Carl Froch returns to the squared circle on May 25 in a rematch against Mikkel Kessler that promises to showcase the talent and ambiance that only the pinnacle of the sport of boxing can provide.
With the Nottingham super middleweight’s unrivaled run of competition over the past five years, Froch has captured Britain’s hearts like very few have before. He is more than a man to his fans, more than an athlete—he is the pride of Britain personified.
They call him The Cobra—and these are the five best wins of his career.
Carl Froch is a man’s man. He talks with his fists and never settles for mediocrity. He began a career in boxing to be a star; if he ever wanted that, he would have to get by serviceable veteran Brian Magee.
Froch did not just get by Magee—he walked right through him.
The fighting pride of Nottingham took the fight to his opponent from Round 1, dropping Magee with an uppercut.
It only got worse for Magee from there. Froch pummeled the Irishman for 10 more rounds before belting him with another cracking right uppercut in the 11th round, stopping Magee inside the distance for the first time in his career.
Carl Froch, with the utmost poise as always, showcased qualities of a true champion that cannot be taught.
Before Carl Froch stepped into the ring with Arthur Abraham in Helsinki, Finland, Froch had another opponent: his detractors. Many analysts were calling him one-dimensional and even unskilled.
How wrong they were.
Froch abused Abraham for 12 rounds. It was hard to argue Abraham deserved even one round from the judges.
He was fast, disciplined and cunning. Everything his detractors said he wasn’t.
One of Froch’s biggest criticisms was his tendency to keep his left hand low. But The Cobra utilized this along with evasive head movement to completely neutralize Abraham’s offense, earning a unanimous decision.
With this win, Froch reclaimed his WBC Super Middleweight Title and showed the world he was more than fit to fill the gargantuan shoes left by one of Britain’s biggest stars: Joe Calzaghe.
In late 2008, Joe Calzaghe jumped up to light heavyweight to challenge Bernard Hopkins. And with that move, Calzaghe’s WBC Super Middleweight Title was left without a holder. But there were two well-equipped men more than willing to walk through hell and back for the vacant strap.
Carl Froch and Canada’s Jean Pascal put on a thrilling performance at the Trent FM Arena in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.
Both men showcased granite chins and champion’s hearts, but only one could be crowned the victor.
The fight was much closer than the scorecards would show. Froch and Pascal, both punch-drunk, pounded each other for 12 rounds, only pausing to wind up for huge haymakers.
Froch’s underrated lead-jab would be the difference, earning himself a unanimous-decision victory.
It was arguably the slugfest of the year and epitomized Froch’s combative fighting spirit.
Jermain Taylor was a battle-tested veteran who had honed his craft in front of thousands for close to a decade. By the time Carl Froch stepped into the ring with him, Taylor had already made his mark on the boxing world defeating the likes of Bernard Hopkins (two times), Ronald “Winky” Wright, William Joppy and Cory Spinks.
Froch was already a star in the United Kingdom, but few common fans elsewhere knew his name. He wanted what Taylor had: worldwide acclaim.
But that would not come easily.
Froch opened his fight with Taylor with an idleness his fans weren't accustomed to seeing from him. The man they called “Bad Intentions” would not hesitate to capitalize on this.
Taylor peppered Froch’s face throughout the opening rounds, even knocking The Cobra down in the third round for the first time in his career.
By the ninth round, Froch was down on all scorecards. He had been Taylor’s human punching bag. But then something happened—the punching bag started to punch back.
Completely nonchalant, like only the statuesque Carl Froch could be, Froch battled back. The second half of the fight seemed to be all Froch. But still down on points, he needed a finish.
Now, many people scored the fight differently leading up to the 12th and final round. Some had Taylor up by two rounds; others, a draw. Still, faced with uncertainty, Froch took the fight (and Taylor’s physical will to continue) into his own rugged hands.
Froch devastated Taylor in the final frame with straights, uppercuts, hooks and anything else he could throw his way.
Taylor’s body begged for the punishment to stop—but Froch craved only more violence.
Froch kept up his onslaught until the referee had seen enough, stopping the bout with just 14 seconds left.
Now America and the rest of the world knew Carl Froch’s name.
Froch and his wife Rachael Cordingley. To the victor goes the spoils.
Carl Froch and unbeaten Lucian Bute met up in Nottingham for Bute’s IBF Super Middleweight Title on May 26, 2012.
Bute was 30-0 and coming off of the biggest win of his career over Glen Johnson. Froch, on the other hand, was just demoralized by Andre Ward six months prior. This fight was supposed to be a changing of the guard. But then again, a lot of things were supposed to happen that night.
Bute was supposed to be too mobile for Froch.
Bute was supposed to run rings around Froch.
Froch was supposed to be Bute’s stepping stone to superstardom.
Simply put, Froch was preordained to lose.
But like many gritty legends of yesteryear, Froch formulated his own destiny. From the opening bell, Froch struck his opponent with punch after punch. Bute could never find his rhythm against the Nottingham native’s unorthodox attack, and Froch would severely stagger Bute in the third round.
Shaken up, Bute’s face represented his broken spirit. The end was near.
Froch picked up the pace; his two-handed attack was too much for Bute.
In Round 5, Froch forced a weary Bute into the ropes to finish with one final flurry, a shattered Bute held up only by the ropes.
Carl Froch had rebounded from his loss to Andre Ward with emphasis, becoming a three-time super middleweight champion, and cementing his renowned place in Britain’s illustrious boxing history.