Michael Rosenthal and Doug Fischer

RING PASS: Froch vs. Johnson

MEET THE FIGHTERS

CARL FROCH

THE ESSENTIALS

Age: 33

Height / Reach: 6-1 (185cm) / 74½ (189cm)

Stance: Orthodox

Hometown: Nottingham, England

Nickname: The Cobra

Turned pro: 2002

Record: 27-1 (20 knockouts)

Trainer: Robert McCracken

Fight-by-fight: http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?cat=boxer&human_id=97570

The Ring rating: No. 3 super middleweight

Titles: WBC super middleweight (2010-present)

Biggest victories: Jean Pascal, Dec. 6, 2008, UD 12 (wins title); Jermain Taylor, April 25, 2009, TKO 12; Andre Dirrell, Oct. 17, 2009, SD 12; Arthur Abraham, Nov. 27, 2010, UD 12.

Losses: Mikkel Kessler, April 24, UD 12.

Biography: The tough, underrated Englishman’s long battle to be recognized as a legitimate star finally ended in 2009 and last year, when victories over Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell and Arthur Abraham proved he’s an elite fighter.

Froch turned pro in 2002 and has done nothing but win, the only exception being a close decision loss to Mikkel Kessler in April of last year. He won British and Commonwealth titles before clearly outpointing Jean Pascal in 2008 to win the vacant WBC super middleweight title.

Still, Froch seemed to fight in the shadows of more-popular British fighters like Joe Calzaghe and Ricky Hatton. He couldn’t even get the full backing of the television networks in his country.

Froch almost lost his 168-pound title to Taylor in his second fight outside the UK in 2009, which would’ve proved his doubters right. However, behind on the cards, he rallied to score one of the most-dramatic knockouts in years with only 14 seconds remaining in the fight.

That led into his participation in the Super Six World Boxing Classic, featuring six of the best 168-pounders in a quasi-round-robin tournament on Showtime.

Froch narrowly outpointed Andre Dirrell in his opening bout, which further opened eyes to his abilities. He lost a close decision to Mikkel Kessler in Kessler’s native Denmark in his next tournament bout but bounced back with a near-shutout decision over Arthur Abraham in his most-recent fight, which lifted him into the semifinals.

Now Froch is a victory over Glen Johnson away from reaching the Super Six championship match against Andre Ward.

The Cobra has already earned the respect of even those who have been critical of him. If he can win those two fights, he’ll emerge completely from the shadows and join Calzaghe and Hatton as true star.

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