The Super Six tournament has had a turbulent yet productive history and has reached its Semi Final Stage, with Carl Froch versus Glen Johnson and Andre Ward versus Arthur Abraham battling it out for the right to fight in the final.
The logical final would be Carl Froch versus Andre Ward, and would be an intriguing battle between an all action fighter and a smart boxer. But that is without putting Froch’s boxing clinic over Arthur Abraham in his last fight into consideration. It would be a worthy final and a great fight.
First of all WBC champion Froch must defeat 42 year old Miami based Jamaican-born ‘Road Warrior’ Glen Johnson (51-14-2, 35 KO), a fighter of the Bernard Hopkins mould who just won’t go away and keeps giving the younger fighters hell, win or lose. In 2004 he was Fighter of the Year on most people’s lists after beating Britain’s Clinton Woods, knocking the great Roy Jones Jr. unconscious and outscoring division number one Antonio Tarver in one year. Since then he has only been beaten by the very best in the light heavyweight division – including Tarver in a rematch, Chad Dawson (twice) and current IBF holder Tavoris Cloud – and never without giving his all to the final bell.
Johnson moved down in weight to seize the opportunity of fighting in Showtime’s Super Six tournament (the last time he fought at super middleweight was against Britain’s Toks Owoh in 2000) after Andre Dirrell and Mikkel Kessler both dropped out. Johnson fought fellow tournament replacement Allen Green and knocked him out in the eighth round in an excellent performance. Now he is fighting Froch for a place in the finals and plans to grab it with both hands.
Froch (27-1, 20 KO) – along with Andre Ward – is a fighter who has benefitted greatly from the tournament. His opponents in the tournament have been Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler and Arthur Abraham and he has endeared himself to the American boxing audience with his all action style. The fight with Kessler was so brutal it effectively ended the Dane’s career and remains the only defeat on Froch’s record. No shame in losing to one of the best fighters in the world in one of the best fights of 2010. Froch bounced back with the win over Abraham and will start favourite to defeat the old warhorse.
If Froch fights the way he did against Abraham – using his huge reach, heavy jab and body shots to his advantage – it should be an impressive victory for The Cobra. Johnson is skilled but is predominately a come-forward fighter who throws a lot of combinations. If Froch engages in a toe-to-toe war it could be a long, hard night’s work for him.
The fight is likely to take place in May and is almost guaranteed to go the full 12 rounds (only Bernard Hopkins has stopped Johnson in his career – in the 11th round of a middleweight title fight in 1997) and Johnson will be in Froch’s face throughout the bout. But I expect Froch’s improved display against Abraham to be the template for this fight.
After a few hairy moments Froch should find his rhythm and dominate down the stretch, and will have his arm raised at the end of 12 exciting rounds. Then he can start to prepare for a final with –shocks permitting – Andre Ward.