By Andrew Walker - Photo: Tom Casino / SHOWTME - Congratulations on your win over Andre Dirrell this past weekend Carl. Iím sure you are very pleased to be keeping both your WBC title and your undefeated record and are now looking ahead to your upcoming unification fight with Mikkell Kessler. But come on old chap at best you just earned a very debatable ( I have yet to see a thread on any boxing forum that is pro Carl Froch that doesnít get swamped by those who believe Dirrell won) decision due in part to the seemingly biased referee. At worst you lost that fight by a few rounds as you were completely outboxed by the less experienced younger man.
Personally I had the fight even once Dirrell had been docked the point but either way you looked lost out there Carl. Why donít you have at the very least a plan B? At this level you cannot expect to win all of your fights on chin and heart alone.. The tactic you employed in that fight for round after round was to walk forward and try to blast Dirrell out with one punch. That tactic may work against lower level opposition or a fellow brawler but against a boxer (a slick, fast one at that) you were made to look stupid and clumsy at times during that fight. I really feel that if you met Dirrell again he would make an easy nights work of you now he has the experience.
Up next you will be facing a fellow champion who can both box and trade and I really cannot see how you can win this fight (unless you get another gift decision) using your current style and tactics. You donít have the speed or reflexes to box with your hands down and you are too reliant on knowing you have a great chin. I donít think Kessler will stop you but he is going to hurt you and outbox you. You really do have no defence at all (unless you count your face blocking the punches) and this is the key area you will need to address before you get into the ring with the number one man in the super middleweight division.
Robert McCracken gives you good advice but he spends half his time trying to get you to listen to him and you still ignore him and go back out and repeat the same old mistakes. The shame is had you not spent much of your career bad mouthing and pointlessly calling out Joe Calzaghe and thus alienating him, you could have called on Joe and Enzo to help assist you in preparing for Mikkell Kessler. You would have learned a lot from the Calzagheís but instead your cheap shots and big mouth have prevented this from ever happening and in the long run it is you who will lose out because of it. Despite what you think even you most ardent fans now know that had you ever fought Calzaghe he would have stood you on your head with ease. Itís not even up for debate.
So after the Kessler fight you could be sitting on your first defeat. Nothing to be ashamed of as pretty much everyone has Mikkell Kessler as the division number one since Joe retired. But then after that you have to face Arthur Abraham. For me this will be a very exciting fight for the fans to watch as your styles will match up well I believe. But Abraham has all the attributes in equal measure at the very least to you (chin, heart and power) but he also has something that you donít. He has a good defence. If you try and march down Abraham he will put you to sleep. The best way to defeat Abraham is to outbox him which I just donít see you being able to do. So after that fight youíre potentially sitting on two losses and out of the tournament as well?
Now in the fickle world of boxing these days a fighter with two losses on his career stats gets called a ďbumĒ and the ignorant masses start calling for him to hang up his gloves. That sort of rationale always astounds me but you watch the boxing forums light up with those very words if you lose your next two fights. You will be called a paper champion who lost to the first ďprimeĒ world class fighters he faced. The fact that Kessler and Abraham are two of the very best fighters in the division will go largely ignored as the bile pours your way. Just ask Ricky. And remember Hatton was/is a far more popular and loved fighter than any other British boxer since Frank Bruno. If they treated him in that way think how they will maul you.
So why not avoid this potential scenario and get back in the gym and add another string to your bow. You have a world class chin with the power to match. You are confident and have a good engine for the twelve rounds if needed. Now if you add some decent defence and movement to that you will be a match for anyone in the division. In fact I would even say a Carl Froch with those attributes could be the new super middleweight king. I applaud the way you have thus far stepped up and taken no easy fights since you became champion. Calzaghe never did what you are doing now until the end of his career and you should be respected and praised for that.
I guess though we will find out when you face Mikkell Kessler if you have made the necessary changes or not. I really hope for British boxing you do.