Originally, the news Carl Froch was to feature in a six man round robin over two years on American network Showtime was met with little more than pithy sarcasm at BoxingWriter towers but now, two days later, it seems the proposed Froch, Taylor, Kessler, Abraham, Dirrell and Ward tournament is genuine and will begin with Froch v Dirrell in October – a twin venue double bill with Abraham v Taylor live from Germany.
A staggering development considering the fighters converge from different continents, promotional houses and sanctioning bodies and most have significant earning potential away from such mouth-watering, but potentially destructive competition. The prospect of Froch, Kessler and Abraham rumbling across the next year or two is an enthralling prospect and though the absence of Lucian Bute punctures the notion this event will crown an undisputed Super-Middleweight champion it will be hard for the Canada based Romanian to get his subsequent claim heard above the swell of support the winner of this series will enjoy. It is testimony to the determination and vision of Carl Froch and his promoter Mick Hennessy that the Nottingham man is now mixing in such exalted company on an American network, he’s done it the right way and the hard way.
Showing patience as British and Commonwealth Champion, resisting the short-term allure of other promoters with stable television deals and the temptation – once he’d won the WBC belt – to fight mediocre opponents for easy money. Its a rich reward for his attitude and one he will be unflinchingly confident will project him to a new stratosphere of recognition – if he remains unbeaten through it, his record will easily surpass that of his famous Welsh counterpart.
Froch took a risk, broke the mould laid down by compatriot Joe Calzaghe, and travelled. He fought Jermain Taylor and summoned the most pulsating performance delivered by a British fighter abroad since Hamed slug-fest with Kevin Kelley over a decade earlier. It awoke the American fight fraternity to his guts, power and drive. Froch is entertaining, he may have flaws but he has balls and the stomach for a fight. And Americans, as we’re so often reminded by our British commentators who ‘inform’ us American judges reward aggression, successful or otherwise, just love a brawler.
Though eager to capitalise on his new found popularity and his growing support here in the UK, Froch’s extend rest from the Taylor fight to the mid-October date with Dirrell is probably wise. The Taylor fight, despite victory, was a wearing fight in which he climbed off the floor for the first time in his career and absorbed lots of leather particularly in the opening six rounds when he was summarily outclassed. Presumed refreshed, he should overcome the young Dirrell, if he does, he then moves on to yet another defining evening in his career when he faces Danish hard-man Mikkel Kessler – the man who solidified Calzaghe’s repute and who carries the type of size, ambition and power Froch has yet to face.
It will be sensational viewing. Being by nature a pessimistic and cynical type I’ve set a repeat alarm to remind me to pinch myself every 20 minutes.