Froch reaches Super-Six final after gutsy Johnson win - 04/06/2011
THE Cobra to get a shot at unifying the titles against Andre Ward
Carl Froch will face Andre Ward in the final of the Super Six World Boxing Classic after defeating Glen Johnson in the semi-finals in Atlantic City, retaining his WBC Super-Middleweight title in the process.
Carl Froch powers past Johnson
The Nottingham star felt his way in the early rounds against ‘The Road Warrior’ and the 42 year-old Jamaican had some early success against ‘The Cobra’. But Froch soon moved through the gears and boxed beautifully towards the latter stages of the contest. After 12 rounds, judge Nobuaki Yuratani had it even at 114-114 but judges John Stewart (117-111) and Mark Green (116-112) favoured Froch's work over the whole fight.
“I thought I won the fight easily,” said Froch. “I don't know what that other judge was thinking. Johnson was very tough, very strong. He was like an oak tree. I started off slow, but towards the end I was throwing more punches. Johnson hit me with a couple of right hands but they didn't bother me. They caught me off balance, to be fair. You feel it, but I'm known for having a strong chin.
“I always like to entertain and sometimes I go into the trenches and have a war with my opponent when I don't need to, like I'm trying to prove a point. But against Arthur Abraham I showed great discipline and stuck to my game plan and I did with Johnson. He was fading in the 11th and 12th and was there for me to step in and finish him, which I always love to do. But I kept back, kept disciplined and did enough to progress to the final and defend my belt.”
Unbeaten Californian Ward was ringside on Saturday night, and Ward called it “natural and fitting” that two of the original Super Six line-up would meet in the final when the pair met in the ring after Froch's triumph. Both Froch and Ward were pushed on the Briton’s comments the previous day that he had the beating of Ward, but speaking on Sky Sports News on his return to the England, Froch played down his comments.
“I've said a few things about my strengths and weaknesses and what his are and it's got his back up a little bit,” said Froch. “I say I'm going to beat somebody and he can’t punch and he'll come back and say that's disrespectful. But I've got to be honest. I'm not talking about personalities, I'm talking about boxing. I'm going into that fight confident I can do the job and I'm sure if Andre Ward was sat here now he'd tell you that he can beat me. But at this level you could fight each other ten times and it's not going to be ten-nil to one person, it'd probably be five-all or something like that.
“It's been very gruelling fighting top-level athletes fight-after-fight. You don't usually do it – you can defend your title against a hand-picked opponent, one or two nice comfortable wins. Here, I'm always defending fighting the next best in line, but it raises my game and I haven't been involved in too many wars. I made an easy night's work of a couple of them.”
The details of the final are yet to be finalised, but Froch’s new promoter Eddie Hearn said that a winter date in Las Vegas was a “strong possibility”.