Carl Froch: Styles Make Fights

By Robert Ecksel on December 12, 2011
Carl Froch: Styles Make Fights
“It’s going to be a fantastic fight," said Froch, "It’s going to be a war.” (Howard Schatz)

If Ward starts fouling, using his head and elbows as if they were fists, Froch said “I will foul him right back…”

In anticipation of Saturday’s Final of the Super Six Boxing Classic at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City between WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch (28-1, 22 KOs) and WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward (24-0, 13 KOs), Froch, aka The Cobra, from Nottingham, England, recently met with the press via teleconference call and was as confident as could be.

Like Ward he’s been training extra hard for this fight and believes that the delay caused by the cut Ward suffered while in training has worked to his advantage.

“It actually worked in my favor,” Froch said. “My trainer Rob McCracken is the head coach for the Great Britain Olympic boxing team and they actually had an Olympic qualifying tournament two weeks before my departure for New York for the previous date. It was going to work into my rest week and we were going to be OK with it. So essentially I had a two-week break when I heard about Ward’s injury. So I had a week with my family and then another week when I started to crank it up a bit.

“It’s going to work out perfect.”

Froch, like Ward and everyone else who follows boxing, understands that the Super Six tournament has been a godsend. It has given all the fighters—but especially the finalists—more exposure than they would have ever gotten otherwise.

“I’m getting viewed on TV by many fight fans now, which is great. I’ve actually become more popular in American than before in England, which is great. I’ve really gotten some great matchups since the tournament started: Dirrell, Kessler, Abraham, Johnson, and now Ward. I don’t think those fights would have happened if it wasn’t for the tournament. It’s been great for Andre and it’s been great for myself.”

When asked if the Super Six and the competition he’s faced has made him a better fighter, the 34-year-old Froch had no doubt whatsoever.

“I think in the Pascal fight I was seen as more of a brawler early on,” he said, “before I started to get behind my jab and box and that made the fight a little bit easier for me. Against Taylor I needed a big finish which I got. I was able to show a lot of my skill against Arthur Abraham. You always learn about yourself fight by fight. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my style. I’m in a happy place right now. I know exactly what I need to do to win this fight. I’m confident and I’m looking forward to doing my business on the 17th.”

What Froch needs to do is catch Ward, slow him down, drop him, and KO him if possible. And if Ward starts fouling, using his head and elbows as if they were fists, Froch said “I will foul him right back.”

“It’s an old cliché,” continued Froch, “but styles make fights. It’s hard to look at past fights of fighters and then try and draw a conclusion on how a fight is going to go. I expect for him to come to box and to use his jab and his boxing skills. But he may try and close the gap and get into my chest and get rough in there. It’s hard to tell what to expect. It’s going to be a fantastic fight between two high level fighters. It’s going to be a war. There is a Plan A and a Plan B and maybe even a Plan C.”

Having a Plan A, B and C is an excellent idea. Froch made need them. But there are many letters left in the alphabet. Ward has thought this fight through from A to Z. Hopefully Froch and his trainer have done the same.

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  1. mikecasey 08:45am, 12/16/2011

    It should certainly be a good fight, Yank. Let’s hope so.

  2. "Old Yank" Schneider 05:41pm, 12/15/2011

    Mike and rax—I’m out on a very low-odds limb predicting a Ward stoppage late. I just don’t think Froch will have the common sense to stop eating two to try to land one on a Ward who is not available to hit.

  3. mikecasey 05:05pm, 12/15/2011

    Yep, my dear old son, you could be right. I can certainly see it from that angle. What Carl DOESN’T have - unlike Calzaghe - is the innate ability to adapt accordingly. I saw that ability in the great Monzon. Napoles could shift beautifully too. So could the wonderful Eder Jofre. But not many have it. Gotta hit the sack now, pal - best wishes!

  4. raxman 04:56pm, 12/15/2011

    mike - i hope you’re right. i really do. but i rewatched froch v taylor the other day and although i admit ward and taylor arent identical fighters but they’re probably the closest two on froch resume and taylor gave froch fits for the majority of that fight - its as you say froch endurance, his toughness was what got him over the line. but ward is faster than taylor and although not as heavy handed i’m betting froch finds that ward’s punches that hurt more than they look (not disimilar to Joe Calzaghe) and have the sort of sting that make you think twice before attacking. and although i agree ward has yet to prove himself like froch, skill wise he seems a great boxer

  5. mikecasey 04:43pm, 12/15/2011

    Back in ‘71, Rax, I expected Frazier to beat Ali in the Fight of the Century - by late TKO or KO. I am on record as saying that all those years ago. I don’t think anyone figured that fight would go to points unless it was an Ali win. I see Carl winning on points or late TKO because I think he is the tougher and more worldly of the two. I’m not entirely convinced by Ward, and I could be dead wrong about that (Lord knows, it won’t be the first time!!). But I see parallels here to the Jim Watt-Howard Davis fight, when few people picked Jim - and he gave Davis a boxing lesson.

  6. raxman 04:28pm, 12/15/2011

    mike - really? by decision? are you sure? ward is going to throw a load of punches and hit froch a lot. i can see maybe froch stopping him, maybe. but i don’t get how you forsee him winning by decision. pls explain your theory.

  7. mikecasey 04:18pm, 12/15/2011

    Rax, I’m writing one right now on Johnny Famechon, who I think was a beautiful boxer. Tell me how great the weather is in Oz right now. I’m being battered like hell by storms here in Folkestone.

  8. mikecasey 04:08pm, 12/15/2011

    Froch by decision or stoppage.

  9. raxman 03:00pm, 12/15/2011

    speaking of wagers - on the austalian books froch’s has moved in from 5-1 to 3-1 this week. probably has a lot to do with the english out here backpacking for the summer and the ubiquitous sportsbet machine in most of the hotels - 2 or 3 pints into them and these pommies are telling me how froch is going to win easily despite them knowing nothing about ward at all. i’m staying my original prediction 3 days ago this will go either to the cards on cuts, a tech draw on cuts, or dq or headbutting or froch’s retaliation for butting. what i really need is the martinez v andy lee fight to be made - theres irish everywhere here and ‘that fight could make me rich.

  10. Robert Ecksel 12:48pm, 12/15/2011

    Thank you gentlemen, all around. Now let’s get back to the business at hand, which is boxing.

  11. "Old Yank" Schneider 12:45pm, 12/15/2011

    The Thresher—Why, thank you kindly.

  12. the thresher 12:37pm, 12/15/2011

    And to help resolve this mess , I’ll even invite Old Yank to the RING 4 BANQUET in Boston in April and he can settle these petty differences with Prov in person.

    Let’s move on now.

  13. "Old Yank" Schneider 12:37pm, 12/15/2011

    Mike—Point made.

  14. mikecasey 12:10pm, 12/15/2011

    I won’t say it again - take this private, boring rubbish to a private place and not here. Yank, you’re an official writer on this site - you have a responsibility to behave as such, as I have already told you as politely as I possibly can. Every thread you post seems to ramble on forever - and this ‘bet’ thing with Don is utterly irrelevant to all but you and him. As a staffer, you’ve got to stand above all this. Sort it out in private but not in the public domain. Robert Ecksel has something great going here and persuaded me to join just when I was about to give up on boxing websites and all the tacky and infantile trash that goes with them. I won’t see this one spoiled. If you were a true writer/journo, I wouldn’t have to get grumpy and tell you these things.

    Piss down Don’s back, tell him it’s raining, and then let him shit in your ear. That ought to level things up. But don’t do it here.

  15. Don from Prov 08:15am, 12/15/2011

    Last thought on Ward/Froch.  I have become a Ward fan, but am starting to see that Froch has a true shot here, and I still like The Thresher’s idea of making the fight a war.

    Either way—Froch or Ward—I’ll be happy as long as the fight is hard and fairly judged.

  16. Don from Prov 08:12am, 12/15/2011

    This is on me because I mentioned it and thus am responsible for taking up the thread’s space, so I will respond to Schneider: The bet, on the first Margo/Cotto fight was for LUNCH.  The loser of a bet—on the planet I come from—does NOT have the luxury of changing the terms of a bet after losing.  So, yes I did return the political book, one I’d never have bought and would not read and which had nothing to do with the terms of our bet, and I resent your disrespectful and dishonorable attempt to make it seem an odd or sneaky gesture as doing so undercuts the values of a basic form of honesty on my planet, for a bet always involves honor and honorable actions.  So—yes, I also returned your package—unopened—as (again) I had not bet to win anything that came in a package: The bet was for lunch. 

    In retrospect, if you are telling the truth, the forty dollars could have served to purchase lunch, but I did not know it was in the package—and anyway, on the planet where I grew up, you would have, long before the package arrived, received a beating for welshing if you were anywhere in reach.  That’s just the truth—a general truth, not one specific to our bet or any person in particular (translation: don’t start whining about being threatened).  You are not a person who would earn respect on the planet where I grew up, but it is still my fault that space is being taken up by this and I apologize to all.  Now, I am done with this.

  17. "Old Yank" Schneider 02:04pm, 12/14/2011

    David—I agree! That’s one hell of a trip Froch has been on. A stiffer trip than Bute by a mile.

  18. "Old Yank" Schneider 01:57pm, 12/14/2011

    Irish—Remember, Ward seamlessly switched from conventional to southpaw. should an unintentioanl clash of heads happen when Ward is in the southpaw stance, I’ll cut him a bit of slack. If he charges in low and pops up like a weasle from a ground hole and clashes heads, I’m with you 100%—warning, perhaps additional warning (if it looks bad) and then start taking points. After two points are taken (presuming the second point deductionis not a two-point deduction), a third offense should result in a DQ.

  19. mikecasey 12:19pm, 12/14/2011

    Nicely put, Ted - that’s the way I see this one.

  20. the thresher 06:18am, 12/14/2011

    The only way Ward stops him is if he Billy Goats him like he did to the Dane and opens up cuts. Otherwise, no stoppage unless Froch does the stopping,

  21. Don From Prov 06:14am, 12/14/2011

    As noted on another thread, I’d venture a “friendly wager” that other than cuts or injury, there is no way that Ward batters Froch into a TKO—regardless that I think Carl’s chin may be a bit overrated.  It is unfortunate, as I love to win free meals, that “friendly” would be out of the wager and that the counterpart here has shown himself of questionable character via sporting wagers.

  22. the thresher 05:57pm, 12/13/2011

    Unless I’m mistake, Bute was not selected initially. Afterwards, when injuries occured, his team sadi no way becuase they now could envision a mega pay day with the Froch- Ward. winner. As for MK fighting that winner, I’ll believe that when I see it. Nothing is cast in concrete in boxing.


    Bute has far more appeal than MK—far more.IMHO

  23. the thresher 05:46pm, 12/13/2011

    The competitors entered into the tournament were then-WBA Super Middleweight Champion Mikkel Kessler, then-WBC Super Middleweight Champion Carl Froch, 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward, former middleweight champions Jermain Taylor and Arthur Abraham, and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Andre Dirrell.

    Not sure Bute was ever asked in the beginning. Might be wrong but….

  24. the thresher 05:41pm, 12/13/2011

    “The Greatest Super Middleweight Since Joe Calzaghe just might be Lucian Bute


    With the Super Six tournament going on right now it is easy to forget the greatness of other fighters not participating in it.  Let’s not forget Lucian Bute who is an absolute dynamo and world champion in that division right now.  Since the retirement of Joe Calzaghe, the 168 lb division has been a mixed bag.  Sure there are plenty of good fighters, but who is the real class?  I might venture to say that the Super Six tournament exists because of the absence of Mr. Calzaghe.  Thanks to the tournament, fight fans are getting a good idea of who the class is out of the six chosen fighters.


    I will venture to say that Lucian Bute could beat them all.  At 30 years old, the southpaw Bute has come into his own as a premier fighter “

  25. the thresher 05:28pm, 12/13/2011

    Lucian Bute has the highest knockout percentage(82.76%) in the Super Middleweight division before his rout of Glen Johnson.  Lets see how 15 of the other top names at 168 fare:
    Kelly Pavlik 82.05%
    Peter Quillin 75.0%
    Edison Miranda 74.36%
    Arthur Abraham 74.29%
    Mikkel Kessler 71.74%
    Carl Froch 68.97%
    Thomas Oosthuizen 68.75%
    Andre Dirrell 65%
    Allan Green 62.5%
    Dimitri Sartison 60.71%
    Robert Stieglitz 54.76%
    Sakio Bika 54.29%
    Andre Ward 54.17%
    Glen Johnson 51.47%
    Tarvis Simms 36.93%

    Read more: http://www.boxinginsider.com/columns/lucian-bute-standing-above-the-super-six/#ixzz1gT5XkQRI

  26. raxman 05:20pm, 12/13/2011

    DM - i’ve been on about frochs c.v since he was at fight 5. the only guy in the business who’s resume competes is cotto.

  27. raxman 05:19pm, 12/13/2011

    irish - nice one. i’ll agree with that. i was being kind when i said he drops his head - i should says he drops his head before leaping fwd.

  28. mikecasey 03:35pm, 12/13/2011

    Very good point, David - Carl certainly doesn’t avoid anyone. This kid has so much natural talent - I think he could beat them all if he just protects himself a little more and cuts out the ‘macho’ bullshit. Ted has a great international knowledge of fighters and has always been fair to Froch.

  29. David Matthew 03:14pm, 12/13/2011

    Pascal, Dirrell, J. Taylor, A. Abraham, Kessler, G. Johnson—- those are Froch’s last 6 fights…and now he fights Ward.  That’s possibly the most impressive 7-fight resume in the sport right now in terms of non-stop tough fights w/ the best in a respective division.

  30. the thresher 02:58pm, 12/13/2011

    Irish has the beat

  31. mikecasey 02:49pm, 12/13/2011

    Bang on, Irish!!

  32. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 02:48pm, 12/13/2011

    First headbutt should warrant a warning, second one a point taken, and the third a DQ! They toe the mark with clean slates…but there’s a history here that’s undeniable….what we don’t need here is a referee with an “oblivious neutrality” or an agenda for that matter!

  33. the thresher 02:26pm, 12/13/2011

    I think Ward wins, but I hope Froch gets it.

  34. mikecasey 01:31pm, 12/13/2011

    Carl’s a super smart kid. What I can never understand about him is how he gets hit in the chops so often. He carries that left low like the old timers but seemingly forgets the part where you are supposed to slip and block punches. Or does he? Does he take the shots purposely to prove his toughness? If so, I wish he’d get wise and stop it. That being said, if he’s at his best, he’ll take Ward.

  35. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 01:05pm, 12/13/2011

    Raxman: The depth of knowledge on this excellent site exhibited by some posters is truly humbling to a regular fan. Your analysis of Froch’s punching style is impressive….I would just add that Ward does more than “drops his head”....he steps to his opponent as he does and comes up with the top of his head in position to make contact with his opponents face. I posit that he had the Gold but not the punching power when he came into the pros and developed this technique to compensate.

  36. "Old Yank" Schneider 08:50am, 12/13/2011

    We all love a good war in the ring. We just got one with Khan/Peterson. How lucky will we be to get two main events in back-to-back weekends that turn out to be wars?

  37. Don From Prov 07:29am, 12/13/2011

    I like the war idea.
    And Froch does seem a strong lad.

  38. "Old Yank" Schneider 07:10am, 12/13/2011

    I’m going out on a limb here: I’ve been predicting a wide UD for Ward. I’m now leaning for a TKO stoppage win for Ward late in the bout. I’m now convinced that Froch has terribly underestimated Ward’s ability to punch. Boxing has a rich history of bouts where sturdy fighters go down underestimating an opponent. I smell history repeating itself here.

  39. the thresher 06:05am, 12/13/2011

    If Ward butts him, Froch should go after him notwithstanding the ref’s attempts to stop him. Make it ugly. Make it a street brawl becasue that’s a better way to go for Froch than it is for Ward. Return fire with more dirty fire. Rake him with rabbit shots a la Dirrell. Butt him. BUT let him start the crap first.

  40. Don From Prov 04:54am, 12/13/2011

    I’ve constantly underrated Froch, and I may be doing so again, but I think that Ward wins this—yet I won’t be shocked if Carl wins.

  41. raxman 07:57pm, 12/12/2011

    no way this fight doesnt get stopped by headbutt cuts. and it wont just be ward - although he drops his head -froch falls in after his punches, does the cuban amateur step punching (called parallel and diagonal punching) so its a monty there will be head clashes. ward is something special but you’ve gotta love froch overall persona - great for boxing both his style in the ring and his mrs out of it.  - if anything is going to get kids into the gym its the chance of getting a girl like her (although i’d have to gag her when i fought)

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