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The Domination of Arthur Abraham: Carl Froch’s Future in the Super Six

By Gina L. Caliboso

After all the drama of the Super Six Middleweight tournament, the boxing bracket has now been settled to four fighters all set for the semifinal round.

The last bout in the series featured Carl “Cobra” Froch, 27-1, 20 KO’s defeating King Arthur Abraham, 31-2, 25 KO’s, and earning a 12 round unanimous decision.

Meanwhile, Andre “S.O.G” Ward, 23-0, 13 KO’s, fought a physical fight against Sakio Bika, 28-5, 19 KO’s, and came out as the winner. Now, the semifinal bouts have been set – Glen “Gentleman” Johnson will face Froch and the stand-out Andre “S.O.G.” Ward will fight against Abraham.

With his win over Abraham, Froch earned the vacant WBC Super Middleweight title.

In his first bout of the tourney, Froch fought against Andre Dirrell, 19-1, 13 KO’s. Fighting in his hometown of Nottingham, I had criticized that prior to this bout, Froch had failed to really fight outside the UK. He did fight against Jermain Taylor and win with a 12th round TKO in the US prior to the tournament, but overall, his boxing record remained intact when safely fighting to a hometown crowd.

In his bout against Dirrell, the bout ended in a split decision, even with what I perceived as a sketchy point deduction against Dirrell for pulling Froch towards him. In this debut bout, I didn’t think much of Froch’s talent and I was bored.

As the tournament matchups continued, I had highly anticipated his bout against Mikkel “Viking Warrior” Kessler, 43-2, 32 KO’s. But I was more vested in Kessler. In Kessler’s bout against Ward, I thought the Danish boxer took some bad cuts and fought as long as he could. But there was no doubt as to who won that fight. Ward really gave it to Kessler.

When European fighters go up against American fighters, there is always such a difference in offense and technique.

As Kessler and Froch had to face one another, I really liked the matchup. I considered Kessler to be technically superior by all counts in his bout against Ward. Against Froch, Kessler definitely showed he made some positive changes to defeat Froch.

After his loss to Kessler, including the loss of his WBC Super Middleweight title, Froch now had the opportunity to earn the belt back in his 3rd round bout against Abraham. At one point, Abraham had led the tournament with points earned from his 12th round KO of Taylor. Abraham had a late start in the fight against Taylor. I don’t think he would have won the fight had it not been for the KO. It was an impressive start and left an imprint on my mind to Abraham’s toughness.

I had the same anticipation I had in Froch’s bout with Kessler. Both Froch and Abraham are brawlers at heart.

In just two bouts resulting in one win and one loss, it was clear that Froch learned a few things, but more importantly, he stepped up his level of technical boxing and knows that he has to be more aggressive and disciplined with his attack. Froch does his best when he lets his hands loose and throws combinations.

Against Abraham, he didn’t give the brawling Armenian a chance to bully him. In his previous fight against Kessler, Froch learned that he cannot be tentative and must still remain technically aware and show the judges he can win. He definitely has to either knockout his opponent or must take the fight away from his opponent. Froch must show up and put up a solid, aggressive offense the moment the bell rings.

On the horizon for Froch, he now faces his toughest opponent against veteran Glen Johnson, 51-14-2, 35 KO’s. Johnson stepped into the tournament with a few recent bouts that should have gone in favor of the elder boxer. Against Allan Green, 29-3, 20 KO’s, he definitely showed he can hold his own and fight a younger opponent. Johnson earned the 8th round TKO.

Johnson is a seasoned and intelligent fighter. He is a harder puncher and fights tough from the beginning. Froch will have to raise his ability once again. Froch is excellent on making adjustments during a fight.

Overall, Froch needs a stronger command in the ring when he exchanges. When he does exchange, he cannot rely on just brawling. He can look a little lost against a more technical boxer and must learn an effective counter defense. In terms of conditioning, Froch can often look wearier than he should, especially when he gets hit.

This is a huge possibility against Johnson.

Despite his loss to Kessler, Froch has continued to raise his boxing against his opponents. Comparatively, both he and Lucian Bute have similar fight records although Bute remains undefeated.

Perhaps a future matchup between the two?

It’s very possible, but for now, Froch need only to look at Johnson, and should he win, he then faces Ward. There are open possibilities and opportunities for Froch.

As the Super 6 tournament continues, we’ll just have to wait and see if he takes advantage and continues his winning ways.

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