Froch tops Johnson in Super Six semi

Carl Froch never does anything easy, and despite the comfortable margin of the final judges’ decision, Froch’s decision win over Glen Johnson in semifinals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic was not a walk in the park.

It would take a few rounds to get going, but by the fourth round it was clear that Showtime viewers were in for a slugfest between the pair of road warriors. In a fight that brought the Atlantic City crowd to its feet in appreciation, the two well-travelled boxers left it all in the ring.

Having surprised many by successfully outboxing Arthur Abraham in his last fight, Froch looked to again use the same disciplined tactics against Johnson. Throughout the fight, Froch would fall back and look to work Johnson over with his jab. Unfortunately for the Englishman, he would often fail to throw the punch with the speed, power or accuracy necessary to discourage a bullish Johnson. That allowed Johnson to feel confident in moving forward and seeking to punish Froch on the inside. Most notably, Johnson exploited the champion’s failure to properly protect his body or keep his left hand high, landing multiple blows to the body, especially his overhand right.

However, while Johnson brought the heavy-duty offense, Froch showed a tremendous ability to fight under pressure. While mistakes would creep into his game, Froch would show an uncanny ability to respond with punches and combinations to cancel out the power punch of the challenger. What was slightly mystifying is that too often Froch would let the fight drift until really put under pressure by the challenger.

Froch’s worst round was Round 8, where Johnson seemingly had the granite-chinned champion badly hurt after following up a crunching body shot with a big overhand right. A rocked Froch was forced into survival mode for the reminder of the round. However, it would be the peak of Johnson’s challenge, with Froch taking the final four rounds the fight 40-36 on Inside Fights’ scorecard, as he exploited a fading Johnson’s dip in workrate by becoming more aggressive.

Froch would retain his championship and progress to the final of the Super Six on a majority decision, with the judges scoring it 114-114, 117-111, 116-112. Inside Fights had it 116-113.

Carl Froch once again showed plenty of heart and determination, with an impressive ability to soak up Johnson’s power. However, the technical flaws in his game may prove fertile ground for WBA champion Andre Ward when they meet this fall in the Super Six final, a fight literally two years in the making.