x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Three-round victory for Carl Froch as he retains super-middleweight title against Mack

American fighter Yusaf Mack lived up to his unfancied status as he was comfortably beaten by the veteran champion

Carl Froch knocks down Yusaf Mack during their IBF super middleweight title fight
Carl Froch knocks down Yusaf Mack during their IBF super middleweight title fight

Carl Froch avoided any slip ups as he retained his IBF super-middleweight title with a third-round knockout of American Yusaf Mack.

The Nottingham veteran was enjoying a rare 'home banker' in his native city against Mack, a natural light-heavyweight who boiled down to 12 stone for this challenge.

So it proved, with Froch breaking Mack up over three rounds at the Capital FM Arena before stopping the challenger with two lovely body shots.

Froch admitted the fight went almost perfectly to plan, adding: "I was a bit cautious early on but then I found my range.

"I could see what was coming back, he's quite quick with the overhand right and left hook, but I did what I had to do.

"I trained for 12 weeks to fight whoever and Yusaf Mack did not really have much of a chance. When I am in there on fire like I was tonight I think I am unbeatable, I really do.

"I think I am a level above Mack but anyone can give you a fight if you are not on your A'' game and I made sure every time I step through that rope I turn up fully prepared."

Mack, 32, had lost every time he had met elite opposition and was a rank underdog against the three-time world champion with a record of 31-4-2, 17 of those wins coming early but all four defeats being stoppages.

Froch, on the other hand, had a record of 29-2 with 21 stoppages and was in his ninth consecutive world title fight having come through an astonishing run of bouts against the likes of Jean Pascal, Jermain Taylor, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham and Andre Ward.

He has his sights firmly set on avenging his only two career losses, against Kessler and Ward, in 2013. But he was wary of overlooking Philadelphian Mack, who was thought to weigh around a stone more than the champion by the time the first bell rang.

Mack was unsportingly booed into the ring by the partisan crowd while Froch received a hero's welcome.

Froch prodded and probed in the opening minute but stepped things up with a leaping left hook followed by a right. Another left hook had Mack down and, as he sat stunned momentarily, Froch stood over him, snarling.

Mack was up in time and Froch took his time but had his man's number, winging in short rights and lets in venomous bursts.

Mack saw the bell but Froch smelled blood, stalking the American from the start of the second. Mack threw out the occasional jab but there was little intent.

A right-left to the body was landed by Froch and after another lull he stepped up before the bell, landing a right hand which took its toll on Mack as Froch winked at the challenger.

Mack landed a nicely-timed counter right at the start of the third.

Froch landed an angry uppercut but was unable to build on it.

A left hook-right hand combination hurt Mack and it was over when a right to the body had Mack winded before two glancing head shots and a left hook in the ribs had him crumpled on the canvas and unable to beat referee Phil Edwards' count.


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