Posts Tagged ‘Carl Froch’

Does Andre Ward need Carl Froch? Believe it or not, it may be true

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Carl Froch vs. Andre Ward

Carl Froch lost to Andre Ward in 2011, but holds the upper hand in rematch negotiations. (Nick Laham/Getty Images)

In 2011, Andre Ward battered Carl Froch over 12 lopsided rounds, winning a unanimous decision and firmly establishing himself as the No. 1 super middleweight in the world. But as I watched Froch batter Mikkel Kessler last week, a fight witnessed by 18,000 fans in London’s O2 Arena and millions more on Sky Sports in the U.K and HBO in the U.S., it occurred to me:

Ward needs Froch more than Froch needs Ward.

Think about it: Froch has options. The win over Kessler evened the series between the two and a third fight — in either England or Denmark — would be worth millions. Light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins is practically pleading for a fight with Froch, willing to come to the U.K. and fight at a catchweight to get it. Rising super middleweight contender George Groves is a promotional stablemate of Froch and would create an appealing all-England showdown.

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  • Published On Jun 04, 2013
  • Three thoughts on Carl Froch’s unanimous decision over Mikkel Kessler

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    Carl Froch beats Mikkel Kessler

    Carl Froch (left) withstood several big shots to the chin from Mikkel Kessler to win a unanimous decision. (Sang Tan/AP)

    Three thoughts on Carl Froch’s unanimous decision win over Mikkel Kessler:

    Froch continues to impress
    In 2011, Froch lost a lopsided decision to Andre Ward in the finals of Showtime’s Super Six tournament, and at 34, it was fair to question if Froch had blown his best opportunity to prove he was among the top fighters in the world. But Froch followed up the loss with a dramatic knockout win over Lucian Bute—an undefeated, legitimate titleholder considered the best 168-pounder not in the Super Six—and on Saturday, Froch became a unified super middleweight champion with a decisive decision win over Mikkel Kessler, avenging a 2010 defeat. Froch, fighting for the third straight time in his home country of England, was as relentless against Kessler as he was against Bute, piling up points in the early rounds behind a stiff jab and an overwhelming work rate. Kessler rallied in the later rounds, even stunning Froch in the 11th, but Froch closed the show with a strong 12th, pummeling Kessler into a corner. The three judges scored the fight 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113, while SI.com had it 116-112. Everyone got it right.

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  • Published On May 25, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Geale likely to fight Soliman next, Alexander-Brook postponed

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    Having defeated Anthony Mundine, Daniel Geale might face Sam Soliman next. (AP)

    Having defeated Anthony Mundine, Daniel Geale might face Sam Soliman next. (AP)

    • IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale settled a score last week when he avenged his lone loss, winning a unanimous decision over countryman Anthony Mundine. Despite Mundine’s protests — and who knows what fight he was watching — it was a clean win for Geale, who was the more active and more accurate puncher. Geale’s promoter, Gary Shaw, would like to bring Geale to the U.S. next for a big fight but Shaw told SI.com that he received a letter yesterday from the IBF ordering him to begin negotiations with representatives for Australian Sam Soliman, who became Geale’s mandatory challenger after upsetting Felix Sturm last week. Geale isn’t going to give up that belt, so expect a fight against Soliman in Australia later this year.

    • Hey Russell Crowe: Learn how to score a fight.

    • Devon Alexander’s welterweight title defense against Kell Brook may be snakebitten. For the second time, Alexander-Brook has been postponed, this time due to a right biceps injury suffered by Alexander in training. Alexander-Brook had originally been scheduled for January 19th but was postponed until February 23rd. With Alexander-Brook off, Cornelius “K9” Bundrage’s junior middleweight title defense against Ishe Smith has been elevated to the main event of the Showtime televised card.

    • While the middleweight title matchup between Gennady Golovkin and Nobuhiro Ishida on March 30th in Monte Carlo is a gross mismatch — if that fight goes more than three rounds, I’ll be shocked — the show does have an intriguing undercard. Super middleweight prospect Edwin Rodriguez (22-0) will take on Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (19-0) while former light heavyweight champion Zsolt Erdei (33-0) will challenge former 168-pound title challenger Denis Grachev (12-1). The undercard fights will be part of the Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four. The finals of tournament will take place July 13 in Monaco, with the winner taking home $600,000, the loser $400,000.

    • Think there is some interest in the May 25th rematch between Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler in the U.K.? Promoters of the event report that more than 8,000 tickets sold in the first hour and that the O2 Arena, capacity 17,000, is expected to be sold out. Froch, who said he would have retired if he lost to Lucian Bute last year, says he will likely quit if he loses to Kessler.

    • Attention fellow media members: Reporting that someone is near death, as a British tabloid did with Muhammad Ali last week, is not cool. And it’s shameful when you’re wrong. According to an Ali’s daughter, May May, the 71-year old Ali, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, is not dying. The family released a photo of Ali in a Ravens jersey watching the Super Bowl. The reports stemmed from comments made by Ali’s brother, Rahman.

    • According to super middleweight challenger Adonis Stevenson’s promoter, Yvon Michel, Stevenson will fight for a vacant IBF title sometime in June. Neither Carl Froch, the reigning IBF titleholder, or Mikkel Kessler, who will face Froch in May, has shown interest in facing Stevenson, and according to Michel the title will become vacant after that fight. In the meantime, Michel said Stevenson will face Darnell Boone in March in an attempt to avenge his only career defeat.

    • Man, has Andre Dirrell wasted some prime years of his career.

    • Kelly Pavlik continues to sound like a man who doesn’t intend to stay retired.

    • We have a presumption of innocence in this country, but when it comes to performance enhancing drugs the assumption is that anyone connected with them through published reports is probably using them. That’s why Yuri Gamboa is going to have to submit to blood and urine testing for the rest of his career if he hopes to restore any credibility to it. Gamboa has yet to publicly respond to charges made in a Miami New Times report that linked him to an alleged PED peddler in south Florida. But regardless of what he says, Gamboa is going to have to prove, through testing, that he is a clean fighter.

    -Chris Mannix


  • Published On Feb 05, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Gennady Golovkin’s next move, Seth Mitchell experiment probably over and more

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    Gennady Golovkin (above) will defend his middleweight title against an opponent to be determined on Jan. 19 in New York at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • I’m told HBO is now considering two possible opponents for Gennady Golovkin’s Jan. 19 middleweight title defense: Fernando Guerrero, a one-time prospect who is represented by Al Haymon, and Gabriel Rosado, a rising junior middleweight who is currently the IBF’s mandatory challenger for Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage’s title. To me, the decision is an easy one: Guerrero — who beat Rosado in a controversial eight-round middleweight fight in 2009 — has done nothing recently to warrant this kind of opportunity. Rosado, meanwhile, beat three quality opponents in 2012, all on NBC Sports Network, all by knockout. Rosado is the definition of a television-friendly fighter. A matchup with Golovkin would be a war.

    • Super featherweight Teon Kennedy’s injury forced Main Events to find a new opponent for undefeated prospect Jerry Belmontes in the co-feature of the Dec. 8 card on NBC Sports Network. On Monday they announced that Eric Hunter (16-2) would step in. Hunter has been on the shelf for most of the last two years, fighting once (last July) since December of 2010.

    • Kudos to Seth Mitchell for accomplishing a lot in boxing despite not picking up the gloves until he was 24. But this experiment is probably over. You can’t teach a chin and in his last two fights Mitchell has been buzzed by Chazz Witherspoon and knocked out in two rounds by Johnathan Banks. There are things Mitchell can do to improve — he still has no idea how to hold when he gets hurt — but if light hitters like Witherspoon and Banks can wobble him, he’s a sitting duck for one of the Klitschko brothers.

    • Speaking of Banks: I’d like to see him face one more quality opponent before looking for a fight with Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko. A matchup with Tyson Fury, David Price or his preferred choice, Alexander Povetkin, next year could make Banks some money and, if he wins, give him some momentum heading into a major title fight.

    • I’m looking forward to Miguel Cotto-Austin Trout on Dec. 1 at Madison Square Garden, but that undercard is horrendous. Jayson Velez and Danny Jacobs — questionable choices for a televised undercard to begin with — will fight separately on Showtime’s broadcast in fights that do nothing for me. Velez (19-0) will face Salvador Sanchez II (30-4-3), nephew of Mexican legend Salvador Sanchez, while Jacobs (23-1), the former prospect and cancer survivor who will fight for the second time in three months, gets Chris Fitzpatrick (15-2).

    • I don’t know what has gotten into Carl Froch, but after another impressive knockout — this one over handpicked challenger Yusaf Mack — I just don’t know how Lucian Bute can beat him. Froch is just too strong.

    • Bring on Adrien Broner-Ricky Burns.

    • Thank you, Fred Sternburg, for sending out 400 emails letting everyone know that Manny Pacquiao gave away free turkeys last week. My overflowing inbox extends its regards.

    • Hey British promoter Frank Maloney: Your comment that Wladimir Klitschko would be happy not to have to pay Emanuel Steward his 10 percent after a one-sided win over Mariusz Wach last week was disgusting and classless. Steward, a longtime mentor and trainer for Klitschko, lost a battle with cancer last month. Maloney should be ashamed.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Nov 20, 2012
  • Quick Jabs: Adamek-Cunningham II set, Froch changes his mind and more

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    Tomasz Adamek

    Tomasz Adamek will fight Steve Cunningham again after their epic bout in 2008, which Adamek won by split decision. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

    Some quick jabs…

    • Though it wasn’t announced, Main Events had planned to match heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek against former title challenger Odlanier Solis on its NBC show — the main NBC network, not NBC Sports Network — on Dec. 22nd. However, last week Solis’ new advisor, Gabriel Penagaricano, went to Main Events and said the money Solis had agreed to wasn’t going to be enough.

    In an email to SI.com, Duva explained what happened:

    “Recently, Solis pulled out of a fight in Spain that had been made by [promoter] Ahmet Ohner. Shortly after that we were informed by Solis’ new representative that he would not fight on Dec. 22nd under the terms that had been agreed to by his previous management. We went back and forth for over a week trying to resolve the situation. He was given a deadline of Friday, Oct. 12th to sign the paperwork. When he did not, we informed his representative that we were prepared to move on with another opponent. We then gave him until Monday at noon to reconsider. When he did not come back to us with an agreement by noon on Monday, we offered the fight to another heavyweight, who jumped at the opportunity. The deal was literally finished in the space of a few hours. Late on Monday night, Solis’ representative informed us that he was now ready to live up to our original deal. At that point, however, it was too late to turn back, as we had committed to another bout.”

    That other fighter Duva alludes to is Steve Cunningham, a longtime cruiserweight titleholder who made the jump to heavyweight in September. In 2008, Cunningham waged an epic war with Adamek, losing a split decision. Though Solis-Adamek was a more meaningful fight — the winner would have been well positioned for a 2013 fight with Wladimir Klitschko — Adamek-Cunningham is a can’t miss action fight.

    “This is a fight my team and I have wanted since the first one,” Cunningham said. “Adamek and I have been on two different paths, but in December our paths will collide again. I have respect for Adamek; he has done great things in his career, but I’m confident I’ll get the victory. I’m looking forward to it. On December 22nd I’ll be the best Steve Cunningham anyone has seen yet.”

    • Meanwhile, Duva continues to look for an opponent for rising heavyweight prospect Bryant Jennings. One opponent who turned them down was Tor Hamer, a once-beaten heavyweight in Lou DiBella’s stable. According to DiBella, the offer — around $15,000, he said — simply wasn’t enough. Sound crazy? To me, too. Hamer’s career stalled after a 2010 loss to Kelvin Price and though he seemed to revive it after winning the U.K. Prizefighter tournament earlier this year, he is hardly a sought after fighter.

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  • Published On Oct 17, 2012
  • Three thoughts on Froch’s TKO of Bute

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    Carl Froch solidifed his status as an elite super middleweight fighter. (ZUMAPRESS.com)

    NOTTINGHAM, England — Here are three thoughts on Carl Froch’s spectacular fifth-round knockout win over Lucian Bute:

    1. Carl Froch is the second-best super middleweight in the world. Throw out the loss to Andre Ward. Toss it. Trash it. Ward is elite, and odds are if he fights Froch 10 times he will get smoked 10 times. Ward is No. 1 in the division, but Froch should be ranked right behind him. Bute was widely considered the 1A 168-pounder, and Froch destroyed him. After an even first round, Froch turned on the pressure and pounded Bute into submission. Before the fight Bute said he didn’t want to spend the night on the end of Froch’s long jab. Froch didn’t give him the chance; he turned a prizefight into a street fight and had Bute out on his feet in the fifth round when his corner jumped into the ring to stop the fight. That was as impressive a win as anyone could ask for.

    2. What happened to Bute? Bute’s plan coming was to put pressure on Froch, to make him fight the full three minutes every round. Instead, he couldn’t keep Froch off him. No excuses, either: Bute said before the fight he was in top shape, and looked it in the ring. He brought seven different sparring partners to camp, including a heavyweight, to simulate Froch’s aggressiveness and spoke confidently that his aggressiveness would be the key to the fight. But he was completely overmatched. Bute showed a great chin, absorbing shot after shot, haymaker after haymaker, refusing to go down. But his counterpunches didn’t faze Froch; he simply walked right through them.

    To Bute’s credit, he marched into enemy territory and took less money than he could have made in Canada to prove that he could win outside of his adopted home country. But that fight could have been in Bute’s living room with his siblings as judges and he would not have had a shot.

    3. So … Bute-Froch II? Bute has a rematch option, in Canada, and there will be plenty of money in it if he picks it up. A rematch would draw close to 20,000 fans at the Bell Centre in Montreal, or some other venue. Bute, however, may not be up for it. He took a pretty savage beating against Froch and may want a confidence boosting bout before he takes another shot. Froch will have options — he says a rematch with Ward is not one of them — including Mikkel Kessler, who beat Froch in 2010. Or Froch could opt for an easier title defense; his promoters were interested in Librado Andrade before Bute accepted the offer to come to England.

    Suddenly, Froch has a bright future. He says he would have retired had he lost to Bute. Now, he is arguably the most appealing super middleweight in the division.

    –Chris Mannix


  • Published On May 26, 2012
  • Lucian Bute bucks recent boxing trend, downplays injury before Froch fight

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    Lucian Bute

    Lucian Bute is hoping to prove he can win away from home with a victory over Carl Froch in England on Saturday. (Scott Deveay/Getty Images)

    NOTTINGHAM, England — How many times have we heard a fighter blame a lackluster performance on an injury? David Haye blamed a broken pinky toe for his loss to Wladimir Klitschko. Audley Harrison blamed a torn pectoral muscle for his lopsided loss to Haye. Zab Judah claimed he was exhausted in his loss to Carlos Baldomir because Don King forced him to do too many interviews before the fight.

    Excuses have become part of the fiber of the sport. So you can imagine when I received a press release from IBF super middleweight Lucian Bute’s camp earlier this month about an infection Bute suffered in his right big toe, I wondered if this was Bute’s team floating an early excuse for a potential loss to Carl Froch on Saturday night (6 p.m. ET, Epix, EpixHD.com).

    Bute says that could not be further from the truth. First, some facts: Late last month, Bute decided to try on a new pair of shoes to train with. During that first training session, Bute began to develop blisters on both of his toes. The blister on a right toe became infected, making it painful to walk on and, worse, causing a shooting pain to run up his right leg. The infection also led to a fever and weakened him for days.

    Ultimately, Bute went and saw a doctor, who diagnosed the infection and put him on a ten-day regiment of antibiotics. The injury forced him out of two days of training — and even had his trainer, Stephan Larouche, contemplating canceling the fight — but Bute was able to recover quickly enough to resume a normal schedule.

    Bute says his team had no intention of releasing the information until an Internet report appeared exposing the injury. To settle uneasiness in the Froch camp, Bute issued a statement making it clear he would move forward with the fight.

    Give Bute credit: These days many fighters who experience an injury that significantly disrupts training will postpone the fight. But Bute was determined to move forward. After speaking with him on Friday, I get the sense that this fight means a lot to him. He understands the rap on him is that he always fights close to home. He thinks (correctly, in my opinion) that a win over Froch on his home turf will end all that talk, which is why he is taking a paycut to do it. He says he is approaching this fight like the title is vacant and that he has to win it all over again if he is going to bring it back to Canada.

    Whatever happens, however, Bute won’t be blaming his toe.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On May 25, 2012
  • Experts’ predictions for Lucian Bute-Carl Froch

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    Lucian Bute (right) defends his IBF super middleweight title against Carl Froch (left) on Saturday. (Andrew Couldridge/ZUMAPRESS.com)

    SI.com’s boxing experts predict Saturday’s super middleweight title fight between Lucian Bute and Carl Froch (6 p.m. ET, Epix/EpixHD.com). Share your prediction in the comments below.

    CHRIS MANNIX

    Here’s my biggest question coming into this fight: Can Lucian Bute win a decision in Carl Froch’s backyard? Maybe I’m a cynic, or maybe I have seen one too many abominable decisions in boxing. The three judges are from Canada, the U.S. and Great Britain — but if Froch keeps the fight close, he may have a chance to steal it, literally.

    The advantage Bute has is that I think he has a big edge in the skills department. Bute has a stinging jab, is a savage body puncher and has a crisp uppercut that I think the aggressive Froch will walk into a few too many times. Froch belittles Bute’s competition but in his last fight Bute wiped out Glen Johnson more impressively than Froch did one fight earlier.

    If Bute is on his game, I think he wins handily. Froch is a good fighter but he’s hittable and he takes a lot of shots. Froch dismissed Bute’s uppercut when I asked him about it on Wednesday but there is no question it will be a formidable weapon in this fight. Bute has shown a wobbily chin the past but if he can keep Froch off of him early with the jab he can control this fight, perhaps even position himself for a knockout in the later rounds. Bute by split decision.

    RICHARD O’BRIEN

    Froch clearly wants to make some noise in this fight. He has said that fans should expect “fireworks,” and that he’ll be coming in “with all guns blazing.” The ballistic strategy is probably the right one for Froch, who at 34 and coming off the loss to Andre Ward is nonetheless in a good place in his career. A win against the unbeaten Bute, in front of Froch’s home fans, would raise his stock right back up and give him the inside track on a bout with the winner of the proposed Sept. 8 Andre Ward-Chad Dawson fight.

    Bute’s a southpaw. He’s fast and a very polished boxer, all elements that could make him a handful for Froch. The Canadian hero is also undefeated, but he has faced nowhere near the caliber of opposition that Froch has. Plus, his chin has to be in question (having capped off his decision win over Librado Andrade by getting more or less knocked out). If Froch does indeed pull the trigger from the start and can keep the pressure on, forcing Bute into a shootout, he should prevail. Froch by unanimous decision.

    BRYAN ARMEN GRAHAM

    Here’s a rare case of the burden of proof falling on the champion. Yes, Bute holds the IBF super middleweight title, sits at No. 11 in our pound-for-pound ratings and is undefeated after 30 fights, but the caliber of his opposition pales in comparison to Froch (whose resume includes fights with Jean Pascal, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Glen Johnson and Andre Ward) and he’s fought just one bout outside of Canada.

    An excellent puncher with great legs and above-average defense, Bute is well aware of the perils of a hometown decision. He passed up easy money to test himself in his opponent’s backyard, and I see him rising to the challenge. Bute is the naturally bigger and more mobile fighter, and he should be able to press those advantages against an opponent who’s looked a tad mechanical at times. Expect a disciplined body attack that breaks Froch down by the middle rounds, setting up an uncontroversial finish. Bute by late-round stoppage.


  • Published On May 25, 2012
  • Super Six final rescheduled for Dec. 17

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    The Super Six final between Andre Ward and Carl Froch has been rescheduled for Dec. 17 in Atlantic City, an industry source told SI.com.

    The fight was originally scheduled for Oct. 29 at Boardwalk Hall. An injury to Ward during training last week — a cut above his right eye that needed seven stitches to close — forced the postponement.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 27, 2011
  • Froch left to scramble after Ward backs out

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    Carl Froch

    Carl Froch is looking for a new opponent now that Andre Ward has backed out. (Tom Mihalek/AP)

    So, now what?

    That’s the question super middleweight titlist Carl Froch and Showtime executive Ken Hershman are asking themselves after Andre Ward announced Friday that he has to postpone his Oct. 29 Super Six fight due to a cut over his right eye, the latest hiccup in the network’s 168-pound tournament.

    While Froch is obviously frustrated, he has to move on. It’s uncertain the fight with Ward will be rescheduled before the end of the year — the combination of the cut, which required seven stitches to close, and the slim number of available dates make it questionable — and Froch’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, wants to keep his 34-year old fighter busy.

    The options, however, are limited. Froch is not going to seek out a top opponent, as a loss would claim his alphabet title along with much of the buzz of the tournament final. Besides, most of the name opponents in the division (Lucian Bute, Mikkel Kessler and Robert Stieglitz) are locked into fights anyway.

    More likely, Froch will look for a manageable opponent to bring to the U.K., where he has not fought since outpointing Andre Dirrell in 2009. Sakio Bika, Librado Andrade or Noe Gonzalez come to mind. Rising middleweight prospect George Groves — who has a December date with Paul Smith — would do big business in England, though it’s unlikely Groves’s promoter would put Groves, 23, in with Froch this early in his career.

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  • Published On Sep 23, 2011


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