Froch beats Johnson to reach Super Six finals

Britain’s Carl Froch beat Jamaica’s Glen Johnson on Saturday to

retain his WBC super middleweight title and advance to the finals

of the Super Six World Boxing Classic.

Judges John Stewart (117-111) and Mark Green (116-112) favored

Froch, as did The Associated Press (117-111). Judge Nobuaki

Yuratani had it even at 114-114.

”He was very tough, very strong,” said Froch, who earlier in

the week predicted that he would win every single round during a

chat with the media in New York City.

”He was like an oak tree,” Froch said following the fight. ”I

started off slow, but towards the end I was throwing more punches.

I thought I won the fight easily. I don’t know what that other

judge was thinking.”

Nottingham native Froch (28-1, 20 KOs) has been on a roll in the

modified round-robin tournament, which was designed to pit the best

of the division against each other. Best, that is, except for

Romanian-Canadian Lucian Bute, who is not taking part.

After an impressive victory over the 42-year-old Johnson, a

former light-heavyweight champion, Froch will meet Andre Ward in

the tournament finals later this year. Ward advanced with a

semifinal victory earlier this year against Arthur Abraham.

Froch had to work hard to get to the final. Johnson (51-15-2)

controlled the first few rounds and never stopped pressing. Buoyed

by the support of the crowd, Johnson brought the fans to their feet

several times with overhand rights that thudded against Froch’s

temple.

”I feel like that was the kind of fight that fans want to

see,” Johnson said. ”It was a close fight, but I can’t argue with

the decision. I got a little bit greedy and started to take myself

out of fight. I just wanted to land bigger punches instead of

boxing.”

Froch was never fazed by Johnson’s punches. In most cases, he

answered them with strong body shots and crisp combinations.

The 33-year-old was making the first defense of the WBC title he

regained with a unanimous decision over Abraham in the round-robin

portion of the tournament last November.

On the undercard, Hungarian light-heavyweight Zsolt Erdei (33-0,

18 KOs) got a sixth-round knockout of Byron Mitchell (28-8-1).

Erdei, a former WBO light-heavyweight and WBC cruiserweight

champion, wore down Mitchell with a steady onslaught of punches

before dropping him twice in the sixth. Mitchell got up from both

knockdowns, but referee Eddie Cotton wisely stopped the bout at

1:58 of the round.

”I’m looking for a title shot now,” Erdei said through an

interpreter. ”I have great respect for Bernard Hopkins as the best

boxer in this division, so that would be a great challenge.”

Hopkins recently became the oldest fighter to win a major title

by defeating Jean Pascal for the WBC and IBO light-heavyweight

belts.