NOTTINGHAM // Carl Froch survived the big right hands of Jean Pascal and a tendency to indulge in a wild-swinging brawl to capture the WBC super-middleweight title. In an all-action fight that had little quality but plenty of courage from both fighters, Froch won a unanimous verdict from all three judges before 7,000 fans in his home city. One judge scored it 118-110, another 117-111 and the third 116-112 to the British fighter against a Canadian whose right eye appeared to be closing near the end.
It was Pascal's first loss against 21 victories while Froch, who still has hopes of persuading Joe Calzaghe to come back to super-middleweight and fight him, was unbeaten in 23 fights. The former undisputed world champion at super-middleweight, who held one of the titles for 10 years, Calzaghe fights at light-heavyweight and was considering whether to retire after beating Roy Jones Jr. last month.
"We want to take over the world and bring the unified belts back here again," said Froch, who paid tribute to Pascal. "I have to give Jean Pascal every credit. He came here to have a go. He didn't come here to lie down. I caught him with some really hard, accurate shots and I hurt my hand on the top of his head. "I felt I caught him cold in the first round but I didn't want to blow a gasket in the first round so I kept my composure and used my experience."
Pascal said he tried to find a knockout blow near the end of the fight but conceded Froch won. "I thought that the fight was a little bit closer but the better guy won and congratulations to Carl Froch," the Canadian said. "I was strong. I thought maybe at the end I could win but Carl did what he had to do to win the fight." Meanwhile, the Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli knocked Matthew Ellis down twice in the opening round before stopping him midway through the second in a heavyweight contest which was arranged because his cruiserweight world title contest was called off.
Maccarinelli switched to the heavyweight non-title contest after his hopes of regaining the WBO cruiserweight title he lost to David Haye in March were dashed. Johnathon Banks pulled out with an ankle injury and his replacement Francisco Alvarez of Puerto Rico failed to make the weight. * With agencies