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Tumble weed rolls as Carl Froch comfortably beats Glen Johnson

Carl Froch Glen JohnsonBy Mark Young: Apparently there was a fight on this weekend, not that you would have noticed by the post fight write ups! I managed to miss seeing the Carl Froch vs. Glen Johnson fight live and ended up bobbing around the Pacific on a fishing boat with a mobile phone glued to my ear while a friend gave me live commentary. After gutting and hauling home my catch I jumped on line to see other peoples takes on the fight and virtually nothing!

I could swear I saw tumble weed blowing across my screen, surely there would have been a few articles posted by now!. For the last month there’s not been a day go by when there’s not been two or three articles explaining how Glen was going to take Carl into deep water and hit him harder than he’d ever been hit, how Glen was going to win by KO and Carl would be humiliated by the 42 year old gentleman of the ring.

I personally thought that Carl got hit with shots he didn’t need to take, but on the whole controlled the fight and made the adjustments required to win the fight. Glen did what he was always going to come to do, save the fact his punch output was a little lower than expected, though this could quite easily be put down to the severity of the punches coming back at him. It’s easy to throw a lot of punches when you’re facing a guy who doesn’t bang that hard, but when you’re receiving combinations that have sting in every single punch they do end up taking their toll. Carl wore a series of overhand rights that would most certainly have had other fighters needing to climb from the canvass yet he seems to almost enjoy it when he takes a clubbing blow, Johnson backed Carl to the ropes and landed a solid right hand followed by a combination only for the Cobra to smile and nod at Johnson as if to say “that’s the spirit” then immediately sent back a combination of his own. Glen Johnson is far too professional to be knocked from his game plan by a cheeky gesture, but you do have to wonder what’s going on when your overhand right connects at full bore, a punch that’s floored quality light heavyweights and the guy in front of you just grins.

Froch needn’t take the shots he does take and I’m sure the fact he wore so many rights will be giving Ward something to think about, but he did once again prove that for every single guy out there that calls him a Neanderthal slugger he does have the ability to box and he does have the skills to adapt mid fight. It must be frustrating for Carl’s trainer Robert McCracken to get Carl moving, especially when Carl’s clearly taking his foot off the gas when he definitely has higher gears which he can shift into, but at the end of the day his advice does get heeded and his lack of urgency in the corner must be a relaxing comfort for Froch. It’s funny when you listen to Rob and Carl talk in between rounds, they could be two guys sitting at a bar, it’s not master and student more some bloke passing observations to another, when McCracken really needs Carl to adapt to something he’ll open with “ do me a favour, mate………” then follow up with a comment like” but you’ve got to stop letting him land those big right hands” to which Carl replies “yeh, ok”.

I have gotten more respect for Johnson after this fight, he’s a tricky customer and it’s no surprise he knocked out Allan Green, at 42 he’s got a hell of a punch, a great physique and brilliant stamina. Some people questioned Johnson’s stamina in this fight, but the reality is he was fighting a mega fit guy who will remain underrated even after this victory, certainly in England, where Carl’s only just getting his fights shown. To put into perspective the combinations that Johnson was taking to the body you only have to listen to the thuds echoing above the commentary, Froch said he stopped loading up on massive shots because Glen has got the resilience of an Oak tree, but even then his punch combinations are clearly loaded. I read some comments that Froch was hitting gloves with his combinations, this is only partly true, as Andre Ward pointed out during the fight, Froch was creating his own openings by doing this, punching Johnson’s gloves into his own face with enough ferocity that eventually he leaves an opening for a follow up punch to break through.

If you had to pick a round in this fight that stood out it would have to be the eighth which I would give to Johnson, it was sensational, Carl wore some clubbing shots, the overhand right from Johnson landed flush sending a spray of sweat into the crowd, it was enough to see Froch backed up, Froch then came inside and wore two consecutive left hooks before ending the round with a great left hook of his own. The next most impressive round for me would have been the 12th where a clearly tired Johnson was on the receiving end of combinations that would have taken lumps off a concrete pillar yet he stayed strong and ended the fight without ever looking like he would get dropped.

I will leave the Ward vs. Froch fight for another day. There’s plenty to talk about there and I’m sure you’ll all get to hear about the “talented” Andre Ward in the coming months and how he’s going to do what Glen Johnson and Arthur Abraham were going to do, there maybe even some mention of the “talented” Andre Dirrell, a guy some people have forgotten bailed on the Super Six and a fight against Andre Ward with a mystery brain injury that was never identified but has since completely cleared up. For those of you living in the real world, I hope you all enjoyed the fight and I expect you’ll be looking forward to the next one.

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