Carl Froch took a "stay busy" fight on Saturday, November 17, against Philly fighter Yusaf Mack, not generally seen to be in the same class sphere as "the Cobra" coming in to the Capital FM Arena in Froch's Nottingham.
Froch, who beat Lucian Bute in May to snag the IBF super middleweight crown, entered with a 29-2 mark. Mack, 31-4-2 entering, had to hope that the 35 year-old Froch got old overnight, or maybe looked past him to a lucrative gig like an Andre Ward or Bute rematch. Didn't happen for the Philly guy, whose best win was a 2009 victory over Chris Henry prior to the test.
The three-time world champ, taking part in his ninth straight title fight, used a sharp jab and a come-forward attitude to bother Mack right away, in the first. He hit the deck, in fact, and we wondered how far this would go. A replay looked like he actually tripped, in fact. It was all Froch in round two, and he hurt Mack at the end of the round.
It was all she wrote in the third, as Froch put Mack down for good at 2:30 of the third. Froch had to like finishing off the American who called him a "fake Joe Calzaghe." Body shots did the trick, sapping the heart from the loser.
The victor said after things went as planned. He said he was cautious early then got in gear. He said he thought he was a level above Mack, and made sure he was in top condition. The show was running about 15 minutes late, but he shook that off, and got mentally revved up when he heard the hometowners roar for him.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said Bute, Kessler, Ward are on the to-do list, and it would be great if as many as possible were to take place in Nottingham. Ward doesn't seem psyched to that and Bute's contract says a re-do will occur in Canada.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV