Carl Froch eyes Bute, Kessler and Ward for 2013
Carl Froch is aiming to secure a trilogy of mega fights in 2013 after demolishing Yusaf Mack in three rounds of his first defence of the IBF World super middleweight title in Betfair’s ‘True Brit’ on Saturday night.
Froch pounced on the challenger early and put him on the canvas in the opening round before vicious body fights in the third accounted for the Philadelphian.
The Cobra now turns his attention to the possibility of three huge rematches in 2013, starting with the contracted rematch with Lucian Bute in Canada, the man he savagely ripped the IBF crown from in May. The 35 year old then has his sights set on avenging the only defeats on his record against Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward, and with Mack unable to land any punches of note against the brilliant Froch, the Nottingham man is raring to get stuck in to a hat-trick of box office blockbusters.
‘I haven't got time to waste,’ said Froch. ‘I wouldn't be stupid and jump back in the ring too early but I have no injuries, my hands are fine so I feel good and if something could come off sooner rather than later I'd prefer that.
‘Other than fighting at the Capital FM Arena the next best thing would be the City Ground, it would be unbelievable. I go to loads of Nottingham Forest games and I go on the pitch sometimes and get a standing ovation so to be in the middle of the pitch fighting someone like Kessler or Ward I can only imagine how phenomenal that would be, a career defining night.’
Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn said the work on Froch’s next fights begins today, and said the team were happy to travel to Canada to rematch Bute, although he was question whether Froch’s devastating win coupled with Bute’s recent laboured victory over Denis Grachev would put the former champion off from taking the fight.
‘We are obliged to go to Montreal in March for the Lucian Bute rematch but I don't know after his performance against Grachev and Carl's performance on Saturday that they are going to want to take him on,’ said Hearn. ‘There's the issue of the mandatory challenger in Adonis Stevenson who is a good fighter, we want to fight Kessler and Ward said on Twitter that he could be interested in a fight in the UK and I think he'd come. I want to do a stadium fight with Carl next summer.’
After entering the ring to a crescendo of noise in his hometown, Froch wasted little time and halfway through the opening round Mack hit the canvas from Froch’s first attack, with the American was forced to hang on and relieved to hear the bell at the end of the first.
A quiet second round burst into life at the end with Froch pinning Mack against the ropes and hurting the challenger with pinpoint accuracy in his work, especially to the body.
In the third round, it was Froch’s crisp body punches that ended the action as he fired two beautiful shots to the ribs with left and right hands to crumple Mack to the canvas, sickening blows he could not recover from.
‘If he had got any success early on he'd have gained confidence and thought to himself: 'I can do this,' so I took the play away from him,’ said Froch. ‘I didn't let him get his jab away and I was catching him with some heavy shots. It's nice to come out of the ring unscathed and the crowd still appreciated the performance which is great.
‘It came a bit earlier that I expected but I landed some heavy shots and backed him up, he didn't move as much as I thought he would. The 12 weeks training camp that I did for tonight got me the big win, I put the graft in to get the reward. I believe the fight is won or lost before you step through the ropes. I lost to Andre Ward before the fight as mentally I wasn't switched on and physically I was drained. I put that down to experience and it won't happen again.’
Tony Bellew took a step closer to a second World light heavyweight title shot with a mature performance against highly ranked Roberto Bolonti. Bellew floored the Argentine in the opening round and again in the third but suffered a horrendous cut over his right eye from a left hook in the same round.
The Liverpool man was forced to change his game plan and did so brilliantly, claiming a wide points win to leap up the WBC rankings and heaping praise on his cuts man Mick Williamson after the fight.
‘Mick deserves my purse tonight to be honest,’ said Bellew, who scooped the WBC Silver title in the process. ‘I have never experienced a cut like that of any kind. I knew it was serious when I was in the third and I went back to the corner and said to Mick, ‘is it bad?’ and he said ‘don’t you worry about the cut, worry about the boxing’. The minute he said that I knew it was horrendous. It is one of those things, you have to get on with it but I am happy with the experience and I thank Eddie again, I thank my team because they all stayed calm in the corner and nobody panicked and that is the sign of a true, professional team. Usually when fighters get cut it is never as bad as that and especially the first time in the career when they get cut. Everyone stayed calm and I cannot thank the gaffer enough.
‘It was another test and I have had to come through some difficult spells tonight. The performance wasn’t the best but it was calculated and I did what I had to do. I think I’d have definitely got the stoppage in the third but when the cut came it changed everything. With it being a punch if the fight gets stopped I have lost so that is the reason why I had to use my brain and maybe use the jab to the body to slow him down, different things that we have worked on but never in a millions years did we anticipate that to be honest.’
Kal Yafai continues to make short work of his opponents as he makes waves in the bantamweight division, getting experienced Italian Pio Nettuno out in just 52 seconds with a vicious left to the body. Yafai, fighting as a pro for just the fifth time in his first eight-round contest, was expecting a tough night against the three-time Italian title challenger but now eyes big fights in 2013 with four KO wins in five and another outing this year on the Betfair ‘Christmas Cracker’ on December 8 still to come.
Scotty Cardle gained a well-earned win in his first eight-round clash against Miguel Aguilar who proved to be a frustrating opponent. Cardle gained the initiative from the off and Aguilar was forced to grab hold of the former Team GB man often, resulting in a points deduction in the fourth. Aguilar had another point deducted in the final round to see Cardle gain an 80-70 win but he faces an anxious wait to see if he can box on December 8 after getting cut above the left eye.
Kerry Hope faces Darren Barker that night and gained a confidence boosting win over Norbert Szekeres over six rounds, flooring the Hungarian on the way to a 60-53 win.
Exciting Liverpool prospect Callum Smith became the latest former Team GB star to set foot in the pros and saw off Dan Blackwell in his first fight in the pro game, with another ex-Team GB man Martin J. Ward moving to 3-0 with a win over Dann Carr.
Leigh Wood and Konrad Dabrowski both won four-rounders but Ryan Aston was left frustrated when an accidental head clash in the third landed him with a cut and saw his fight with Tyan Booth end in a technical draw.