in class and it showed as he was painfully outboxed.
He survived round two through sheer
cussedness but in the third was hit by a vicious shot to the ribs from
Froch, who followed it up with a left to the head that produced a
delayed reaction in Mack. He fell in installments, never to beat the
count of 10.
Froch said: ‘As soon as the doors
opened to the arena and the crowd erupted, I was ready to go.’ He had
barely broken sweat. ‘The crowd in Nottingham is unbelievable. I was a
bit cautious at first but I soon found my range. There’s always a chance
in a two-horse race but Mack never had much chance. I am a level up.’
Brutal: A Froch attack leaves Mack on the ropes
Calling it a day: Referee Phil Edwards ends proceedings in Nottingham with Mack on the canvas
It was the 35-year-old Froch’s 30th
win of his 32-fight career and he will now honour an obligation for a
rematch with Canada-based Romanian Lucian Bute in Montreal. Froch
regained his title by beating Bute here in May and defending it away
from home before 20,000 Canadians will be tough.
Froch, though, is in the form and shape of his life and is on a mission.
After Bute, he wants to fight the only two men to have beaten him — Dane Mikkel Kessler and American Andre Ward.
Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn will
seek to lure Kessler to Nottingham Forest’s City Ground with the offer
of a pay-per-view night, before promising Ward another big pay day.
So fearless a warrior is Froch,
indeed, that he would even be willing to go to America to fight Ward,
who is rated one of the world’s top-five fighters.
On top: Froch put Mack on the deck several times
Smelling blood: Froch was relentless
Earlier, classy Liverpool
light-heavyweight Tony Bellew overcame a wicked cut above his right eye
to outpoint Argentinian Roberto Bolonti, whom he twice dropped to the
Bellew, who lost to new WBO champion Nathan Cleverly last year, will now have strong claims to a lucrative rematch.
Another Liverpudlian, Callum Smith,
recorded a win on his professional debut. Smith looked convincing enough
in brushing aside Dan Blackwell of Trowbridge at super-middleweight.
Maybe there is a successor to Froch at the weight some way down the
Sheffield’s Kell Brook will fight
American Devon Alexander for the IBF Welterweight title in Las Vegas or
New York on January 19.
Show of power: Froch attacks once more
Home support: Froch was cheered on by a partisan crowd