Carl Froch in late comeback to retain WBC Super-middleweight against Jermain Taylor
Carl Froch produced one of the most dramatic last round stoppage victories in recent times to finish former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor with a mere 14 seconds remaining in the final round of his world title defence in Connecticut in the early hours of this morning.
By Gareth A Davies, Boxing Correspondent
The World Boxing Council super-middleweight title, once the property of Joe Calzaghe, remains around the waist of Froch 'The Cobra' from Nottingham. It remains to be seen, yet if Calzaghe would come out of retirement, it would create a huge spectacle between the two British boxers.
They had teased and cajoled in the United States, as to who Carl Froch was. Now, they certainly know who he is, a fighter very much in the present. Although Froch was sluggish in the early rounds, and had to climb off the canvas in the third round for the first time in his career, he showed a true champion's heart.
Jermain Taylor had never heard of Carl FrochFroch would have lost the fight had the concussive power in his right hand assaults not rocked his victim at the fight's denouement. Raw power and belief won him the day. Yet he will have to look to greater boxing strategy if he is to maintain his reign at the head of this division. With a fine amateur pedigree behind him, Froch can box as well as bang. Greater use of the jab will be pressed home to him by trainer Rob McCracken after this fight.
Froch was behind on two of the three judge's scorecards â€“ 106-102, and inexplicably, 106-102 ahead on judge Jack Woodburn's card â€“ when he launched his attack in the final stanza. Quite how Froch was marked as being four points ahead in a fight dominated by Taylor's boxing skills â€“ is a mystery.
Yet cometh the man, cometh the hour. In a devastating last round performance, and having come back into the fight in the later rounds, Froch floored Taylor with a right hand and then unleashed another barrage of punches that forced referee Michael Ortega to stop the fight with a mere 14 seconds of the contest remaining.
"I backed my intuition that Jermain Taylor was tired," Froch said. "He was badly hurt and not defending himself. He wasn't even looking at me, it was a great decision by the referee. My trainer Rob McCracken told me and I knew I had to have a big 12th round and I got it. Jermain Taylor was world class. This was my first defence in America and the first of my big fights."
Taylor had been seen in the United States as a clear favourite to remove Froch from the throne he claimed â€“ in another thriller â€“ in December last year in a unanimous points victory over Canadian Jean Pascal in his home town of Nottingham. That was a ding-dong battle, but this one stark in contrast. Before stunning and hurting Taylor, Froch was offered a boxing lesson by the American, who moved and picked his punches cleverly until exhaustion, and Froch's power, set in, in round eleven.
Taylor dominated the early rounds, by dint of greater handspeed, without inflicting too much punishment on Froch, who was knocked down in round three. Froch looked shaken after three right hands, the last an overhand right, and took an eight count, admitting afterwards that he had not seen two of the right hand punches coming. Froch looked rocked again in the eighth, but was beginning to make inroads.
As the fight wore on, Taylor, ahead on points, attempted to steal rounds, yet progressively shipped greater punishment from Froch.
In the dramatic final round, Froch finally got to Taylor, a left and right putting the challenger down in the corner. Taylor got up at 9, but Froch weighed back in, throwing a flurry of fifteen unanswered punches, referee Michael Ortega waving it over as Taylor was getting banged around. It could not have had a more dramatic ending. And it right.
Froch moved to 25-0, with his 20th stoppage inside the distance, while Taylor dropped to to 27-3 with one drawn, losing for the third time in his last four fights.
There was talk of a re-match. Forget it. Taylor â€“ and his promoter Lou DiBella â€“ forced Froch to fight in the US, and Froch did the business there. Taylor would get hurt in a re-match, as Froch would fight differently. Froch, and his promoter Mick Hennessy hold the reins and should push for his next defence in the UK. Yet he clearly announced himself in the US with this fight. If not in style, but substance.
I'm gonna have to be killed before I lose, and I ain't going to die easy - Muhammad Ali