Carl Froch proved to any doubters that his WBC title victory against Jean Pascal last December was no fluke. In Mashantucket, Connecticut, ‘the Cobra’ produced a show-stopping finish to knock out American Jermaine Taylor.
The Nottingham fighter had been given a lesson in boxing from the ex-middleweight champion, and going into the 12th round was down 106-102 on two of the judges’ scorecards. In front of a very partisan crowd, Froch was decked in the remaining seconds of the 3rd for only the first time in his 25-fight career, and Taylor continued to dominate the middle rounds.
However, an astonishing revival in the 12th saw Froch land a shattering right hand which left Taylor clearly dazed and with weak legs. An attacking flurry from ‘the Cobra’ put ‘Bad Intentions’ on the canvas with 40 seconds remaining, and after a further 15 unanswered blows referee Mike Ortega stopped the fight.
“If there were 14 seconds left or one second left it made no difference; he [Taylor] was defenceless,” said Ortega. “I wanted him to be able to go home safely to his family.”
“I think the referee did the right thing,” Froch commented after the bout. “He was badly hurt. He was not even defending himself. His arms were dropping, I could have done what I wanted to him.”
Froch took a big risk travelling to America for his first defence, as he could have taken an easier fight at home as the ‘man in possession’. However, with this victory, fortunate or not, Froch was broadcast live across North America and created a grandstand finish against a marquee fighter.
In a similar fashion to after the Pascal fight, promoter Mick Hennessy tried to lure Joe Calzaghe into the ring against his man: “I just think it’s unfinished business for Joe, because there has been a big rivalry.”
The repercussions of a defeat for the Welshman with a previously undefeated legacy may prove to be too much, and he could prefer to continue establishing his promotions company. Having recently won £2 million from ex-promoter Frank Warren in March, he doesn’t need the money.
The likelihood is that Froch’s next fight will be against another American, Kelly Pavlik, who has twice defeated Taylor, or perhaps Lucian Bute in a unification fight, as he currently holds the IBF title. However, the next fight for Nottingham’s hero is likely to be at least six months down the line.