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All hail super-human Froch

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Ben Dirs | 14:22 UK time, Sunday, 27 May 2012

Capital FM Arena, Nottingham

If anyone still harboured doubts Carl Froch was one of the greats of the British ring before Saturday night, those doubts will surely have been demolished by the same wrecking-ball the now three-time world champion used to dismantle a shell-shocked Lucian Bute in Nottingham.

"Maybe finally people will wake up to such a tremendous boxer," said Froch's trainer Rob McCracken, who is eternally irritated by the lack of respect afforded his charge. "He's a special fighter and just a normal, hard-working kid. Hopefully now he'll become a British boxing legend. It's long overdue."

McCracken may have hit upon the reason why Froch is so undervalued in his own country: being "normal" - Froch said he would celebrate his victory by laying some lino in a new bungalow he is renovating - does not sate the appetite of a public which apparently prefers its boxers to come with controversy. Unless you are so aggressively "normal" and down to earth that you are almost underground, as was the case with Ricky Hatton.

That a fight against fellow super-middleweight legend Joe Calzaghe, who retired in 2009, never happened is a shame. But we now have to ask if Froch's death-defying career is a match for the dazzling Welshman's, despite the two losses on his record to Calzaghe's none.

Froch beat Bute in the fifth round

The fight was stopped in the fifth round. Photo: Getty

Calzaghe fans will point out that no-one was able to beat him in a professional career spanning 15 years and that he has victories over future hall-of-famers Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones on his resume, as well as British hero Chris Eubank. Detractors will say Calzaghe, for whatever reason, failed to fight some of the best boxers in and around his division for too long and that the '0' is therefore devalued.

Froch's career is a mirror image. That he has not fought such boxing luminaries as Hopkins, Jones and Eubank is through no fault of his own. That he did not fight Calzaghe was entirely the Welshman's decision. God knows Froch tried.

However, the throwback fighter Froch is, he has disproved the modern folly that an unblemished record is the be-all and end-all in boxing. Froch, now knocking on 35, has fought everyone there is to fight in the super-middleweight division.

In addition, Froch, who before Saturday had not fought in England since 2009, has always been prepared to get on his bike, while Calzaghe spent the large part of his career fighting in his own backyard. For the record, I believe Calzaghe would have beaten Froch comfortably. But then again, I thought Bute would do that, too.

"A lot of people in the press have had a lot to say and there's been a lot of negativity flying around," said Froch, having pummelled the previously unbeaten Bute in five savage rounds. "That fuelled me. I've shown and proved to everyone what I can do when I'm on my game."

Few could remember Froch, a notoriously slow starter, charging out of the blocks so fast. Literally charging at times. He could not miss Bute with his right hand, and when the champion attempted to trade, it was if his punches were being fed into a threshing machine. Froch was that powerful.

Bute's corner should have pulled him out at the end of round four, the Canadian, drunk on Froch's punches, having to be helped to his stool. And exactly what referee Earl Brown was thinking, giving Bute a standing count when he was out on his feet, is anybody's guess. Given Froch's old-fashioned qualities, perhaps Brown got confused and through it was the 1950s.

How Froch's Herculean run of seven elite-level fights, all of which went 12 rounds, had not diminished him is a miracle. Some of Froch's post-fight comments - Froch admitted he pondered retirement following his defeat by Andre Ward last December - suggested even he feared his lifeforce had been sapped. But his restorative victory over Bute had him believing in miracles again.

"I'm not sick of the sport yet, I still love boxing," he said. "That was the very best of me [on Saturday night], I felt so young and fresh and ready for more. Fighting like that, with the focus I had and the way I felt physically, I'd beat anyone in my weight division. There's nobody who can touch me. Even Andre Ward."

Given the one-sided nature of his first meeting with Ward - in short, the American was too quick and too skilled - it is difficult to envisage Froch turning the tables in a return.
But with home fans at his back and the same positive attitude, it would be advisable not to bet against him: not 'The Postman', the British fighter who almost always delivers.

On the evidence of Saturday's fight, a return bout against Bute in Montreal would have been easy money for the Englishman. But it is unlikely Bute will trigger the rematch clause: another defeat like that, especially on home turf, and his career would be in tatters. "I'd be surprised if he fights anyone again," was Froch's chilling appraisal of his victim's options.

Froch suggested he might take a break from "fighting monsters" and drop down a level. But in the very next sentence he said he would take a rematch with Mikkel Kessler, who beat him in Copenhagen in 2010, "in a heartbeat".

Back in Nottingham, that is certainly a fight he could win. Do that, and the comparisons with Calzaghe would become even more salient, Calzaghe having outpointed the Dane in Cardiff in 2007 in one of his defining fights.

But Froch is about much more than victories and defeats. He defines an attitude, a philosophy of boxing. It was a philosophy that used to be common in the sport but which has gone hopelessly out of fashion. Such is the vitality of the man, do not be surprised if it comes crashing back in style. And wouldn't that be great?

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    first comment YOLO

  • Comment number 2.

    Ben,

    I usually love all your articles and blogs, but I think there was about two sentences of actual analysis/commentary on the boxing - I know you don't profess to have any actual knowledge about boxing and your blogs are more about the reaction/emotions etc, but I (in my very humble opinion) would have enjoyed a bit of expert analysis of the action - but will look out for this on espn boxing or something.

    I was most impressed with the pure savagery of his punching. I think that after the Dirrell and Ward fights, people were wondering maybe where his power punching had gone - we saw last night that the concussive power never left, it is simply that Ward and Dirrell made it much more difficult to catch them and he didnt get the chance to hurt them.

    But let it be known, if Froch finds a way to get through their wily defences and does catch them, his punching power is too much for anyone in the division. Vicious power.

    Great fight!!!!! Frampton did well too

  • Comment number 3.

    Think your last paragraph is very apposite. Would love to see him have another go at Kessler, if he fights like he did last night I think he'd win too.

    I'm still curious as to why he doesn't appear on as much mainstream media as some of the other British boxers around (Haye and Khan to name but two) when he seems quite a genial and erudite chap to me. Wonder if the answer is in your article really, he's as 'normal' a boxer as you're likely to get in many ways.

  • Comment number 4.

    There will forever be comparisons with Calzaghe - how blessed to have those two over the last two decades. Like Ricky, Carl always delivers a fight, but can he work out a stylist like Ward ? On this performance is it had to think that anyone, even Calzaghe could live with Froch.
    Bring on Kessler, then Ward in London !

  • Comment number 5.

    Calzaghe was clearly an exceptional fighter but his "0", whilst a superb achievement is definitley devalued to some extent by the fact that he didn't really fight that many great fighters whilst they were in their prime. Kessler was probably his defining fight but the likes of Hopkins and in particular Jones were well past their prime when he faced them (although Hopkins has shown since that he can mix it at the highest level).

    Few would honestly say that Froch is a true all time great in terms of his technical ability (although I think he's actually better than he gets credit for when he sticks to a plan) but he has a heart and chin that no-one can ever question. We will never know whether it was people dodging Calzaghe or the fact that he was unwilling to travel that meant his record doesn't read as impressively as it could have but Froch has done everything in his power to ensure that his does. I don't think that you could find any active boxer today that who's last 7 or 8 fights read as impressively as Froch's. OK, he was found wanting against Ward (in an uncharacteristically lacklustre performance) and narrowly lost to Kessler (in Denmark) but he's beaten some quality fighters (the hard way in most cases) and in doing so deserves a serious amount of credit.

    If every fighter had Froch's attiitude towards who he fights the sport of boxing would be in a lot better state that it currently is! I for one will be sad when he finally chooses to hang up his gloves and enjoys a very well earned rest.

  • Comment number 6.

    I was fortunate enough to be there on Saturday night. With the exception of Calzaghe against Lacey I am struggling to think of a better performance by a British boxer in the last 15 years or so. I really hope that Froch now gets the accolades he deserves whilst he's still fighting. His record is tremendous and I believe he'll go on to avenge his defeat to Kessler but Ward may be too big an ask! I've always believed that Calzaghe would have had the edge if they had fought however I now believe that Froch would have absorbed Joe's flurries and would eventually have caught up with him - purely speculation and my opinion. We'll never know.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think the debate about Calzaghe will rage on for ever and it is to boxing's shame that in the 168lbs division produced 2 unbeaten World Champions who's career's were in the same era. Let's not forgot though Calzaghe had some great fights. His demolition of Lacey was a joy to watch, and lets not forget, everyone thought Lacey would blow him away, all the "experts" agreed on that. For 12 rounds he could barely lay a glove on Calzaghe, while Calzaghe peppered with shots at will. Such was the domination, you caught Calzaghe looking at the ref bemused as to how he was allowing Lacey to continue to take punishment. Lacey was supposed the man that went on to dominate the division, Calzaghe pretty much finished his career as he was never the same after.

    As for Froch, I think he is duck out of water in modern boxing. Ready to test himself against the best and go where he needs to make those fights happen. That truly is a rare thing in modern boxing. He has literally fought everyone worth fighting and won World Titles in the champions back yard, I take my hat off to the man. He should be a star, a household name yet he is still kind of an unkown to many. I hope it changes for him, I really do..........

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    I said in Bens blog running up to the fight I was biassed and thought Froch would win. Didnt think he would demolish Bute so comprehensively in 5 though.
    I was also wrong about Carl always being 100% prepared .... He brought something extra this time. He looked far more focussed, faster and his timing was far better than during the ward fight. Where in the Ward fight he couldnt get his shots off and couldnt land and got frustrated, against Bute he couldnt miss. Again, I am biassed, but on this form and in Nottingham, i would not bet against Froch vs either Kessler or Ward. Also glad this should shut some of those previous posters saying Froch is not world class etc etc.

  • Comment number 10.

    @8, I think you will find that it is an insult "to" the English language, not "in", if I may be so bold.

  • Comment number 11.

    @8. I think you'll find 'What on earth is wrong with the standard of English these days' is a question. Where's the question mark?

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Still in shock. Was hoping for carl to win, but never expected an outright demolition. Bute looked out of his depth from round 3 onwards. Deep water as Carl would say.

    My head and my voice are still in tatters. Brilliant night.

  • Comment number 14.

    @8 And a sentence begins with a capital letter I do believe.

    P.S Froch was just awesome.

  • Comment number 15.

    @12, a statement does not start with a word such as where, how, why, what etc. They are questions and such sentences end with ?
    Also, 7 did not make an insult in English therefore you are incorrect.

    Back to boxing ... Hope Froch gets the wider recognition he deserves now, what an awesome British fighter and all round decent bloke with it!

  • Comment number 16.

    @8 Was 'why have you put career's rather than careers' a statement too? Back to pedant school for you.

  • Comment number 17.

    Calzaghe a legend, im sorry calzaghe is no all time legend, but an all time british legend, it stops there. never will be an all time great.

    where as froch, if you take a look at his record his fought world class fighters where as calzaghe didnt, froch for me is very good, top 2 middleweight, calzaghe dodged many fights, and his fight with bernard I thought calzaghe lost.

    amir khan is good, his too cocky and gives it all talk just ike haye where as forch juts gets donw to business

  • Comment number 18.

    Spelling and grammar? C'mon BBC, Bute could have edited this.

  • Comment number 19.

    This Lucian Bute just turned out to be another Jeff Lacy - a hyped boxer, who had been fed hand picked opponents in his own little comfort zone. I never brought into the Romanian - like Bernard Hopkins has said, "to be great, you have to do great things". Bute had never done that before. Great job by his Canadian handlers, making some believe he was the best in the division when he wasnt.

    Froch was the underdog and for that he deserves all the credit - top level performance, exposed Bute for what he was. Who were these people that said Bute were going to win? Based on what?

  • Comment number 20.

    Calzaghe beat Kessler, Hopkins and Lacey, among others, and that doesn't look like a devalued 0 to me. In any case, for a fighter to retire unbeaten is so fearsomely rare that it hardly matters, it's a tremendous achievement.

    That takes nothing away from Froch. I thought Bute would win this fight, but Froch was superb and deserves all the plaudits. He's Britain's best right now by a stretch.

  • Comment number 21.

    And Froch's two losses are really only one, given Kessler didn't really deserve his points victory in Denmark

  • Comment number 22.

    Froch is definitely a far better boxer than people give him credit for and deserves far more recognition from the media in this country. To say Calzaghe would have beaten Froch 'comfortably' is a very bold statement and one I don't agree with. Calazaghe was a class act, and probably a technically more gifted boxer. But as he demonstrated again last night Froch undoubtedly has a superior chin, greater punch power and fights with more heart and aggression. And in my opinion Calazaghe's undefeated record is completely false. He played it safe his whole career and I actually think he lost against Bernard Hopkins. Froch has fought everybody, often in their own backyard, and has only been beaten by a future pound for pound champion Andre Ward, who in my opinion would also have beaten Calzaghe in his prime. If Calzaghe was comfortably better why didn't he fight a young Carl Froch like he had the chance? Truly great fighters don't leave it to peoples opinion as to whether they would have beaten a rival, they get in the ring and prove it!

  • Comment number 23.

    I have nothing against Calzaghe and don't believe that he got the credit he deserved however he would not have beaten Roy Jones or Hopkins in their prime and he largely fought in his own back yard against lesser opponents. Having said that, he went undefeated and that is a major accomplishment at world level.
    Froch however has fought all of the top guys in the division, being beaten soundly by Ward and lost a questionable decision to Kessler. Froch has a more credible boxing CV already than Calzaghe and that really cannot be disputed.

  • Comment number 24.

    Anyone that talks about themselves in terms of 'a boxer of my stature, a man of my stature' is an up themselves idiot in my opinion... carl froch needs humility and then the public might like him....

  • Comment number 25.

    You'll never find me insulting Calzaghe or any great boxer, although I did used to cringe when I saw patsy after patsy lined up as a mandatory defence. Let's not forget that he beat an admittedly faded but still tough Eubank, Robin Reid with a hostile crowd, Lacy, Kessler and Hopkins. Not bad thrillers, shame about the fillers. RJJ was too over the hill to count IMO.

    Whether you blame Frank Warren or Joe, a sobering thought is that whilst JC was winning foregone conclusions, Clinton Woods was squaring up to Glencoffe Johnson, Antonio Tarver & RJJ in his prime. If the fights weren't there, how did Woods get them?

    Having said that, Froch fought 8 tough title fights in a row, not forgetting that he'd beaten a faded Reid & a game Magee too. I'd put Froch's career ahead of Joe's but always thought that if they fought it would be similar to JC vs Kessler.

  • Comment number 26.

    I always take your blogs with a pinch of salt Ben, yet even you have managed to transform an appraisal of Carl Froch to a Joe Calzaghe 'slag off'. "Detractors" (meaning you) "will say Calzaghe, for whatever reason, failed to fight some of the best boxers in and around his division for too long"...
    Can anybody name these boxers?
    There were a few American's who were too scared to risk facing an unknown Brit who they knew who most likely beat them and it was only when the "experts" thought Calzaghe was fading that Lacy took the fight.

    "The fact he did not fight Calzaghe was entirely the Welshman's decision. God knows Froch tried."
    Where to begin? Calzaghe who wanted to create an audience in America and a big final pay day opted to fight Bernard Hopkings, Roy Jones Jnr etc. instead. He was past his best so why would he fight a nobody (in an economical sense) over the big dogs? Get real.

    "However, the throwback fighter Froch is, he has disproved the modern folly that an unblemished record is the be-all and end-all."
    What's this "folly" about an unbeaten record being the "be-all and end-all"
    Who thinks that? Pacquiao is ranked #1 pound for pound in the world over Mayweather who has an "unblemished" record. Ali certainly didn't have an "unblemished" record yet is considered by almost everyone to the greatest ever. So your point is already crumbling under the shambolic foundations of an unintelligent argument with little to no weight.

    "Froch, who before Saturday had not fought in England since 2009, has always been prepared to get on his bike, while Calzaghe spent the large part of his career fighting in his own backyard."
    In Calzaghe's 42 professional fights he only fought in his home country 18 times. The rest have taken place in England or Scotland whilst 4 have been outside of the UK. That's the luxury of being the undisputed Super-Middleweight World Champion; you normally get home advantage. Yet, before this "Super 6" competition Froch had only fought outside of the UK twice.

    "For the record, I believe Calzaghe would have beaten Froch comfortably. But then again, I thought Bute would do that, too."
    Why would you think Bute would beat Froch comfortably? Had you watched any of his last 5 fights? He guy is a decent boxer but nowhere near top class like a Kessler or Ward.

    "How Froch's Herculean run of seven elite-level fights, all of which went 12 rounds, had not diminished him is a miracle."
    Are you trying to imply that fighting 7 "elite-level" fights isn't what the other boxers in the division have done? That's what happens when you're challenging for World titles.

    Froch saying this: "Fighting like that, with the focus I had and the way I felt physically, I'd beat anyone in my weight division. There's nobody who can touch me. Even Andre Ward."
    Deluded. He got convincingly beaten by the closest thing to Joe Calzaghe in the division (Ward) and yet has these illusions of grandeur AGAIN because he's beaten Bute!

    "Given the one-sided nature of his first meeting with Ward - in short, the American was too quick and too skilled - it is difficult to envisage Froch turning the tables in a return."
    Andre Ward is Calzaghe light.

    ""I'd be surprised if he fights anyone again," was Froch's chilling appraisal of his victim's options."
    Gracious in victory as always Carl...

    "Back in Nottingham, that is certainly a fight he could win. Do that, and the comparisons with Calzaghe would become even more salient, Calzaghe having outpointed the Dane in Cardiff in 2007 in one of his defining fights."

    So, let me get this straight... Joe Calzaghe was undisputed Champion of the World, having won every title there is to win, he beat far better boxers than Froch, didn't face any superior boxers (Ward, Kessler). He was recognized by Ring Magazine as the one of the top "pound-for-pound" boxers in the world and become a Champion in two weight divisions. On one of the few tangents where their careers have crossed paths would be the Kessler fights. Calzaghe defeated the then undefeated World Champion, where Froch gave a lame display lacking any real quality.
    That brings up another important factor not being taken into account; Calzaghe has beaten (Kessler, Lacy, Hopkins and ex-champ Eubank) World title holders for their belts... two times Froch has won "vacated" titles... and the Bute fight is the only time he has taken the title off a "Champion".

    Comparing Froch to Calzaghe is laughable unless he avenges his defeats to Kessler and Ward. End of, Ben.

  • Comment number 27.

    Roy Hoxton (26). Who did Calzaghe beat who is better than Froch please, with the obvious example of Kessler? Jones & Hopkins were past their best. Please expand on your comment.

  • Comment number 28.

    I said before the fight that Bute would win, and now I say I am ashamed that I doubted Carl.
    I have never been so happy to be proved wrong. Froch is SENSATIONAL!!!
    As a man Nottingham born and bred I can't tell you how proud I was to listen to Darren Fletcher's Breathtaking commentary and hear my fellow Nottinghamians making so much noise in support of one of their own.
    My heart swells even thinking about it.
    Not to get to clichéd but I will tell my grandchildren about that fight and how Carl is now able to stand with Clough, Robin Hood, William "Bendingo" Thompson, Byron and D.H Lawrence in the pantheon of Nottingham legends.

    Proud onya Carl mi-duck

  • Comment number 29.

    Mike P (27) Lacy, Hopkins (became world champion at 45 so hardly past "his best" at 42), Eubank, Kessler... all better than people Froch has beaten at the time of fight. Froch got well beaten by Ward and Kessler, let it go.

  • Comment number 30.

    Talk about re-writing history, Roy Hoxton! First of all, after the Robin Reid fight Calzaghe was the 'home' fighter in the English venues. The fact of the matter is that he couldn't fill a decent sized venue in Wales as easily as he could in England (as UK fans support sportsmen from the UK, not just their little corner of it). Another fact is that by and large US boxing fans didn't rate those WBO defences (Joe was only unified champ just before moving up to LHW and was never 'undisputed' champ as he didn't hold all of the titles at once). I'm a Calzaghe fan but even I can see that he could've chased Johnson, Tarver, Hopkins, plenty of Middleweights like Joppy & Trinidad, RJJ etc. Joe blames Frank Warren for the number of patsies he fought, Warren blames Joe. I've never been in a room where they held the conversation so it's hard to know the truth.

    I suspect that in your head there's no debate, just you being right & the majority of boxing fans being wrong - even though by & large they praise JC but are disappointed that he never fought Ottke (for the record i blame Ottke for that) or the big American names in their primes (but Clinton Woods did). As much as Joe achieved, he could and should have done so much more. It's unfortunate that he didn't fight Froch but to be fair Froch only worked his way to be mandatory challenger when Joe was negotiating with Hopkins. Without being as condescending as you were in your post, these are things we call 'facts' in balanced arguments.

    As for Froch, he lost by a couple of rounds to Kessler but cut Kessler up badly - a loss but not 'well beaten'. Ward on the other hand was a class above but has very little in common stylistically with JC, so a bit of a moot point. Having said that, Froch is similar enough to Kessler for me to think that if he fought JC it would be similar to the JC vs Kessler result.

  • Comment number 31.

    I forgot, without being too pedantic - Eubank took the JC fight at fairly short notice & was over the hill. They fought for the vacant WBO title. If you don't count the Ring belt he beat Bhop to, Joe only won titles off Lacy & Kessler. Due to the proliferation of belts the WBA & IBF were already pimping around interim title fits as Joe was moving up a weight, so he was unified, not undisputed champ. When Froch won the WBC vacated by Joe he was unable to take the belt off the reigning champion as (like Joe vs Eubank) there wasn't a reigning champion. Of the title fights Joe won, surely only Kessler & Bhop wouldn't have been won by Froch or Joe? It cuts both ways of course (Joe would've beaten Froch's opponents if he wasn't busy with the Veits & Manfredos of this world).

  • Comment number 32.

    RoyHoxton

    as you know perfectly well, Eubank was dead at the weight. (His next fight was at cruiser fcs). B-Hop beat Joe like a drum but didn't get the verdict. Nor did the poor old scouser.

    Joe made, like, 20 defences of his "world" title ? Give me a break. When they're looking at British ATGs, Froch will be in with Ted Lewis & Benny Lynch. Calzaghe will be on the outside looking in.

  • Comment number 33.

    Great performance by Froch, aided by the extra adrenaline of the partizan home crowd and the 'do or die' nature of the bout for Froch's future in the sport, very difficult to replicate that every fight

    One needs to take the emotion out of making comparisons and often a career has to finish to evaluate, not just the boxer himself but those who he's been in with...
    Re Calzaghe...for example how good really was Jeff Lacy?? Calzaghe was sublime on the night but Lacy hasnt exactly been all conquering since...
    How good is Bute? one would imagine Ward would take care of him and Kessler could well do a 'Froch' on him in terms of styles and aggression......we will only know how good last night was once Bute has greater exposure at the elite level

  • Comment number 34.

    Great to see so many comments for Carl, its about time this warrior got the credit he deserves, if every fighter had Carl Froch's attitude boxing would be the worlds number 1 sport.

    Great performance against Bute, simple fact of the matter here is that for the first time in Bute's career he met someone who wasn't either intimidated by his power or too slow to catch him, in Carl he met a man who was good enough to negate both of these traits Bute's held so dear to his boxing success..

    Few points ref some of the comments made thus far:-

    1. Calzaghe - I wouldn't say Carl would beat Joe but he would certainly have gone the distance and would have probably given Joe his toughest fight, odds wise I'd have had Calzaghe 8/11 and Carl even money...purely based on Joe's hand speed..

    2. Didn't think that Carl beat Kessler but thought he should have if he'd have adjusted his tactics slightly, I was screaming at the screen watching the fight pleading with Carl to up the pace on a tiring Kessler about round 8, he didn't and up'd the pace in round 10 which proved to be too late, Kessler was gone for all money in the 12th, only the sight of the finish line and a partisan crowd kept him on his feet. Rematch, think Carl wins it by stoppage...

    3. Carls rematch with Ward, interesting that Carl is so keen for this, I wonder whether with time and the experience of going the distance with Ward Carl feels he has worked out what he needs to do with Ward and hence wants to put that into action. Couple of interesting things that came out of the 1st fight, Ward certainly isn't a big puncher and that means Carl can go in there with his sights on offence, also Ward did start to show some signs of distress physically in rounds 11 and 12 of that fight, Carl certainly pushed him to his aerobic limit hence will feel if he can up his punch success plus push the same fight pace again Ward might start to unravel late on...traditionally the strongest part of the fight for Carl.

    3. Dirrell - Though Carl was lucky to get the decision against Dirrell, admittedly I was glad he did as Dirrell tried to steal the title in a "no risk, don't engage" kind of way however simple fact is that Carl landed very little in that fight and Dirrell landed more (albeit he didn't land much)...

  • Comment number 35.

    Complaining about Calzaghe not fighting Froch is silly. When Froch challenged Calzaghe he was a nobody. Its always the same, why does Froch not give Groves or Degale a fight at the moment? I'm sure they would love it but he would lose a lot with defeat to them. Back when Jones was in his prime he enjoyed ducking folk, people only wanted to fight Joe when they had lost their glitter and he was worth money in the USA. However big respect to Froch for his travels, he showed the heart of a lion against Taylor and has got plenty of courage.

  • Comment number 36.

    Talk of whether Calzaghe would've beaten Jones or Hopkins in their prime is a bit irrelevant in this context. He probably wouldn't have, but would Froch either? Highly unlikely. I'd give Calzaghe a much better chance because as long as he could keep himself out of serious trouble he'd always have had a decent chance with the judges due to the sheer number of punches he'd land, even if they're not doing much damage. I don't think the judging system as is is quite right but you can only fight to how it is, not how it should be

  • Comment number 37.

    TeniPurist - I've been writing about boxing on this website for about 10 years, so me professing I know nothing about the sport at any point is somewhat unlikely. The reason there is so little analysis is because there's not a great deal to analyse - Bute couldn't handle Froch's power, it's that simple really.

    Roy Hoxton - It's not a "Calzaghe slag-off", it's a comparison of their careers: can Froch now claim to have achieved as much as Calzaghe did in his career. How exactly you can claim that he fought the best fighters in and around his division when they were at their peak is baffling: OK, he got to Jones and Hopkins in the end, but they are fights that should have happened years earlier and there were plenty of other names out there, which is not the same as me saying it's his fault.

    Yeh, but it was still his decision not to fight Froch, whether the reasons are understandable or not. The point I was making was that Froch was massively up for it.

    As for the "modern folly" of unblemished records, you are aware Muhammad Ali retired 30 years ago? If you don't think there is an obsession with protecting fighters' unbeaten records, then you haven't been watching the sport much of late.

    ... I could go on, but having read some of your comments lower down, I strongly suspect you're quite a big Calzaghe fan and don't like our Carl too much!

  • Comment number 38.

    chavezsnr - I wasn't really complaining that Froch-Calzaghe happened, I just stated it was a shame. I know Calzaghe had his reasons not to fight him, he obviously had far bigger money-spinners on his mind.

  • Comment number 39.

    Carl was awesome. I saw him in a whole different light. Best British win for several years. He now needs to take that aggression, hand speed and raw power in to all of his remaining fights. He has the opportunity at this relatively late stage in his career to become a superstar. Far less hype and more substance than a lot of other boxers. In recent years I haven't seen a fitter fighter and with such a good chin. Now is his chance to write his name in lights and leave an impressive legacy.

  • Comment number 40.

    "12. At 17:48 27th May 2012, stevieeng34 wrote:
    10 - no. I was referring to the language he was writing in."

    Shouldn't it be "the language in which he was writing"?


    I think SeantheCanary probably wrote his post in a rush (I certainlyalways do), which is probably the main reason why it contains mistakes. If your going to come on hear shouting the odds about English, you should of checked youre own post first! (and yes those were all deliberate mistakes)

    On to Froch, I thought he fought well but Bute was disappointing. He didn't seem to offer much and Froch seemed to be able to land at will once he'd softened him up.

    I agree that Froch is probably too 'normal' and doesn't go in for all the hype that Haye and Chisora (for instance) have. I;d like to see him back in with Kessler to see if he can avenge that loss, and maybe then back against Ward. Then he'd have earned a legacy

    IMO he would have probably been slightly too inexperienced to beat Calzaghe had they met a few years back.

  • Comment number 41.

    I looked at buying tickets for this the second day they were on sale by which time they were virtually sold out, I wish I’d been quicker off the mark, unbelievably good performance. With Bute’s past reluctance to travel I thought Froch might have been underrated for this one by the bookies and media but I didn’t expect the kind of demolition job he delivered, simply awesome.

  • Comment number 42.

    Ben

    At Super Middleweight Froch has beaten:

    Bute, Johnson, Abraham, Dirrell, Taylor and Pascal. Lost to Ward, Lost to Kessler (who Calzaghe beat). Froch has never been the considered the number 1 Super Middleweight at any point he held a title there either. Either someone esle was (like Ward is now) or it was disputed.

    At Super Middleweight Calzaghe has beaten:

    Eubank, Brewer, Mitchell, Reid, Lacy and Kessler amongst others. No losses. He also unified the titles and was for a number of years considered the best Super Middleweight in the world. Beating Kessler put it beyond any doubt. 10 years at the top also.

    Add to this he stepped up to beat the widely ranked number 1 heavyweight in Hopkins (still rated no.1 light heavyweight by and top ten pound for pound fighter by the ring, despite being old. Only recently lost his title some 3/4 years later). Il ignore the Jones fight as that was pointless.

    Not overly sure where you are getting the argument for Froch challenging him from. Calzaghe actually dominated and cleaned up his division far more extensively than Froch can claim. He was considered the top guy in two weight classes. Froch has yet to be in even one. Presumeably you will say why did he not fight Jones or Hopkins earlier. For starters they werent in his weight class. If you are going to use that argument aginst Calzaghe then why not say Froch has not fought Hopkins, Dawson, or Martinez for example? Calzaghe never lost. roch has lost to the best fighters he faced - Kessler and Ward. One of whom was ironically beaten by Calzaghe himself when undefeated.

    All Froch has to really "trump" Calzaghe is that he has taken his big fights within a shorter period of time. But he has nowhere near the same level of success or acheivement.

    This, perhaps, is why your article has been seen by some as a slight on Calzaghe.

  • Comment number 43.

    JoeDavisRoach - Blimey, you Joe Calzaghe fans are touchy, aren't you? Dare to suggest Carl Froch's might be up there with your man and people become outraged. If you actually took the time to read my blog, you will see that I wrote: "Detractors will say Calzaghe, for whatever reason..." That's just a fact - detractors will say, and they do say, that Calzaghe's career could have been even greater than it was. This isn't necessarily my view.

    Then again, I disagree that Froch's achievements don't come close to Calzaghe's. If you're going to get really churlish about this, you could make the argument that Jones was shot to pieces when Calzaghe beat him, Eubank was well over the hill, Lacy was hugely overrated and Hopkins beat him. But, as I say, that would just be churlish. The point I'm making is you can almost build arguments to bolster or demolish someone's achievements, especially in boxing. And surely that's all part of the fun?!

  • Comment number 44.

    Clearly Joe fought everyone he could, and never, even on a bad night, never lost. I watched the fight on saturday and Carl did really well, but can't help thinking that it is clear now why Bute never travelled much.

    Just thinking about the Ward fight and how Froch was so outclassed, Ward is clearly the best Super Middle, as was Calzaghe in his time. Yes Froch is a decent or infact world class fighter. But he is never and never will be the worlds best at his weight, which we must remember Calzaghe was.

    Let leave the JC comparisons now please. Just enjoy Froch's career as it is.

  • Comment number 45.

    Why is there only one article still on the main BBC Sport Page after the greatest performance by a British Boxer for a generation. I am sorry but yet again Ben your employers have let Carl and the British Boxing public down.

    You will no doubt point to 2 blogs you have written, that the fight was live on 5 live, and that there are several articles on the actual boxing page, but this is simply not good enough.

    There is no boxing tab at the top of the main BBC Sports Page.

    On the main page the article about Froch's exciting future in boxing is 3rd from bottom on the mini headlines, are you telling me that articles such as:

    "Wallaby Beale misses summer tests"

    "Ospreys edge Leinster"

    "Tsonga comes back to win in Paris"

    BaBa's RU result

    ...are all more important, more interesting and deserve higher position on the website than the best vicotry by a British Boxer in generations????

    Come on Ben, tell your bosses that their coverage is weak and one of the main reasons why Carl does not get the coverage he deserves.

  • Comment number 46.

    As for the fight I though Bute had more skill and guile in him than that, but our Carl was like a BLunderbus, he absolutely obliterated poor Lucian.

    Fair play to him for coming to Notts to take the fight but I bet he is regretting that "brave" decision this morning, he was pummelled and people forget he did catch Carl a couple of times but it had no effect whatsover.

    Carl has said that because he KO'd Lucian he does not have to have the re-match immediately and that Lucian has to get a fight in between - so would love a Froch vs Kessler re-match in NOttingham for Carl to put that Loss to bed.

    Would he want to fight Ward again? I don't know if Ward's style is good for Carl.

    Calzaghe comparisons will always be full of conjecture, shame we couldn't have got them both in the ring at their peak as their styles would have made a barn storming spectacle.

  • Comment number 47.

    Ben

    Actually I am more of a Froch fan than a Calzaghe one. But I dont see their acheivements as being comparable, nor how one would make a reasonable and balanced argument to say otherwise.

    I understand the churlish points were intended to emphasise how one can be overly critical of even the finest records but to refer to my initial post I did not do adopt that policy with regards Froch. I merely highlighted reasonable facts, as opposed to opinion or conjecture.

    Of course, I could say Dirrell beat Froch, Taylor was well over the hill and Bute was massively overrated as you have done with Calzaghe but this would just be silly really and almost besides the point.

    For the record, I prefer Froch and have found his career to be far more entertaining than Calzaghes. But I think this argument that he has done enough to challenge Calzaghes record or acheivement is rather baseless and perhaps the result of being carried away on the basis of one recent fight. The facts simply dont support it.

    Froch garners alot of goodwill for his attitude and willingness, but increasingly this seems to be confused with actual acheivement and ability. As I said above, At now point has Froch ever been considered even the best Super Middlweight during his career by a credible independantly sourced ratings. Calzaghe was for half a decade and then followed that up by beating a genuine all time great in Hopkins to become the top man in a second weight class. Froch, for all his ambition and spirit has never come close to doing this.

  • Comment number 48.

    yorkshire_blogster - Seriously, do you willfully not see things just to wind yourself up? There are currently two pieces on Carl Froch on the front page - a blog and a follow-up quotes story, not one as you claim. There was also a fight report and a pre-fight blog - what more do you want? And no, it wasn't the best performance by a British boxer for a generation, how you've come to that conclusion is a mystery.

    The fight happened on Saturday night mate, other news has happened in the intervening period - that's how news works, otherwise we'd still have England winning the 1966 World Cup as our top story. Also, and as I've told you many times before, we are not a specialised boxing website, so by and large we cover the big boxing stories only. And boxing, alas, is not as big as it was. We have a finite amount of resources to cover an infinite amount of stories across a host of sports, many of them more popular than boxing. That, in a nutshell, is why we don't do as much boxing as you would like. Obviously, I'd love to do way more.

    That said, boxing, on the whole, is pretty well served on the internet - the BBC and the newspaper websites are just the top of the iceberg, if you want more in depth stuff, there are plenty of other sites than serve your needs.

  • Comment number 49.

    I think that Calzaghe has to accept that some people will always have doubts about his "perfect career". That being said, if you are the champ, it's your right to make people come to you if you wish.

    As for the big fights being late in his career, again Calzaghe has to take some blame for that but I do think Frank Warren had a big part in it also. On a domestic level, Warren is the top man but in terms making the really top fights happen, he is a nobody on the world stage. Hatton, Calzaghe, Khan all felt they had to leave Warren to make the really top drawer fights happen.

  • Comment number 50.

    Froch’s showing on Saturday struck me as incredibly similar to Calzaghe against Lacy. An overseas superstar crossing the Atlantic to take a slightly past it British boxer to school in front of their home crowd only to find themselves on the wrong end of a brutal hiding. Calzaghe-Lacy has long been one of my favourite fights, I enjoyed Froch-Bute just as much.

  • Comment number 51.

    "other news has happened in the intervening period - that's how news works, otherwise we'd still have England winning the 1966 World Cup as our top story"

    well thats just silly isnt it Ben, come on.

    And if you read my post correctly instead of wiring yourself up to the "defend the BBC at all costs" fuse, then you would have noticed I accepted there were articles pre and post match, and your two lovely blogs, however your coverage of it on *****THE MAIN SPORTS WEBSITE ***** is and was weak.

    As to my mysterious commen of it not being one of the best performances by a British Boxer for a generation please inform me of some other fights from a British Boxer, who demolished an unbeaten (albeit unknown and home grown) champion in such clinical fashion......

  • Comment number 52.

    Yorkshire_blogster

    They have finite resources. Personally I think county cricket is massively under reported but I understand other sports seem to take the headlines more and resources have to split. No need to get so tetchy...

    As for Froch v Calzaghe argument - for me Joe was better but well done to Froch for what was a sensational demolition of a good pro in Bute. I was impressed and admittedly surprised.

    Roy Hoxton:
    "However, the throwback fighter Froch is, he has disproved the modern folly that an unblemished record is the be-all and end-all."
    What's this "folly" about an unbeaten record being the "be-all and end-all"
    Who thinks that? Pacquiao is ranked #1 pound for pound in the world over Mayweather who has an "unblemished" record. Ali certainly didn't have an "unblemished" record yet is considered by almost everyone to the greatest ever. So your point is already crumbling under the shambolic foundations of an unintelligent argument with little to no weight.

    Firstly, I would agree with Ben that boxer's 'perfect' records are now the holy grail and thats the way the promotion of the fights works etc... But regardless of my POV, there's no need to sit at your computer and write your last line. "Shambolic foundations...unintelligent argument....blah blah...yawn." Nothing is more tiresome than reading this kind of stuff.

  • Comment number 53.

    yorkshire_blogster - Are you OK mate? It's just that you seem to be suffering from serious short-term memory loss. Bit like Bute on Saturday night. You said, and I quote: "Why is there only one article still on the main BBC Sport Page after the greatest performance by a British Boxer for a generation." There isn't, there are two. And it wasn't the greatest performance by a British boxer for a generation - for starters, it is trumped by Hatton beating Tszyu only seven years back, and I'm sure a there are a few Calzaghe fans out there who would put his win over Lacy ahead of Saturday's match, or even his win over Kessler.

    Oh yeh, and why this strange obsession with the MAIN SPORTS WEBSITE?! It's the internet mate, you're a click away from the boxing index. Similarly, if you want to see more rugby union, go to the rugby union index; for more cricket, go to the cricket index. I could go on...

  • Comment number 54.

    # 52

    I don't think its techy to expect more, you can't mention the fact Carl is not as highly regarding and not take a look at the way your own employer is a major contribution to that.

    If Ben thinks the BBC are doing enough then thats fine, but I don't and I feel as a licence payer I have a right to air my grievances.


    Still not sure you can be so categorical that Calzaghe is better or even beats Froch...

  • Comment number 55.

    I think the last para. of the blog sums up Froch very well. Has any fighter ever gone out of his way to actively put himself in the firing line against such a stream of top fighters? Granted the Super Six meant the fights were picked for him, but outside of that he has chased after the toughest of challenges. He's not all crash bang wallop either, as anyone who was in Helsinki for his dissection of Arthur Abraham can testify to. Even on Saturday night while adopting an aggressive approach the fact he couldn't miss with the right hand was largely down to his impressive skill levels.

    Agree with No. 4 milesjenner a rematch with Kessler would be ideal (I still think he won out in Herning and 12,000 screaming Danes swayed the judges although I am a tad biased :-] ) With that wrong righted then on the basis the Andre Ward fight was a bad day at the office (hey, we all have them) then who is to say that loss couldn't be reversed also. Would love to see that take place in UK and if Ward wins then can be no doubts about what a truly special fighter he is.

    Still buzzing from Saturday night, talk about a frenzied atmosphere. Boxing stars out in force and having Sugar Ray Leonard in the building only added to the occasion. 7 weight world-champ and Olympic gold medallist!! The only downer for me was behaviour of some of the crowd, quite a few of them, who were more interested in taunting the Bute fans (a good natured crowd just there to back their man) with some choice language, than they were in watching the fight. Tempting to say they were not proper fight fans, but in any event, pathetic.

    As a parting thought, what price BBC TV pick up a highlights package from Sky to show next weekend, for all those boxing fans who don't have Sky? Would seem a win win win to me for all concerned, and happened before in 2008 with Calzaghe v Jones jr fight.

  • Comment number 56.

    Ben,

    Put a boxing tab on the main Sports website, there is certainly enough room there.

    The BBC do not cover any sport individually as good as sports specific websites, so are you saying people should not come to the BBC website at all?? Daft.

    There are not 2 articles there is a blog and an article. Both near the bottom of the page. Im not saying its not easy to get better information, what Im saying is that the BBC are not helping to promote a British Boxer, why is he not above the Beale or Tsonga articles?

    Put a boxing tab on Ben, if you are allowed.

  • Comment number 57.

    Hi Ben a slight side-point but are there any statistics available to public re visitors to the BBC Sports website for 2011, and %s re how many visited football v boxing v horse racing pages etc etc. So as to get a feel as to which sports (after football which is obviously King) are most popular based on user-figures and the ball park %s for each say by way of a pie-chart of similar. As a guess foootball probably had circa 50% of traffic then what did cricket get, boxing and so on and so forth ....

  • Comment number 58.

    Timthejab - Hi mate. I'm sure there are some in-depth stats somewhere, but I don't know where they are! However, basically football monsters everything - on something like transfer deadline day the live page will deliver something silly like 10m hits and on any given day during the season almost all of our top 20 stories will be football. Boxing actually delivers big hits around the big British fights - for example, the Froch report was the seventh biggest story on the site on Sunday with 162,000 hits, lives aside. Something like Haye-Wlad would have got well over 1m. However, there is a big drop-off with boxing as the fights and fighters get smaller. To be honest, I'd like to see some stats myself...

  • Comment number 59.

    @ 56.
    At 10:31 28th May 2012, yorkshire_blogster wrote:

    Do you really have nothing better to do today then complain about a free website?

    Ben doesn't run the website, he is merely a reporter. Asking him to make whole sale changes would be equivalent to asking a fireman to change the colour of all fire engines to yellow; it's not really his decision to make.

    Either way, I have an IQ higher than that of a walnut and was able to locate all the boxing information quite easily.

    Here is a link 'http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/boxing/'

    Save it to your favorites tab and all of a sudden you have a one click option to the BBC boxing section.

    Marvellous this technology isn’t it

  • Comment number 60.

    Not sure why people are thinking you cannot compare Frochs and Calzaghes acheivements....

    I think most people would agree Calzaghe would beat Froch if the fight had ever happened but are Calzaghes overall acheivements really that much better? Yes he was undefeated but he never really fully tested himself like Froch has and that counts for something. Hopkins Eubank and Kessler were all good wins but how many other names on his record stand out? He was a two weight world champ but Frochs career isnt over yet and if Cleverleys still champ in a year or so im pretty sure Froch can match that.

    Im not saying his record isnt better, i just dont think its a million miles ahead like some other people are suggesting. I also think if Calzaghe had the same fight anyone anywhere anytime attitude as Froch then his legacy would be all the better for it.

  • Comment number 61.

    I was lucky enough to be at the fight on Saturday and Froch blew my mind!

    Having sucked-up every bit of pre-fight analysis going and watched-back all of both Froch's and Bute's fights, it never even crossed my mind - or anyone else's it seems, not even the most wildy optimistic Froch fan - that Carl would absolutely dominate Bute from the off and KO him in the 5th. It's an incredible result when you look at what was being said in the build-up: Bute supposedly technically better - more compact, more precise, younger, bigger, and coming in fresh with the confidence of an unbeaten record, unlike Froch who had the right to be anything but fresh given his run of wars.

    ...Froch can't be given enough credit for this performance. He is a british great.

  • Comment number 62.

    Congratulations to Carl Froch, probably the best performance of his career. I feel though, that I have seen something similar to this before.... an unbeaten world champion thinks our guy is past his best, comes over to our fighters back yard, has been smashing up his previous opponents and is being lauded as a future great, even the UK fight fans doubt our guy and the bookies have the Brit' as a heavy underdog... but he then proceeds to smash the script, and his opponent up and become what we all wanted him to become.... A bit like Calzaghe Vs Lacy maybe?
    Anyhow, personally it was good to see Froch shorten some of those punches of his as when he did, he still retained his power. For me he needs to polish up on this for future fights as it would cause other fighters, including Kessler, all kinds of problems.
    I really thought this was the best Carl Froch I've seen and this was his most impressive performance to date. He looked bang on his game and showed that his chin wasn't too shabby either, he walked through a couple of tasty shots and broke Bute's heart. Can't wait to see who Froch fights next!

  • Comment number 63.

    Can I invite anyone, Ben included, to actually put forward an argument for Froch being better or equal to Calzaghe in terms of records and acheivements? Other than, of course, Froch is willing to travel and Froch takes on tougher fights. Because this isnt actually acheiveing more.

    Il start with Calzaghe:

    Noteable wins:
    Eubank, Reid, Mitchell, Brewer, Lacy, Kessler, Sika, Hopkins

    Acheivements:
    Undisputed and unified Super Middleweight champion
    Ranked number 1 Super Middleweight in the world for 5 years
    Undefeated as a professional
    Recognised world number 1 at both light heavyweight and super middleweight
    Won first world title aged 25 beating Chris Eubank
    Made 21 successful defences
    Unified WBO and IBF titles against Jeff Lacy
    Unified WBO, WBA and WBC titles against Mikkel Kessler
    Rated 3rd best fighter pound for pound in the world at his peak

    Thats a rough cv for Calzaghe. Can someone put forward why Frochs would rival that?

    I would also appreciate it if it was done in a positive and proactive manner - i.e not rubbishing Calzaghes acheivements in an effort to promote Frochs simply because it saves me the time and effort of having to do exactly the same thing to Frochs - a fighter I admire and respect.

  • Comment number 64.

    #63 - I dont think anyone has said Frochs resume is better or equal to Calzaghes, the idea is Calzaghe isnt a million miles ahead of Froch like some people are suggesting.

    "Other than, of course, Froch is willing to travel and Froch takes on tougher fights. Because this isnt actually acheiveing more." - its certainly doesnt get you a title or more wins, it does however win you plenty of respect which is definitely worth something.

    You have to look at how these 'achievements' are earned, for example, Sven Ottke, undefeated, unified world champion, plenty of defenses.... where do you rank him?
    On paper he has more 'achievements' than Froch, who would you say will have the better legacy when remembered 20 years down the line?

    Anyways, this should be about celebrating an outstanding victory for a british boxer who still has a future in the sport. It shouldnt be about trying to knock him down because his resume doesnt quite match up to one of the most successful boxers we have produced.

  • Comment number 65.

    As for Calzaghe's "defining" win over Kessler, it is repeatedly omitted that Kassler had a seriously injured right hand coming into the fight. He had to have surgery performed on it after the fight. Because of the stakes he could not pull out. So I don't think Calzaghe's win was so great, considering that from round 4 - where you could visibly see that Kessler was pulling his right hand in the punches - he was fighting an essentially one-armed man. Too much is being made of that win in English media.

  • Comment number 66.

    65

    I fail to see how I am knocking Froch down. The article written by Ben makes no disguise of bringing Calzaghe into the debate and is written in such a manner as to invite comparisons to be drawn. The angle its written from is also one designed to favour Froch and imply his acheivements are close, when I dont think they are and have invited others to put forward an argument to the contrary. Which nobody has done thus far.

    One needs only read through the comments section to see the hamfisted approach adopted by some in relation to Calzaghes career which I feel obliged to contest. You say all people saying is that Frochs acheivements are not "a million miles away". A loose appraisal but again when offered to put forward an argument why I see very little actual substance as to why or why not.

    Ben, whether he denies it or not, has opted to bring Calzaghe into the argument, invite comparisons and conculsions as to who was better. Putting forward an argument for Froch in his article that is more based around finding flaws with Calzaghe than actually professing why Froch acheivements are better - he ignores most of Calzaghes preferring to highlight the negatives.

    When challenged on this Bens first port of call is to label one a touchy Calzaghe fan, despite it being he himself who has invited the comparison. Other than Bens sentance where he says he beleives Calzaghe would beat Froch (diluted by reference he thought Bute would too) its more or less a negative slant on Calzaghes career so I can fully understand why a Calzaghe fan would feel obliged to challenge this and ask Ben, or anyone supporting his position, to provide something a little firmer. All done in the name debate, of course.

  • Comment number 67.

    #63. JoeDavis, I'll pass, not because it isn't an interesting debate if you are that way inclined, but because there will never be a definitive answer and you could argue it will the cows come home: so would prefer to enjoy the fact they were both (or are in case of Froch) great fighters and we are lucky to have the two of them come along in such a short space of time. I love them both, in a sporting eyeballs context that is!

    Ben thanks for feedback re stats and football etc. Had not realised quite how dominant football is, too much in my view! If you are successful in locating more figures re website re spread for sports generally, would be v interested to see those.

  • Comment number 68.

    Apologies my previous post was addressed to 64

  • Comment number 69.

    I was very surprised!

    Not with the result but with so many people writing Froch off! He was beaten by Ward who many think will be one of the best pound for pound fighters in years to come but there was no shame in the way he fought.

    I had not really heard of Bute before this fight considering he was 30-0, where has he been hiding?

    Froch put on a great fight but lets be honest Bute was quite frankly awful. I cannot beleive the boxing "experts" had Froch as such a clear underdog.

    I hope he has Kessler next and exacts his revenge.

  • Comment number 70.

    67, no there is a definative answer. Calzaghe has acheived more by any realistic tangible measurement. Hes had more title defences, been rated higher in more divisions, unified the titles, become undisputed at the weight, remained undefeated and been ranked higher overall as a fighter. Froch simply cant match what calzaghe has acheived as things stand at the moment.

  • Comment number 71.

    JoeDavisRoach: "no there is a definative answer"....no, there isn't.

    It has already been pointed out that it's about a lot more than a pure record (see the badger's Ottke point above), and it's this kind of obtuse and arrogant Calzaghe worship that annoys people.

    I don't think that Carl Froch is 'better' than Joe Calzaghe, but it baffles me to think that there are people like you out there who STILL feel that Carl Froch's name isn't even worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence as St Joe. There IS a debate to be had, no matter how many times you flatly refuse to believe it.

  • Comment number 72.

    70 - Yes there is a definative answer, Calzaghe achieved more. Im not disputing that. Im disagreeing with you saying he was streets ahead.

    The main point here is how they have handled their careers:

    If Froch had stayed at home he could have racked up plenty of defenses and stayed undefeated and as seen with Bute this can sometimes bring higher rankings. If Calzaghe had gone out and tested himself, maybe he wouldnt have unified the titles, maybe someone would have beaten him. Maybe he would have done all the above and more.

    Ive already mentioned Sven Ottke as a good example of why just listing stats doesnt tell the whole story and the same applies here, listing all Calzaghes achievements doesnt prove he was a FAR superior fighter to Froch

  • Comment number 73.

    Also whilst there is a definative answer at the moment, lets remember Froch is still fighting. Theres losses to avenge and possibly a step upto light-heavy. Theres every chance that when he finally retires he may have 'achieved' more than Calzaghe

  • Comment number 74.

    @70

    But that is still not definative, as Calzaghe's tangible acheivements were due to fighting lower ranked opponents. He didn't fight all of the best fighters avaliable around him for one reason or another.

    I don't think anyone doubts that Calzaghe was a great fighter, it is just a shame that his career doesn't seem to be as sparkling as it could be. Maybe that was down to lesser talented rival in his division, Froch certainly benifits from having so many rated fighters around him.

  • Comment number 75.

    # 74

    but not only has Carl got so many rated figthers around him, he has fought them all and only lost to two of them, beating 3 previously unbeaten opponents in pascal, dirrel and bute.

    Its easy for JDR to say "don't pull calzaghe's record to bits I can do the same with Froch" but thats the entire point of a comparison. positives and negatives on each.

    At the moment Calzaghe has the better career and the better status, in 3 years if Carl can avenge his defeat to kessler then move up and win a couple of "big name" headlining fights then we might be back on here saying "how can you compare calzaghe in the same breath as froch"

  • Comment number 76.

    JoeDavisRoach has made a couple of excellent posts. Well done Sir.

    Ben clearly dislikes Calzaghe but somehow thinks "trash talking" him in third person is an astute facade.

    "How exactly you can claim that he fought the best fighters in and around his division when they were at their peak is baffling"

    Did I really say he fought everyone he could at their professional peaks? No.

    I explained that the top Americans in and around Super-Middleweight avoided Calzaghe.

    Essentially what you've done is say something that is obviously your opinion and add "which is not the same as me saying it's his fault." at the end to detract any apparent inkling of bias.

    Ben: "As for the "modern folly" of unblemished records, you are aware Muhammad Ali retired 30 years ago? If you don't think there is an obsession with protecting fighters' unbeaten records, then you haven't been watching the sport much of late."

    Yes I am aware, thanks for pointing that one out. I'm also aware you ignored the point I made about Pacquiao has been ranked #1 P4P in the World ahead of 'undefeated' Mayweather.
    Could you also cite examples of this "obsession" with boxers finishing their careers undefeated?

    Again a big shout out to JoeDavisRoach who produced a great argument and here. Ben couldn't even give a retort to his post comparing the two boxers careers through statistics... because the facts discredit his entire point.

  • Comment number 77.

    As a big fan of Calzaghe & Froch I am often accused of having rose-tinted specs on when looking at their achievements. From a different perspective though, look at how they are viewed abroad. I know fans from the US & Germany, they are united in their view that Calzaghe had the talent but was protected until his last few fights (post Lacy). He's still unfairly referred to as 'Stay at home Joe' on various US boxing sites. If he hadn't beaten Bhop, foreign fans wouldn't rate him very highly but UK fans would (German fans to this day reckon Ottke was the best at 168 & that Joe avoided him).

    Frank Warren admitted that he hand-picked Eubank (at short notice) as he knew that he was past it & would be a good name on Joe's CV. I personally rate the close win over a prime Robin Reid higher as it was a true 'away' 50/50 fight for Joe to take. Arguably one of 2 in his career. That Joe fought 6-7 decent opponents in such a long, undefeated career is why he attracts such ire abroad.

    Froch on the other hand is described largely as 'game', 'hungry' but very rough around the edges abroad. His popularity is very much like Gatti, Hatton or Glen Johnson - he would rather take the hard way, he may not be the best but what he lacks in quality he makes up for in heart & determination.

    Both of these views could be seen as positive or negative but they're summaries of how foreigners I know view JC & CF and their respective careers.

  • Comment number 78.

    Another comment I'd like to make... Why do you think "The Super Six" competition even came into existence?

    Why don't they have one in the Heavyweight or Super Bantamweight division?

    BECAUSE only when the cat's away...

  • Comment number 79.

    Good question from Roy #78. I suspect that SMW was chosen for the Super Six because it was a division they could justifiably draw 6 fairly evenly rated fighters from US & Europe, to sell to a mass market. Despite it's dwindling popularity in the UK & US, boxing is more popular than ever in mainland Europe, particularly Germany.

  • Comment number 80.

    76 -

    "I explained that the top Americans in and around Super-Middleweight avoided Calzaghe" - Not possible he avoided them? Or made the fights unnegotiable by not wanting to fight in America? I know he was champion and was making money at home but sometimes you have to take the risk.

    And Ben is right, if you dont think there is an obsession with fighters protecting their 0 you can have been watching the past few years. Few fighters keep the 0 till the end but most whilst they have it do their best to keep it.

    Khans a good example, handpicked opponents all at home and against Prescott it all went wrong. However he then picked himself up and went over to America to prove himself. Now look where he is.

    You mention Mayweather, your aware he is often accused of picking and choosing his fights to protect the 0? And of avoiding people earlier in his career?

  • Comment number 81.

    80 -

    "Ben is right, if you dont think there is an obsession with fighters protecting their 0 you can have been watching the past few years. Few fighters keep the 0 till the end but most whilst they have it do their best to keep it."

    So you and Ben are suggesting in some twisted manner that fighters shouldn't aim to win all their fights?

    Hasn't winning and avoiding defeat been the entire ethos of competitive sport?

    "You mention Mayweather, your aware he is often accused of picking and choosing his fights to protect the 0? And of avoiding people earlier in his career?"

    Of course and Pacquiao/Mayweather is one of the great tragedies of modern boxing, but to say the whole world of boxing is "obsessed" like Ben did is ludicrous. Some of the best fights in boxing in the last 20 years have been rematches, boxers avenging their defeats.

    I don't really see where you are going with the Khan example to be honest, considering we're talking about '0's'

  • Comment number 82.

    78 - Because there was no clear #1 fighter and there were plenty of other fighters around to put together the super six. Whats your point here exactly?

    Calzaghe was the #1 in the division whilst he was there, i dont think anyone has said otherwise. If he had gone about things the way Froch has done people might be saying #1 super middle weight of all time. As said in #77, Calzaghe isnt as highly regarded away from the uk for this exact reason

  • Comment number 83.

    81 - You asked for examples of boxers protecting their unbeaten record, until he was beaten Khan was a prime example.

    Of course fighters will aim to win every fight, to suggest otherwise is ridiculous. But fighting all the top fighters away from home and losing a few is more impressive than staying mostly at home and losing none whilst taking on mostly average competition

  • Comment number 84.

    82 - You've completely misunderstood my point.

    "78 - Because there was no clear #1 fighter and there were plenty of other fighters around to put together the super six. Whats your point here exactly?"

    My point is that the only reason a "Super Six" could be formed was because there was nobody dominant in the division like there was when Calzaghe was around. Likewise for other division with similar Champions.

    "If he had gone about things the way Froch has done people might be saying #1 super middle weight of all time."

    How could he? Calzaghe was ranked #1 for 5 years in America, he was the top boxer. When someone is the undisputed Champ you can't have a competition like the one Froch fought in! PLEASE TELL YOU ME UNDERSTAND THAT.

  • Comment number 85.

    Loving the replies Ben - even to my 'criticism' !!

    Keep up the good work dude

  • Comment number 86.

    #84 - Of course you can... if there is one undisputed champ and 5 top contenders, of course you can! Calzaghe at his peak could have entered a super 6 with kessler, froch, pavilik, taylor, B-Hop, etc etc etc.... just because you have an 0 doesn't mean you have fought everyone worth fighting!!!!

  • Comment number 87.

    84 - You have got the wrong end of the stick here. When i talk about the way Froch has gone about his career i dont mean entering a competition, i mean fighting the best in the division one after another, often away from home.

    Yes Calzaghe was #1, yes there was no need for a competition. Does that stop him going to America and fighting the best to test himself? This is the part where he comes up short when compared to Froch

  • Comment number 88.

    # 84

    nobody dominant in the division?

    well pascal dirrel and bute were all unbeaten (which you seem to regard so highly)

    abraham is/was a monster

    ward was a bit unknown but also unbeaten

    JC did not go away until he fought two past it americans to finally get some recognition over there and get a well earned pay day


    now i am not slagging JC off - I think he could have done exactly what Froch did and maybe even have beaten ward - but he did not, so you cannot compare the two

    as badger says, I think most people would hold higher regard for a fighter who only lost 2 (1 to undoubted best in division, 1 who he will hopefully avenge) but fought every big name out there and most away from home, than someone with a 0 record who stayed at home most of the time and fought average competition most of the time

    you still have to beat who is in front of you - and JC was a consumate professional, die hard trainer (where you can bring the Khan comparison in, he should have beat prescott but didn't - lack of preparation, too kean for a KO - who knows) and he never underestimated his opponents

    his performance against lacy is one of the all time best by a british fighter in recent years, but you are trying to suggest that Calzaghe is streets ahead of Froch and this is simply not the case

  • Comment number 89.

    # 81

    utter confusion reigns again for you here

    what people are trying to tell you is that having an unbeaten record does not suddenly mean you are #1 regardless

    Calzaghe is one of very few fine fighters to have a 0 record and he should cherish it - it does not however mean that he is the best ever no questions asked

    "Hasn't winning and avoiding defeat been the entire ethos of competitive sport?"

    yes winning is everything but who against also has to be taken into question - boxing is the only sport I can think of where you can choose your opponent most of the time - barcelona may well have played Crawley Town every week if they could to preserve a 0 record but they would not have been regarded the best in the world as they are now - EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE LOST

  • Comment number 90.

    Sadly, yet unsurprisingly, nobody has managed to put forward a valid argument as to why Froch deserves to be ranked up with Calzaghe in terms of acheivements. Its the usual method of just trying to discredit Calzaghes record as opposed to pointing out whereFrochs is superior. And this is simply because no tangible measurements support the assertion that Froch has achieved more.

    Only someone who knows nothing about boxing would try and compare Calzaghes record to Sven Ottke. They were both unbeaten, thats about where the comparison ends.

    The harsh reality is that Froch, for all his spirit, has lost to the best fighters he has faced in Kessler and Ward and has never established himself as the best in his division. Calzaghe beat the best he faced - Kessler and Hopkins and was the number 1 rated guy in two weight divisions. You dont even need to highlight the unbeaten record to see that Calzaghes acheivements rank well above.

  • Comment number 91.

    It is a great moment for British (and World) Boxing, I think sniping about who has the greatest claim to fame (as is evident on the thread) sort of misses the point.

    I think what was underestimated was less Froch's ability, than the psychology and mental disposition he brought to the fight. They are very underrated assets that are difficult to quantify. This, I think, is something that differentiates Froch from most of his peers. What he lacks in speed and defence is to a large degree made up for in physical and crucially, his peerless mental strength. It should be thus praised as a legitimate part of a fighters armoury: If it wins you a fight, it is unquestionably an asset.

    Controversial as it may sound, I think that if Froch brought the same level of preparation to a rematch with Ward, he would again be outboxed but would very probably catch Ward and force a stoppage. I honestly believe he has the sheer mental determination to pull off something like that - unlikely as it may seem.

    As for unbeaten records, I agree with Ben, they are not the ultimate measure of a fighter. They tell you a great deal, but certainly not the whole story.

    One thing that I think we tend to overlook in these heated exchanges, is the sheer fertility of the super middle weight division at the moment. There is a great depth of talent, with a wealth of differing and contrasting styles. Surely as fans, we should remember that as much as our passion is driven by our loyalty and partisanship, it is also driven by the love of the sport.

  • Comment number 92.

    90 - ottke was undefeated, unified world champ and had plenty of defenses. So there is more to the comparison than u think if ur only willing to look at a list of 'achievements'

  • Comment number 93.

    #90

    You are on a wind up but its passing the time. To say Hopkins was the best, or one of, that calzaghe fought shows ur lack of boxing knowledge.

  • Comment number 94.

    JoeDavisRoach - the best way to compare two fighters is to compare their results against common opponents. Kessler probably beat Calzaghe, was injured at the time and was on the way up rather than at his peak. Froch was unlucky not to beat him when he fought him uninjured at his best. Only my opinion though.

  • Comment number 95.

    fair play to carl, great display on the weekend and no doubts he one of the best current SM. However, bute was like a startled rabbit caught in the headlights of a car. he and his team should lick their wounds and scurry off back to canada, forgetting any rematch clause in the process. Saturday highlighted quite clearly that bute had been fed a diet of cannon fodder. I believe dirrel tweeted that he was a bum after his stunning capitulation.

    comparisons with calzaghe however are frankly laughable. just who did joe supposedly 'duck' at SM during his reign? the only fight that didnt happen was ottke, who like bute, had a questionable record. Joe's resume reads eubank, woodhall, reid, brewer, mitchell, lacy, kessler and hopkins. History will judge just how good carl's opponents rank but to date he's already lost to kessler (who joe beat several years ago) and ward. while I admire carl for wanting to fight all comers, he should forget a rematch with ward - he'd lose 8 days a week. for what its worth joe chose to move up to LH to fight (and beat) hopkins in the US.

    In all honesty I see joe boxing carl's head off

  • Comment number 96.

    Yorkshire blogster

    Clearly you dont follow the sport because if you did you would realise that the Hopkins that Calzaghe fought was regarded as the best light heavyweight in the world and a top fighter in the world.

    You are obviously an armchair fan who thinks "Hopkins was old and past it" and probably failed to note his win over Tarver prior to the Calzaghe bout and his subsequent wins over Pavlik and Pascal with re-established his position as the best light heavyweight upon Calzaghes retirement. Or that he was, until just a couple of months ago the number 1 light heavyweight in the world and the oldest ever world champion.

    But I suppose you knew all that didnt you?

  • Comment number 97.

    Mike P

    "Kessler probably beat Calzaghe" and "Was on the way up"

    In what alternate universe was this? I think you well find Calzaghe beat Kessler with something to spare while it was actually Froch who lost to Kessler. Kessler was a unified champion, 28 years old, unbeaten and with almost 40 fights when Calzaghe beat him. Froch lost to a version of him that had been beaten twice already.

    The fact anyone would use the Kessler fights to try and affirm Frochs position against Calzaghe is frankly bemusing. I could not think of a worse example to choose than picking the man Calzaghe beat to unify the titles and was unbeaten at the time and then went on to beat Froch.

  • Comment number 98.

    TTT you're being generous to Joe there. If you want to see who he didn't fight but could have, simply look at Clinton Woods' or Bhop's CV. Sure, Clinton lost to the star turns but he made the fights & made a decent fist of it - the fights were there & Joe could've been a nailed on Hall Of Famer if he chased them. Eubank was shot to pieces, Reid on the other hand was an underrated win. Ironically Froch's win against Reid is probably on par in terms of how shot he was as Joe's win gainst Eubank or RJJ. Other than Kessler & Bhop the others were good but not great, certainly no better than Abraham, Taylor or Pascal for example. For me the only opponents of Joe's that Froch wouldn't also beat (& often stop rather than take 12 rounds) are Kessler & Bhop. I reckon Carl will rematch & beat Kessler, agree that Ward's beyond him & think that were they to fight he doesn't have the speed to trouble Bernard (thrown in for the JC comparison).

    Having said that, Joe had more talent but his hands were a mess & he didn't have much power in them. I'd take him to beat Carl by a few rounds but still be on the wrong end of a few good digs - like the Kessler fight. It's even conceivable that Carl could get a knockdown like Bhop & RJJ did against Joe, making the points tally closer but it's highly unlikely that Joe would knock Carl down.

    In terms of legacies I'd imagine both will be debatable, as is often the case (people also argue against RJJ's legacy).

  • Comment number 99.

    JoeDavis re your reply to me at #70 it kind of begs the question why make the #63 post in the first place, inviting arguments in favour of Froch, as clearly you had already made up your mind regardless and did not intend to be the least bit open-minded about it, the latter surely being the point of having a (constructive) argument in the first place ... #justsayin

    No news re BBC TV picking up highlights package, I've made my ground-breaking suggestion to Sky and Matchroom ie why not make the Beeb an offer they can't refuse to show a delayed highlights package of Froch v Bute so fight fans who don't have Sky can see it, would be a win win win surely for #boxing #fans #froch #matchroom #sky etc.

  • Comment number 100.

    ONe final comment, yes Froch can take a punch, but to suggest JC couldnt have dropped him 'Freddie Roach Ate My Hamster' is ridiculous, didnt he drop Eubank?, decent chin no?, and didnt Jermain Taylor drop Froch heavily?, and dont forget Taylor was a middle weight. Let's no be ridiculous here guys. A few months ago Froch was totally outclassed in everyway by Ward, he was beaten soundly by Kessler. Yes he has travelled to fight, but then tends to lose, thats not a particularly great achievement. Bute was exposed in a big way on saturday night.

 

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