LONDON (February 2, 2006) – Carl Froch will return to the home of British Boxing a champion when he defends his Commonwealth super middleweight title against Australian tough guy Dale Westerman on the Hennessy Sports promoted ‘EAST TWO’ event at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on February 17th.
The 28-year-old, regarded by some as the hottest property in the sport, took his fledgling steps as a professional at the historic and atmospheric venue as a founder member of Hennessy Sports’ ‘Real Class of 2002,’ but has not returned since stopping Varuzhan Davtyan in five rounds in March 2003.
"I had my first four fights at the York Hall," said ‘The Cobra,’ who also holds the British Title and is ranked #6 with the WBC. "They were all good nights. There was always a different feel to the events featuring the Class and the place always sold out.
"You get a very knowledgeable crowd there. They got behind me as a prospect, so I am looking forward to seeing how they receive me now that I have gone on to become a double champion."
The Westerman fight, being covered live by SKY Sports, will also be his first appearance in the Capital for some time.
Since impressively beating Dmitry Adamovich in Dagenham in early 2004, a brief Hollywood excursion aside, Froch has boxed exclusively in his hometown of Nottingham, developing one of the largest bases of supporters in domestic boxing in the process. That show is now hitting the road.
"There are going to be a lot of people coming down the M1," the undefeated Froch, who had a stellar amateur career, added. "I always had good support when I boxed in London before, but there is even more interest now. My brother Lee will be cramming people into the coaches!
"I hope a lot of locals will turn out to see me as well. I intend to always box regularly in Nottingham – the fans there are my inspiration – but I have said from day one that I want to show the people of the Capital what I am all about at different stages of my career. I know I am the best super middleweight this country has, so it makes sense to want to prove that to them."
A good performance against Westerman will continue that process in style. The Melbourne fighter is in the midst of an Indian Summer that he puts down to a renewed dedication, restructured training program and vastly improved diet.
His four most recent wins have all been at title level and against decent opposition. Perhaps his most impressive performance came in Japan last year when he decisioned local puncher Yoshinori Nishizawa, who in his previous fight had lost a decision to WBC champion Markus Beyer in Germany, despite scoring a knockdown in the 2nd round.
Westerman is able to pack a dig of his own. Last time out he floored fellow Aussie Brett Culey twice on the way to another Championship distance decision. He may be even more dangerous given that he is moving down from light heavy for this opportunity.
"Westerman is going to be a real handful. He is going to be big at the weight, is in good form and has had plenty of notice," appraised Froch, who last time out became the first to stop rugged South African Ruben Groenewald.
"He is a tough-man and obviously game too. Fair-play to him for taking for this, when other top-rated eligible contenders including Syd Vanderpool, Jason DeLisle, Ian Gardner and Evans Ashira chose not to, for whatever reason
"Apparently he talks a good fight as well, so this should be entertaining in and out of the ring. I read that he wants to gatecrash the world top 10 and get a world title shot, so it looks like he’s after my rating as well as my Commonwealth title. He’s in for a bit of a shock isn’t he?"
For more information visit www.HennessySports.com.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV