|Carl Froch Falling Behind
By JD Camacho, DoghouseBoxing.com (April 24, 2009) Photo © Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
In April 2005, boxing hall-of-fame inductee and British fighting icon Barry McGuigan wrote, in the British MIRROR, the following about a fellow British pug:
“He is tall, a brilliant athlete, intelligent, eloquent, looks great and loves to fight, the perfect profile for De La Hoya, who has the same characteristics in spades.”
Joe Calzaghe? Not quite. Ricky Hatton? Probably not. David Haye? Not exactly.
He’s not as tall as David Haye. He’s not as athletic as Joe Calzaghe. He’s not as aggressive as Ricky Hatton. No, when one thinks of Oscar De La Hoya, super middleweight titlist Carl Froch doesn’t exactly come to mind.
Since 2005, the 31-year-old from Nottingham, England has fallen behind his British counterparts. In June of 2005, Ricky Hatton unseated junior welterweight kingpin Kostya Tszyu to become the undisputed #1 at 140 pounds a distinction he has held since. In 2006, Joe Calzaghe battered American Jeff Lacy and gained serious notoriety with the US boxing press notoriety that led him into career-defining bouts with Mikkel Kessler and Bernard Hopkins. In 2007, David Haye upset Frenchman Jean Marc Mormeck and earned the unified cruiserweight title a title he used as leverage to earn a bout with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko this summer.
With 2005’s victory over Henry Porras on American soil, Froch hoped to catapult to a title shot. Since then, he’s had nine fights all in the United Kingdom and all against opponents outside the 168-pound division’s Top 10. Why?
Perhaps it’s because Froch lacks the natural athletic ability and learned brilliance of Joe Calzaghe. But there’s no one in modern boxing that’s quite like the retired Welshman. Maybe it’s because Froch carries a swagger that the humble Ricky Hatton never really carried. But the Hatton phenomenon is a rarity on the world scene. It’s possibly because Froch’s missing the crushing power David Haye utilized to smash 21 of 23 opponents inside the distance. But you can count on a hand the top contenders in boxing who have similar KO ratios.
Carl Froch doesn’t have any one supreme gift. He has a brash confidence, but he’s not Muhammad Ali. He has heavy hands, but he’s not George Foreman. He has a strong chin, but he’s not George Chuvalo. Carl Froch is simply a solid fighter without a single amazing trait.
That’s not a crime, though. Jermain Taylor lacks a single supreme gift, too.
- Taylor, given his superior speed and experience, is the rightful betting favorite over Froch. But on paper, this isn’t the mismatch the betting odds suggest. I feel bad for the UK fight fans that have to pay to see this very interesting match-up on Saturday…
- David Haye is either insane or ingenious. There’s always a fine line…
- Don King? Money Mayweather? If King can help cool the heat between Mayweather and Arum, I’m all for it…
- It’s sad that most remember Michael Moorer for his two knockout losses to George Foreman and Evander Holyfield. Moorer accomplished much in his career, not the least of which was his distinction as the first southpaw heavyweight champion in the sport’s history. I hope he gets into Canastota some day…
- Jones Lacy? Why?
- Pick an age, pick a weight it doesn’t matter. Bernard Hopkins will always crush Felix Trinidad in a boxing match…
- Last week’s Pacquiao Hatton 24/7 was the best episode of any 24/7 series in quite awhile. Let’s hope next week’s is not just the best of this time, that time, full-time, part-time but of all-time…
e-mail JD at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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