Boxing


Sharkie's Machine: The Cobra vs. The Road Warrior

By Frank Gonzalez Jr. As the Super Six Tournament has taken nearly two years to reach the final match up, one of the original contestants faced the most recent entrant in a fight that was reminiscent of the old days, when boxing was competitive and full of drama and excitement. Johnson, at 42 years old, has earned his nickname, “The Road Warrior” because Glen is never the guy who gets the nod from the Judges in close fights. Glen Johnson is no pretty boy, with a big ego and a posse following him around. Glen is old school. He's too down to earth to need an entourage kissing his ass like so many fighters these days have. Johnson famously knocked out Roy Jones Jr. after Jones opted to fight him after being knocked out by Antonio Tarver previously. Jones obviously didn't realize how good Johnson was, or chances are he'd have fought someone else. Roy was all about business; low risk, high reward. Sort of the opposite of Johnson, who has been around long enough to have a Hopkins-like boxing intelligence and at 42, can still go the distance at full speed. He can take a punch and he can land the big one. If he had a face like Oscar, he would've been one of the most famous fighters in boxing.


Carl Froch, “The Cobra” is old school too. He's articulate, well rounded and is a dangerous opponent that can take all you can throw without wilting. The Cobra has a lot of personality and a chin that deserves to be referred to as Iron, Granite and Stone. This man can punch and he can take a punch. He seems more a fluid, American style than a British, upright style. He's a good boxer but a hell of a slugger. He's confident but not arrogant, which is refreshing in this era that celebrates big egos for just being big. His lone loss as a pro came in a close decision loss to fellow Super Sixer, Mikkel Kessler, in a fight that was so close it could've gone either way. I thought Froch did enough to win but the Judges in Denmark didn't share my view. Froch always shows up in great shape and paces himself in a way that makes him the most dangerous...at the end of a fight...and that is a great attribute.


Both Froch and Johnson seemed to have a lot of respect for each other throughout the lead up to this fight. And why not? These are two classy fighters.



Saturday night in Atlantic City featured “The Road Warrior” Glen Johnson (51-14-2, 35KO's) taking on Carl Froch (27-1, 20 KO's). This fight proved to be a test between an old savvy fighter of high esteem against a younger champion in his prime. There was never a dull moment.


Round 1

They boxed in feel out mode. Froch keeps his jabbing arm down and shoots it out in spots. Johnson pressed the action and landed a shot to the body. Johnson left to face. It was a tactical pace. Johnson landing more with his quicker than normal start. 10-9 Johnson, who was busier.


Round 2

Johnson lands to the face and keeps pressing Froch, who seems a bit confused as to how to fight Johnson. Johnson showing lots of unpredictable movement, keeping Froch a bit off tempo. Froch lands left hook. Johnson lands right. J to body and face. Froch gets out and jabs. Froch still figuring J out. Very close. 10-9 Froch.


Round 3

They mix it up. Froch lands a few good shots early as he stepped up his mobility. J jabs up and down. F right. J stays close to Froch. J right! Froch hurt. J keeps coming. Froch is so open with his guard down low. J in charge...J left. F ties up. 10-9 Johnson


Round 4

Froch still moving backwards as J presses and throws punches high and low. Froch jabs. F jabs, J to body. F to body then jab. Froch looking better in this round. Froch counters with a jab that landed. Johnson left hook misses. Froch flurry, lands. 10-9 Froch.


Round 5

Johnson aggressive, lands to body. Froch looking to counter and landed a left to body. J looking slower but still pressing. J right to body. Froch backs away. Froch landed uppercut. Froch big right. Froch throwing combos now and landing. Froch left, big right! Another right! Froch in charge now! 10-9 Froch.


Round 6

Froch confidence soaring...Johnson getting sloppier. J body is very open. Lot of sloppy punches from both. Froch jabs, draws J in..J right. J left hook. Froch left hook! Froch combos. Froch right cross. Johnson has slowed. J right! Froch smiles it off. Froch going to body. 10-9 Froch.



Johnson's corner says, “You gotta stop him!”

Round 7

Lot of single shots from both guys. Big right by Johnson stuns Froch, who comes back throwing hooks that are blocked. Johnson to body. Froch to body! J coming on... Froch uppercut. J body shot. J double right near ropes stuns Froch again! Lot of back and forth action. J to body! Johnson looking good this round! 10-9 Johnson.


Round 8

Lot of action. Froch lands, Johnson lands. Froch gets the better of the exchanges. Froch more mobile too. Johnson lands a left, right. Froch lands a right. J hook, followed by a big right! Froch moves, J keeps going to the body. J another right upstairs. Froch comes on left hook, right combo. LH by Johnson! J giving all he got and effective doing so. Froch shows no sign of slowing after what he took. Froch left hook! J misses twice. 10-9 Johnson.


Round 9

Froch combo. J jabs to body. Froch retakes control of tempo. J right to body. J another right! Froch has a hellacious beard! Froch combos! J ties up. Froch punches out of it. Froch tagging J frequently. Froch combos up and down and lands in spots. Hell of a fight! Froch very busy but J blocks most of it. Great round!!

10-10 even.


J corner says “You blew that round. You didn't do anything.” (I disagree)

F corner urges him to do even more!


Round 10

Froch jabs. F body language is good. J misses an uppercut. F to body. J right! Froch pours it on and lands a few! What a fight! Froch 1,2. J pressing F into corner. F goes back to centering. J right..on the chin. Damn that Froch has a great chin! Froch is very strong with his combos. Froch snaps jab to face that backs up Johnson. Close round... Froch 10-9


Round 11

Froch jabs and had used his jab well all through the fight. Johnson keeps on pressing. Froch on his feet...lands left hook. J lands a right. Froch walks through it and lands a combo upstairs. J left hook. J right. Froch rallies and scores. What a WAR this is... hard to score...10-9 Johnson.


Round 12

They tap gloves. Froch jabs. Froch keeps jabbing. Froch lands combo up top J left. Froch uppercut. Froch combos. J jab. 10-9 Froch.



The Official scores were: Japanese Judge: 114-114 even Jon Steward 117-11 Froch, Mark Green 116-112- Froch.


Post Fight Interviews:

Froch:

He's very tough and durable. 114-114 was a questionable score. 117-112 was more like it. All credit to Johnson but I won.


Johnson:

I felt I was in it. It was close. My corner told me to pick it up. I allowed him to counter more.

(Did the loss of weight affect you?) I don't think so. Who knows. I believe I fell into his fight plan instead of sticking with mine. You said I'm good so hopefully the network wants to see me again.


Then Andre Ward got to say a few words...


Andre Ward:

We're two guys who started this tournament and its good that we're the ones to finish it.

Carl Froch gave up some sucker shots but he did what he had to do, how can you be mad at him?


Froch:

Me and my trainer have the formula. Two of the original six are in the final. I been saving it. I feel I can beat him (Ward). He feels he can beat me. This is what its all about. Olympic gold medals don't win championships. I believe I can win. I know I can beat this guy.


Ward: Its the grand finale. Its time to get it on. Two titles on the line. They shake hands and Ward looks away.


A big congratulations to Carl Froch! He did what he had to do to win against a most determined opponent who brought everything he had to win. It was a great fight, a competitive affair. What more can any fight fan ask for?


After Ward and Froch fight, I hope the winner gets to fight Lucian Bute. Anything less would be a disgrace. After all, the Super Six is the only actual tournament going on in the entire sport. A tournament that saw all contestants have to fight each other until all were weeded out and only one man would be left. That one man left must fight Lucian Bute! Let there at least be ONE true “Champion” in boxing. If the promoters let Bute fight the winner of Ward vs. Froch, it will be the first time in in decades that we'll have a truly legitimate “Champion” in boxing.


Boxing Gods, let it be so!


* * *


Comments can be emailed to dshark87@hotmail.com

Article posted on 09.06.2011



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