Carl Froch Scores Majority Decision over Glen Johnson, Advances to Super Six Finals
By Alec Kohut, MaxBoxing (June 5, 2011) Special to Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Tom Casino / SHOWTIME)
Froch vs Johnson
Carl Froch used a combination of elusiveness and hand speed to earn a spot in the final bout of Showtime’s “Super Six” super middleweight tournament, scoring a majority decision over Glen Johnson at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall Saturday night. With scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 114-114 Froch, 28-1 (20), earned the right to face Andre Ward in the tournament final, this fall.

  The fight began as expected with Froch using his feet and long left arm to keep the 42-year-old Johnson at bay. Johnson, 51-15-2 (35), had trouble connecting much in the first two rounds but won the second heat with two hard rights in its last minute. 

  Froch began putting punches together and finding his range in the third round, while continuing to set up everything with his stiff left. Johnson continued moving forward, throwing hard rights in hopes of slowing Froch down but Froch continued snapping his jab throughout round four, putting together better combinations in the last 30 seconds of the round. 

  Johnson continued stalking Froch yet had little luck as Froch’s movement was controlling the tempo of the fight. The sixth round saw a marked and exciting change in the action as Froch began the round with good combinations yet Johnson’s right was beginning to find its target.  Johnson landed his best punch of the fight but was countered by Froch in the most exciting exchange of the fight in the latter half of the round.

  The excitement continued into round seven as the fight began taking on a style with less movement but more zest from Johnson. Johnson landed two solid overhand rights, though the game Froch effectively countered, making the seventh the most exciting and closest round of the fight. The eighth round featured even more fighting at close range but the younger super middleweight titlist landed cleaner and sharper blows while putting together combinations. The fight was becoming a slugfest as Froch started looking arm weary as the round concluded. 

  Froch remained the busier fighter into the ninth round and went back to using his feet to frustrate Johnson, who looked to load up with his right hand. Johnson continued applying pressure in round ten with some success in landing his right hand but every time Johnson landed, the quicker Froch seemed to counter with a combination of his own. Froch took another of Johnson’s rights toward the end of the round and seemed unfazed, ending with a flurry which seemed to say, “I can take anything you’ve got.”   

Despite Froch’s continued movement, Johnson was able to corner him in round 11 and land another big right. However, Froch again responded with a combination of his own. Throughout the fight, when Johnson found success, Froch heightened his work rate resulting in a 264 – 219 advantage in punches landed. The busier Froch threw 672 total punches to Johnson’s 546. The final round saw Froch continue his formula for success by moving, throwing combinations and quickly moving out of range of Johnson’s right.   

Following the fight, Froch told that the key to the fight was keeping his range along with a high work rate and punch output. Froch also talked of the importance of returning to more movement after rounds seven and eight when there was more fighting in close quarters.  

Johnson did not argue with the decision and said that the difference in the bout was about him trying to “load up on punches and got greedy and [getting] out of my game.”  

Zsolt Erdei KO6 Byron Mitchell, Light Heavyweights  

Former super middleweight champion Byron Mitchell looked all of his 37 years as he was stopped in six rounds against Zsolt Erdei, who although also 37, looked much younger, outworking Mitchell before dropping him twice in the sixth round and forcing the stoppage at 1:58 of the round.  

Erdei, now 33-0 (18), was the more effective fighter throughout the first two rounds, working to establish his left jab and control the tempo of the fight, though not doing any real damage. With a loud, enthusiastic Hungarian following, Erdei began taking complete control in round three. The left jabs were now snapping back Mitchell’s head and setting up hard right hands. Although Mitchell, 28-8-1 (21), had moments, Erdei’s combinations were taking a toll on the veteran.   

The fourth round saw Erdei’s left become even more effective as he took complete control of the fight, adding more left hooks as Mitchell looked tired and had no response. Erdei exerted his will in round six, displaying power with both hands and dropping Mitchell with hard right about a minute in. The end came soon after as Erdei swarmed upon the helpless Mitchell, sending him to the canvas again as referee Eddie Cotton called a halt to the fight at 1:58 of round six.  

Edison Miranda UD8 Rayco Saunders, Light Heavyweights  

In his first bout since his knockout loss to Lucian Bute in April of last year, Edison Miranda pounded out a lopsided, if not exciting, unanimous decision win over Rayco Saunders of Pittsburgh, PA.  A slow first round was a harbinger of what was in store as neither fighter showed much desire to mix things up.   

Miranda, 34-5 (29), started the second round looking to force the action as he began throwing more straight rights and even showed off his version of the “Ali Shuffle.” The action was short-lived as the pace of action slowed again in round three until Miranda came alive during the last part of the round landing hard straight rights. Not wanting to brawl, Saunders began the fourth round using his feet to avoid the heavy-handed Miranda. The fourth round saw Saunders’ offensive output slow down considerably.  

As the fifth round progressed, Miranda was easily winning rounds and cruising to an easy victory.   The sixth round continued in the same vein with very little action from either fighter. As the fight came to its conclusion, Saunders, 20-14-2 (8), looked for opportunities that the former contender Miranda had little trouble stemming, keeping him at bay and winning the decision by scores of 80-73 and 79-73, twice.   

J’Leon Love UD4 Lamar Harris, Middleweights  

Detroit’s J’Leon Love improved to 7-0 (5), overwhelming Lamar Harris, 6-8-3 (4), of St. Louis en route to a unanimous 40-35 decision win on all three judges’ scorecards. Love outclassed the veteran Harris in every round, dropping him in the third with a straight right hand.   

Ivan Redkach KO6 Alberto Amaro, Junior Welterweights  

In what looked like a quick victory for Los Angeles prospect Ivan Redkach, early in the first round, it actually took nearly all of his allotted six rounds to dispatch Alberto Amaro, 6-6 (2) of St. Louis. Redkach, 7-0 (6), landed power punches early and hurt the Amaro in round one. The Puerto Rican refused to give in and provided the 25 year old Ukrainian prospect good work before succumbing in the final round.  

Throughout the fight, Redkach looked to land hard punches as Amaro proved game but unable to mount any significant attack against his more talented quarry. After winning every round, Redkach created the opportunity to end things in the fifth, landing a hard straight left to Amaro’s midsection. Amaro, clearly hurt, backed up and Redkach went in for the kill. Late in the round, the southpaw dropped Amaro, who was able to rise as the ten-second alert sounded.   

Amaro tried to hold on in the sixth round but Redkach’s combinations proved too much as he cornered Amaro, forcing referee Steve Smoger to rightfully call a halt to the bout at 1:46 of the final heat.  

Badou Jack KO5 Hajro Sujak, Light Heavyweights  

Las Vegas prospect Badou Jack, 6-0 (5), remained undefeated with an impressive fifth round workmanlike TKO over Bronx native Hajro Sujak, 6-2 (2). Sujak’s corner ended the contest at 1:30 of the fifth round as Jack was landing hard right hands almost at will against their bloodied fighter.  

After an even first round, Jack began using a stiff left jab, setting up a straight right hand which found its mark with great consistency as Sujak threw wider, less effective punches. In round three, an effective body attack combined with solid combinations and uppercuts saw Jack take full control of the contest. As the fourth round began, Sujak was bleeding from both his mouth and nose and Jack continued his punishment but at a slower pace than the previous round. Jack again picked up the pace in the fifth round and the outcome became clear. The only question remaining was when the stoppage would occur. At the midway point of the round, Sujak’s corner mercifully threw in the towel.

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