Carl Froch Wins Majority Decision Over Glen Johnson, Who Looked Quite Hopkinsesque in the Loss..MICHAEL WOODS

FrochDirrell_McKie_58No one among the 2,286 announced at Phillips Ballroom in Boardwalk Hall dug Froch's performance more than his missus, Rachel Cordingley. (Hogan)

The record books won't go into enough detail to tell the true story of the Super Six semifinal scrap pitting Carl Froch against Glen Johnson in Atlantic City on Saturday night. The record's will read “W Froch UD12,” but Johnson should get more credit than that. The 42-year-old made Froch work harder than he envisioned, and while he didn't pull a Hopkins, he certainly impressed the heck out of anyone who watched.  The judges saw it 117-111 (John Stewart), 116-112 (Mark Green), 114-114 (Nobuaki Uratani), a majority decision, for Froch. There was more than a smattering of boos in the building when Jimmy Lennon said …”and still..” with Froch's hand getting raised, as watchers had watched a tussle in which Johnson landed a large helping of clean blows.

I liked the 116-112 card. In press row, USA Today's Mike Coppinger saw it 118-110, as did Keith Idec of New Jersey, while England's Ron Lewis saw it 119-110, a bit wide for my liking.

Froch will fight Andre Ward in the fall, in the Super Six final. He was in the ring with Froch afterwards. Ward was gracious and classy, though Gray tried to stir it up by referencing Froch's statement this week that he thinks he can beat Ward.

Froch (167 1/2 pounds; age 33; from Nottingham, England) went to 28-1 , while Johnson (166 1/2; age 42; from Jamaica, living in Florida) dropped to 51-15-2.

The fight, called by the Boxing Channel's Al Bernstein, Gus Johnson and Antonio Tarver, ran on Showtime. Froch's WBC 168 pound crown was also on the line, for the record.

Froch after gave Johnson props, saying he was strong, but admitted he fell into a pace dictated by the loser. Johnson after told Jim Gray he felt he was “in it,” but didn't beef with the decision. He said he started out boxing “properly,” he said, but erred by fighting inside, looking to land power shots. He told Gray that he didn't weigh too little, and said he hoped Showtime and the people would want to see him again. I do, for what it's worth.

In the first, Froch looked to keep a comfortable distance. The Brit snapped a long jab. Interestingly, midway through the round, analyst Tarver told viewers that after the fighter meeting, Froch asked him how to beat Glen Johnson. You might recall Tarver lost to Johnson the first time they met, in 2004, but got his revenge, and won a UD six months later. Andre Ward sat in the booth, and he liked Johnson's work, liked his sharp right hand.

In the second, Froch again maintained a safe distance. He didn't want to let Johnson get under his hood, and poke around at his leisure.

In the third, Johnson had gotten fully warmed up, so he tried to close the gap. Froch needed to move more, but Johnson wasn't going to let that happen without an effort. If this fight went to the cards, it would be interesting to see how each man's strategy impressed, or failed to impress, the judges.

Froch's combos had to catch the judges' eye in the fourth. Johnson's trainer, Orlando Cuellar, told him to get busier after the round, that he would not win a decision. The trainer had predicted an easy win, and knockout, weeks ago.

In the fifth, Froch was more confident. He mixed up his shots, fired some uppercuts, and generally looked to be on cruise control, in a good way.

In the sixth, Froch was often retreat, same as in every other round, but it worked. As Johnson plodded after him, he back up, stayed patient, and then burst into action. A right hand by Johnson, after a left to the body made Froch drop his hands,  had the crowd buzzing, with 15 seconds to go. Cocky Frochy grinned after, implying that the landed blow was no big deal. “It's getting away, we have to stop this guy,” Cuellar said after the sixth.

Johnson tried, and landed some sharp tosses in the seventh. Short rights landed, but truth be told, his power at that range, or overall, is average. His body work, especially from the left hand, told Froch he was going to have to work hard to make the final.

In round eight, Johnson was warned for going low early. He was making Froch wince, and flinch, with the body work. A right hand at the 1:38 mark landed flush on Froch, and the crowd was getting into this beef that much more. Left hooks landed on Froch, as Johnson's stamina was darned impressive for a 32 year old, let alone a 42 year old. Froch was looking sloppier, less confident, with some of that cockiness having been whacked out of him. Ward after the round said that Froch was doing enough to stay ahead, but on my card, this was a clear, crystal clear Johnson round.

In the ninth, Froch landed three or four at a time. But he neglected to punch straight most of the time, and mostly lopped shots more than some trainers might like. He still ate leads clean, maybe a tad embarrassing against the 42 year old. And Johnson's blows looked a little more showy, had the crowd into them more so than Froch's, to my eye. But who knows how the judges would see it.

In the 10th, Froch looked a little lackadaisical. Johnson came forward with vigor and Froch was loosey goosey. He ramped it up with a nifty combo at the 1:50 mark, however. Johnson landed a lead right, clean, and I admit that I was surprised, repeatedly, that Johnson's leads so often landed cleanly. Johnson got away from some of that rugged body worked that worked so well earlier on. “Stop messing around,” Froch's trainer Robert McCracken told him after.

In the 11th, Johnson's right hand made sweat fly. It may have been his hardest launch. By the way, let me interject here with props for Ward, who called this a 50-50 proposition when asked for a prediction fight week.

In the 12th, Froch had good luck with the jab. His uppercut was present, and he was a bit more active than in many rounds. We'd go to the cards.

Follow Woods on Twitter here:!/Woodsy1069

Here are postfight quotes:

Carl Froch, WBC Super Middleweight Champion/Super Six Finalist:

“Everyone is finally starting to acknowledge what I’ve done in successive fights.”

“I wasn’t 100% happy with my performance, because I’m the kind of guy who likes to unload my shots. I didn’t do that enough tonight, but I did enough to win.”

“Johnson is a big, strong light heavyweight and he can hang in with everyone. He is a proud, strong man. He was fading towards the end because I was hitting him.”

“It was a professional performance tonight, which I’m proud of. I did enough to win without taking too many risks.”

“I’m going to stay on the ball. I will have a little bit of a rest, and I’ll go back and see my baby boy Rocco. But, I will stay straight and stay fit.”

“You always learn in every fight. Tonight I solidified that I can box on my last foot and give Ward problems doing that.”

Eddie Hearn, Froch’s Promoter:

“Carl deserves the utmost respect from everyone in the world. He is a real fighter. We don’t have enough people like Carl Froch in boxing.”

“We’re going to build his fight with Andre Ward for what it is: a unification fight between the two best super middleweights in the world.”

“I don’t think there has been anyone who has fought, successively, so many top opponents. Carl is just a fighter.”

Glen Johnson:

“My team has done a wonderful job with my career every since I teamed up with them. We have come up on the short end of the stick sometimes, and they have never given up on me.”

“For me, I will just go home and put more effort into it and see what I can bring next time.”

“It was a close fight. There was a lot of give and take. He hit me with some solid, clean shots.”

“Carl can fight. He is tough. We look forward to seeing a great fight between the two men who have made it to the finals.”

Lou DiBella, Johnson’s Co-Promoter:

“If you don’t love Glen Johnson then you don’t love boxing. It is an honor and privilege to be his promoter and to be his friend. You never get less than 100% from Glen Johnson.”

“Everyone on this team respects the heck out of Carl Froch. If Andre Ward thinks he will have an easy night, he is very wrong.”

“It was a very close fight going into the seventh or eighth round. Glen tried to take him out with one punch and Carl adjusted.”

Leon Margules, Johnson’s Co-Promoter:

“People who came here tonight saw a spectacular fight between two great warriors and champions. Anyone who saw the fight and knows boxing can appreciate the kind of battle Glen and Carl had.”

“For a 42 year old athlete to fight twelve hard rounds like that is a spectacular feat.”

“I’m not disappointed in Glen’s performance; I’m only disappointed in the result.”

Here is a video recap from Showtime: {youtube}hGRMU6_T0n8{/youtube}

Comment on this article


-amayseng :

i am very disappointed in Gus Johnsons inability to understand the difference between a landing punch and one blocked by the gloves as he was yipping and yelling when froch threw punches which were clearly and cleanly blocked on the gloves of glen.... in fact, it was so often it actually made me feel like i was watching the fight on hbo and this was jim lamply and his bias all over again.... very shameful because the showtime crew of al and antonio have been very good, much better than hbo on commentating... get gus johnson out of there completely, in fact my 12 year old son can do better and did last night watching the fight... also, i had the fight a draw.... i gave froch rounds 4,5,,9,10,11,12 meaning johnson won the other 6, which is a draw, is it not? johnson finally showed his age, most likely because of the weight, but when have u ever seen johnson taking rounds off?

-brownsugar :

LOL...we were joking about Johnson's powerful but overly dramatic voice and commentary..Gus puts the "H" in hype but we wouldn't have it any other way the guy can be as hiarious as his commentary facilitates excitement. Yes johnson finally looked like he hit the wall as far as the SuperSix is's hard to believe he was still working as a construction worker when he KO'd Roy Jones.. and at 42 he miraulously was able to give Froch one of his toughest bouts. Froch is a Beast... adaptable, resilient, intelligent, and a pure warrior. The fight was a bit closer in my opinion but I don't think there is any doubt tha Froch dug deep to pull it out... Froch seems to improve in every outing ..... can he be beaten? least not while he's holdind the microphone. Did you sense the subtle tension between the supremely confident Ward and the equally indomitable Froch?..Can you feel how badly the both want to conclude this Tournament Victoriously?....Can you smell what the Rock's been cookin '?

-brownsugar :

The SuperSix has been a wild ride but it's one of the best things to ever happen to oftendo we get to see the best against the best? The final will probably not be as exciting as last nights fight but that still doesn't diminish the tremendous level of achievement it bestowes upon the last man standing...GO WARD...GO USA!!!

-the Roast :

I nailed that one people! Carl Froch by UD over the suddenly old Glen Johnson. A draw ameyseng? You got to watch it again pal. Johnson landed about 8 hard right hands and every time he did Froch was unhurt and punched right back in combination. I gave Johnson three rounds tops. 117-111. I will agree that Gus Johnson is annoying as hell. He was going crazy for Johnson for the first three rounds until Froch took over. Showtime let me down with the Rachel shots. They gave more than equel time to Glen's wife for some odd reason. Rachel Codrington has to be the hottest wife/girlfriend in the history of boxing.

-brownsugar :

Ha ha...79% of fans polled predicted Froch would win...Casual fans aren't as dumb as we think...but the hardcore take more risks.

-undisputed34 :

well its good to see i wasnt the only one who was wrong, i didnt get a chance to see it yet, but i guess froch did what he said he would. gotta give credit where its due. still not a fan of his but you dont have to like someone to give them respect though..

-brownsugar :

@UnDisputed..........actually Johnson proved why he deserved to be a 50-50 pick rather than a 5-1 underdog.

-ali :

Like I said Froch youth and chin carried the day.

-the Roast :

I give credit to old Glen. He pressed forward and tried to make the fight. He made Carl Froch look very good because he forced the fight. Glen landed some big right hands but Froch took them all and always answered back. He was much busier and more accurate. I see Ward over Carl in the final. I do think that Froch will knock out Bute if they fight. Hats off to Carl for Rachel, the hottest wife or girlfriend in boxing history.

-DaveB :

I agree with B-Sug on everything but I do think the last fight for the Super Six championship will be an exciting one. Froch has earned my respect. He has gotten better and better with each outing. For all those who call him Carla Crotch I'm not listening to you. Andre Ward has got his work cut out for him. This is not gonna be a cake walk. Both men will have to come out gun blazing but using intelligence because they will have a formidable opponent standing in front of them. This tourney in the final analysis lived up to the hype.

-Radam G :

Nothing is nothing youthful about a 33-year-old professional fighter. Dude is on the fringe of being long-in-da-tooth. PERIOD! Holla!

-undisputed34 :

@ b sug..ok..i was just giving props where it was do..i didnt want to seem like a spoilsport if i said, just because froch has a hard doesnt make him better than glen..i know how you guys feel about crow lol..

-brownsugar :

Well the crow eating is part of the fun..but the way Johnson fought at the age of 42 after going down a weight class against an elite quality professional 10 Years his junior, has to make that crow taste a little like B-B-Q Duck. LOL.

-undisputed34 :


-Real Talk :

@ B-Sug, you stole AAAAALLL my thunder but I couldn't have put it better LOL!!! Everything you said I was thinking and the tension was there an I'm loving it!!!!! I'm taking Andre Ward all the way!!!! Skills pay the bills!!!! Froch has my respect and is a warrior. The ring was like a baseball field LOL!!! but Glenn should've cut the ring off. I guess he thought he'd get rounds from aggression and backing his man up but he should've fought smarter. I was thinking draw up until the 11 and 12 championship rounds where Froch dug deep and show he too was a Warrior...tough as nails...all grit. He won the fight in my eyes. I was dead tired watching the fight at 3 in the morning but I kept my eyes open and watch that brawl. I'm taking Andre Ward speed and skills and better footwork but it's going to be a rumble. Looking forward to it!!! Roast you're in rare form LOL!!! Peace n Blessings