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Froch wins WBC super middleweight title fight
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Both fighters threw away their game plans and had a toe to toe battle for the first half of the fight, with both warriors courageously landing bombs. In a fight reminiscent of Hagler vs Hearns, the opening round began with Froch unloading a quick hard combination which backed up Pascal to the ropes, before the Canadian came roaring back to unleash his own power shots.
Pascal, who looked huge at the weight, attacked Froch to the body with leading left hooks before throwing the big rand hand over the top. Froch, renowned for his granite beard took every full blooded shot the Canadian could muster, before throwing his own trademark uppercuts and looping right hand leads.
Neither man took a backward step and an early finish looked inevitable. Yet after a raucous 5th round, which saw Pascal land some devastating shots after the bell, it seemed that Pascal needed to take a breather. At this point Froch finally began using his long reach and jabbed Pascal for long spells.
Right at the end of the round Froch was caught on the ropes by Pascal and a small cut was sustained on the left eye. The corner team controlled the blood and Froch began the next round as he finished the last, behind his rakish jab and spear-like right hand. Pascal's eyes were swelling.
Froch was now seemingly edging the fight but Pascal was still strong and dangerous - and continued to muster bursts of power shots, even if his movement and workrate had declined.
The final round began with both men touching gloves and nodding at each other with respect. Just when you thought both men were spent, the fight ignited into yet another war. McCracken's advice of 'box & move' fell on deaf ears as Froch traded bombs with Pascal right until the final bell.
The arena jumped to its feet with raucous cheering for both men who had put on a thrilling display. Both men poured it all out in the ring and the crowd in attendance knew it.
The final scorecards of 118-110, 117-111 and a more realistic 116-112 unanimously for Froch rung out over the MC's microphone and the Arena burst into applause.
While Canada has a proud history of strength at the super-middleweight division, so does Great Britain. Names such as Nigel Benn, Chris Eubanks, Joe Calzaghe have dominated the division in its short twenty year existence that has also seen Brits Robin Reid, Richie Woodhall and Glenn Catley also hold world championship belts. Saturday night in front of record breaking numbers on ITV One (estimated in excess of twelve Million live viewers) Nottingham native Carl Froch was added to that list.
Froch continued to call out Calzaghe after the fight still in hope of an all Union Jack super fight. The WBC has mandated Jermain Taylor as the mandatory up next for Froch. Whether or not either fight will materialize remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, British fans and press alike were impressed by both fighter and performance in what many called the fight of the year.
Here's what's being said:
TELEGRAPH: Carl Froch, Britain's new world champion, has revealed that he had entered the fight of his life on Saturday with a perforated eardrum and a cracked rib, both sustained in his last sparring session 10 days ago. A shoo-in as 'fight of the year'.
"Taylor's now Carl's mandatory challenger but it looks like he's already looking for the exit signs," (promoter Mick) Hennessey said. "He's already looking to fight IBF champion Lucien Bute in his next fight." Froch was punched relentlessly by Pascal's looping right hand.
Independent: Every few years a fight lands in a British ring with the potency, intensity and raw drama to leave behind a set of memories that nobody on their sofas, in the pubs or in the crowd will ever forget and that is what happened on Saturday night in Nottingham.
Froch and Pascal turned back the clock of caution and big business. The pair entered the ring unbeaten and fought like two relentless men in desperation to keep their records secure.
The Times: The most exciting bout on terrestrial television since Nigel Benn and Gerald McClellan 13 years ago.
The Guardian: Froch has never been floored, either as amateur or professional, but his resilience was tested as never before in the first six rounds, when boxing skills were sometimes forgotten as the torrid exchanges seemed to be as much about a ritual of machismo as any crafted strategy.
This thunderous confrontation between two hitherto undefeated fighters immediately rekindled memories of the night 18 years ago when Chris Eubank first shared a ring with Nigel Benn.
BBC: Bute, who is unbeaten in 23 fights, lives in Canada and Hennessy said Froch would travel to Montreal to meet the Romanian-born southpaw, if the deal was right.
Froch added: "I'd fancy IBF champion Bute, it would be a good fight."
SportingLife: He rocked me to my boots a couple of times but I stayed with it and that's what you have to do to get this green belt around your waist," Froch added.
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