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Froch predicts: Crolla beats Barroso on points

crolla873By Scott Gilfoid: Former super middleweight champion Carl Froch is really going out on the limb in predicting a victory for the light hitting WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla (30-4-3, 12 KOs) against the faster, stronger and dare I say more talented unbeaten Ismael Barroso (19-0-2, 18 KOs) tonight at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK.

Froch thinks Crolla will get a lot of heat from the 33-year-old Barroso early in the fight, but he then sees the 29-year-old Crolla taking over in the later rounds to cruise to a decision victory. It’s unclear why Froch seems to think Barroso won’t be able to keep up the pace of his attacks, as he’s never shown any signs of wearing down in the later rounds of his fights.

To be sure, Barroso has only gone past the 6th round once in his entire 11-year pro career and that was against Abraham Gomez, who Barroso easily beat by an eight round decision in 2011. Recently, Barroso blasted out a very good fighter in Issouf Kinda in the 6th round in March of 2015. That was a methodical beat down by Barroso, who bludgeoned Kinda into submission.

Crolla vs. Kinda would be a toss-up fight in my view. That would be a very, very hard fight for Crolla to deal with the size of the 5’10” Kinda, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Crolla lost the fight unless he got lucky again with the referee taking two points off for low blows in the final two rounds of the contest like we saw in Crolla’s first fight against Darleys Perez.

“We saw what Barroso did against Kevin Mitchell, so I think this is going to be a hard, hard fight. I can see Crolla having to survive an early onslaught but I see him winning on points,” said Froch to skysports.com.

I hate to say it, Froch, but I think you’re going to be wrong, wrong and wrong with your prediction. The basic problem with your prediction is that Crolla won’t likely be around long enough to see the end of the fight for it to go to points. Barroso is going to unload an avalanche of punches in early going that will literally bury Crolla. The three judges will be left to sit on and just watch the spectacle without having any say so in the final outcome. That’s my prediction.

It sounds good in theory what Froch says about Crolla surviving an early onslaught from Barroso to then go on to win the fight. The problem is a prediction like that would have to include a history of Barroso having gassed out in other fights so that Crolla have a chance of taking over when he got tired. Unfortunately, the evidence just doesn’t back up the scenario of Barroso fading and Crolla taking over.

If anything, the most predictable thing we can see happening tonight is Crolla getting blasted to smithereens within six round. I think Barroso is going to expose Froch’s theory as being little more than wishful thinking, as Barroso is going to be making sure that Crolla doesn’t find his way to the second half of the contest.

I do think there’s a chance that Crolla could make it into the later rounds of tonight’s fight with Barroso, but I think he’ll be so beaten down and punch drunk from taking his shots that he won’t be able to do much.

When a fighter takes a severe beating for six rounds, it’s very hard for them to be able to come back to do much of anything in the later rounds of the fight. Of course, there are exceptions where fighters take tremendous beatings are able to come on to get a win. I don’t see that happening tonight.

Believe me, with the punishment Crolla is going to be taking in the first six rounds by Barroso, he’s not going to be in any shape to mount a late surge to win enough rounds to win a decision. Yes, there’s always the chance of a hometown robbery unfortunately, but I think Barroso is going to make it so one-sided that there’s no way the judges can give the decision to the wrong fighter. In other words, even judges that are distracted and not focusing on the fight will be able to tell who the winner of this fight will be.

I don’t see it being Crolla. Hopefully, we don’t see a case of the referee giving Crolla a helping hand by carrying him to his seat in the corner after getting knocked down like we saw in the Nathan Cleverly vs. Sergey Kovalev fight.

“If Barroso starts getting to the head, Anthony could be in big trouble because we know he doesn’t run away. But I am going for Crolla to overturn a first-half deficit and nick it on points,” said commentator Jim Watt to skysports.com.

Barroso is a very good puncher to the head, but Watt fails to include that he’s also a huge body puncher. If you look at Barroso’s last fight against Kevin Mitchell last December, Barroso was landing some tremendous body shots and doing a great job of mixing up his shots by going to head and body. If all Watt thinks is that Barroso will be throwing head shots, he’ll be in for a big surprise when he starts landing big body punches that suck the air out of Crolla’s tires.

I see this as a very tough fight for Crolla because it’s so different than any other fight he’s had in his career. Crolla has faced big punchers in the past in Derry Matthews, Darleys Perez and Gavin Rees. However, Crolla hasn’t faced anyone with the punching power and the ability to apply constant pressure on him the way that Barroso will be doing tonight.

Mathews gave Crolla nonstop problems in their two fights with his power and pressure, and Crolla folded in six rounds in their first fight in 2012, and got what I considered as a gift 12 round draw in their second fight in 2013.

I thought the Crolla vs. Mathews 2 fight was the biggest robbery I’d ever seen before, because Mathews clearly did enough to deserve the victory in that fight. It just showed how difficult it is to beat Crolla for some reason when it goes to a decision. The fact is that Crolla looked horrible from the pressure Mathews put on him in both fights, and he’s not looked good since then when being pressured by the likes of Gavin Rees and Darleys Perez.

I don’t agree with Watt or Froch in Crolla winning. I have no dog in this hunt and I don’t care who wins. I just think Crolla is facing a devastating puncher who is coming off of an impressive victory over Kevin Mitchell in his 5th round stoppage last December. I think Mitchell would KO Crolla. I think Mitchell is a far better fighter than Crolla could ever hope to be.




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