Boxing


Froch-Taylor, Green-De Leon Jr. This Saturday

A household name in his native England, talented, undefeated Carl Froch will look to make a major statement -- and enhance his reputation in America -- when he defends his World Boxing Council (WBC) super middleweight title against one of the most highly regarded and recognizable fighters of this generation, former undisputed middleweight belt-holder Jermain Taylor, Saturday, April 25, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn..

The co-feature is an important 10-round super middleweight fight between No. 14-ranked World Boxing Council (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight contender Allan Green and rising prospect Carlos De Leon, Jr., son of four-time cruiserweight world champion Carlos De Leon.

The telecast will air live at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from MGM Grand Theater at MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The fight card is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Hennessy Sports.

Taylor is looking to establish himself as an elite player in the stacked 168-pound division with a win over the undefeated Froch. The former undisputed middleweight champ is looking to pile on the belts, and possibly unify, his new division.

Im training harder than Ive ever trained before, Taylor said. Im looking forward to getting these belts back. Ive been missing them.

I just respect the fact that he has the belts. I think hes way too cocky and he doesnt know how to lose. On April 25, hes going to learn how to lose.

Taylor (28-2-1, 17 KOs), of Little Rock, Ark., has had a prolific pro career since winning a bronze medal for the United States in the 2000 Olympic Games. The six-foot-one-inch, 30-year-old Taylor is the only boxer to twice defeat future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins.

In a WBC title eliminator last Nov. 15, Taylor dominated Jeff Lacy en route to taking a unanimous decision. Taylor also has defeated former champions Cory Spinks, Raul Marquez and William Joppy.

When he outpointed Hopkins the first time, Taylor became 160-pound world champion in the WBC, World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organization (WBO).

Already a star in England, Froch is looking to expand his reputation in America by defeating one of boxings most popular and exciting fighters. But the undefeated, hard-hitting Brit will have to do it as an underdog for the first time in his career.

Im not surprised about being the underdog, Froch said. The American media doesnt necessarily know who Carl Froch is in terms of big-time boxing.

This is why Im going over there with my title to defend against such a top name as Jermain Taylor. Until I do that, then the odds probably wont be stacked in my favor. I dont mind being the underdog.

Froch (24-0, 19 KOs), of Nottingham, England, will be making the first defense of the vacant 168-pound crown he gained in his last outing with a unanimous 12-round decision over Jean Pascal on Dec. 6, 2008. He earned the title shot after registering a fourth-round TKO over Albert Rybacki on May 10, 2008, on ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME.

The six-foot, 31-year-old Froch, who has fought all but one of his fights in the UK, is one of 32 Shobox alums to become a world titleholder. A victory over Taylor would provide Froch instant stardom. The winner on April 25 will perhaps have the opportunity to unify against IBF champion Lucian Bute.

The naturally bigger Froch, who has never touched the canvas in his career, could pose as Taylors toughest challenge since moving up from his dominant run at middleweight.

Im not worried about his power at all, Taylor said. As far as him never being on the floor before, theres a first time for everything. He gets hit a lot. His defense is his head. He stands right there.

If hes bigger, so what? It doesnt mean anything as long as Im boxing and moving. Hes a cocky fighter and I love that because I plan on bringing all that down. He doesnt know what hes getting himself into and Im going to teach him.

Froch, who has never fought in a division below super middleweight, disagrees.

He wants my belt? I dont want him to take my belt. Its going to be a fabulous fight. Ive been in 24 fights, Im unbeaten, I havent been in any trouble. Im coming to this fight confident that Im taking my belt home with me. No problems.

In the co-feature, the hard-hitting Green (27-1, 19 KOs), of Tulsa, Okla., is looking to get back into the world title picture with a dominating win over the promising De Leon. His only setback came in February of 2007 when he lost a unanimous decision to Edison Miranda.

Undefeated since then with three knockouts in his last four fights, Green is taking on a tough challenge against a talented fighter with the hopes that a victory will push him into title contention.

"I'm looking forward to making my SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING debut, Green said. It's been a long time coming and I'm going to make the most of this opportunity

Carlos De Leon Jr., is a solid fighter, but I'm coming into the ring to make a statement and I don't expect him to last long. I just hope I don't scare off the winner of Taylor-Froch with the performance I'm about to put on."

De Leon (21-2-2, 14 KOs), of Las Vegas, by way of Puerto Rico, is taking a big step up in fighting Green as he, too, hopes to step back into the super middleweight title picture. A promising, ranked prospect just one year ago, De Leon is trying to overcome a loss to Fulgencio Zuniga last February with a convincing victory over Green.

This is my moment, De Leon said. It is my moment to shine on SHOWTIME. It is my moment to show the world that I am the best super middleweight out there.

I will run over Allan Green like a bullet train, will make Puerto Rico shine and will honor and continue the legacy that my father once gave to my country. My message to Mr. Taylor and Mr. Froch is I am coming to get you.

Green and DeLeon are two power-punching fighters who can end the fight with one punch. With two aggressive brawlers, this crossroads fight in the 168-pound division will feature non-stop action for as long as it lasts.

Tickets are on sale and priced at $200, $100, $75 and $50. They are available at

www.mgmatfoxwoods.com, your local Ticket Master and MGM Grand Box Office 866-646-0649.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING announcers Gus Johnson and Al Bernstein will call the action with Jim Gray reporting from ringside. The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins Jr., with Bob Dunphy directing.

Article posted on 20.04.2009



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