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Froch Too Much For Rybacki

Carl FrochBy Dave Lahr: In a stay busy fight, undefeated super middleweight contender Carl Froch (23-0, 19 KOs) destroyed his Polish opponent Albert Rybacki (15-1, 8 KOs) in the 4th round on Saturday night at the Nottingham Arena, in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England. Froch, 30, the #1 ranked fighter in the WBC super middleweight division, controlled every round, hurting Rybacki with tremendous shots. The end came in the fourth after Froch landed a series of hard combinations, ending with a big uppercut that snapped the head back of Rybacki. The referee John Keane them moved in and stopped the fight at 2:35 of the 4th round. Froch looked good throughout, although he tended to load up a bit too much in the fight, making him seem kind of slow and mechanical in the process.

The fight was never expected to be a competitive bout, since Rybacki, 37, was nowhere near the same class as Froch. However, the win served a purpose in that it kept pressure on WBC champion Joe Calzaghe, who will either have to make a decision to fight Froch, the number one contender, or vacate the belt. Froch said afterwards about Calzaghe, “He has to give it to me (a fight) or vacate the belt.”

To be sure, Froch is poised at the number one spot, meaning that Calzaghe is going to have to make a decision soon or risk losing the belt.

Froch came out hard in the first round, throwing one huge shot after another and completely forgoing his jab and combinations. Instead of putting his punches together, Froch seemed to be shooting for a one-punch knockout of Rybacki. Then problem was, however, without throwing combinations, Froch wasn’t able to land enough punches to take Rybacki out. Froch has good power, but he doesn’t have the kind of one-punch power that he needed to pull off a stunning knockout of the type that he was shooting for. Plus, by loading up on his shots, Froch’s normally slow hand speed was even slower and easy for Rybacki to see the punches coming. Froch’s defense was pretty wide open as a result of his attempt for a knockout, and Rybacki was able to land some decent combinations in the first round. At the end of the round, throwing wide swings, Froch landed a couple of good right hands. However, he missed badly as the round ended and looked almost amateurish.

In the 2nd round, with his hands mostly down at his sides, Froch stalked Rybacki around the ring, looking for openings in his defense. Shortly into the round, Froch landed a crushing right hand that appeared to drop Rybacki. However, the referee didn’t count it as knockdown, because Rybacki had gotten caught in the ropes. Froch ended the round with some really hard shots.

Froch continued to load up way too much with his punches in the third round, throwing one at a time and taking head shots from Rybacki. If Froch was trying to impress, he was doing a poor job because of his urgency to knock Rybacki out in front of the large audience. Froch just needed to start throwing combinations and he’d be able to take Rybacki out almost immediately, even though it wouldn’t have looked as impressive as a one-punch KO that he was looking for. Bad style and all, Froch still landed some very good shots in the third round and it was a wonder that Rybacki took the blows without going down.

In the fourth round, Froch finally began to throw combinations, tagging Rybacki repeatedly with hard shots. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before Rybacki was started to look beaten and discouraged from the rain of shots coming in at him. Not long after, Froch landed a flurry of hard shots to the head, one a particularly nasty left uppercut. The referee had seen enough and moved in and halted the fight, despite the fact that Rybacki appeared to be okay and not in distress. Rybacki, though, didn’t protest the stoppage, and in fact he nodded his head to the referee as if in agreement for the timely stoppage of the bout.

It was a good win for Froch, but I couldn’t help noticing the huge gulf between his skills and that of Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler. Froch, though fairly powerful, doesn’t seem to be in the same class as those two fighters, nor is he as powerful as Edison Miranda. If Froch does somehow get a hold of the WBC super middleweight title, I can’t see him holding onto it for long. He’s rather limited and slow and will take a beating the first time he fights a good opponent like the aforementioned fighters.

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