Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Froch, Abraham meet in 'Super Six'

By JE Grant

Super middleweights Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham continue their struggle to remain in the ‘Super Six’ tournament and capture a belt along the way Saturday in Helsinki.

The Englishman Froch, 26-1 (20 KOs), a quirky, odd-punching former belt-holder, looks to redeem himself after falling (way) short against skilled Mikkel Kessler in a decision loss in April. With the loss, Froch also dropped a belt --- which will likely prove as less valuable than winning the tournament.

Strangely, the sanctioning body in charge of that belt, stripped Kessler after he announced that medical issues would preclude him from fighting for an extended period. Of course the sanctioning body being what it is (a greedy, cancerous infection on the sport…Sorry, I digress) wants to continue to make money so they declared that Froch’s bout with Abraham would be for their title (for a big fat fee… but again I digress).

Froch has parlayed his awkward style by ensuring he is always in top condition, is willing to suffer, take chances, and continue to believe despite being noticeably short on physical talent. His pre-tournament win over former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor provides testament to his complete confidence in his ability to win at any moment. In that bout, he was hopelessly behind going into the last round, yet pulled off the upset with a stunning knockout.

In Arthur Abraham, the Armenian-born German, 31-1 (25 KOs), Froch finds an opponent who also has a strong belief that he will win and will suffer to do so if necessary. His 2006 win over 12 rounds against hard-punching Edison Miranda was display of iron will, as Abraham’s jaw was broken early in the bout. The wound was obvious, yet he persevered, winning a unanimous decision.

Like Froch, Abraham is coming off a tournament loss. Going into his bout with Andre Dirrell, he was leading the tournament with his own crushing knockout of Jermain Taylor. The knockout gave him the points lead. Dirrell was behind in the tournament having been outpointed by Froch.

Having learned his lessons from the Froch bout, Dirrell took advantage of his considerable speed and skills to flummox the charging Abraham. Throughout the bout Dirrell pulled Abraham out of position as the latter set to throw his bombs even sending him to the canvas after catching him off balance.

Going into the championship rounds it appeared Dirrell was fading but still able to dictate the terms of the bout while looking vulnerable. In the 11th round Dirrell slipped to the canvas and Abraham inexplicably belted him as he knelt on the canvas. While Abraham seemingly disputed the damage done, it soon became clear that Dirrell was severely disoriented (and may still have related medical issues).

Abraham, for his part, refused to acknowledge defeat and appears undaunted going into the bout with Froch.

PREDICTION: While Froch beat Dirrell while Abraham struggled, almost no conclusions can be drawn from their respective meetings. Neither Froch nor Abraham bears any resemblance in style or speed to Dirrell. Both men have the power of will. Neither fighter is particularly fast or clever, though Froch’s awkwardness is almost a skill in itself. This bout will likely come down to power. Abraham has it in big supply, while Froch is only slightly above average. Look for Froch to attempt to box and give angles while Abraham stalks. When hurt Froch will revert to form and attempt to swarm, all the while exposing himself. This night will end in a knockout with no odd-ball decisions.

Abraham by knockout in 8.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ondrizek said...

I had Dirrell beating Froch too. Sure it was ugly, but Froch didn't do anything but land 1 telling shot the entire fight. This bout can be interesting due to AA's 1st fight with Miranda. Carl reminds me a lot of Edison. A false sense of self-accomplishment and skill that helps mask (to their minds) their very obvious shortcomings in skill and technique. Once Miranda lost that confidence he was a shot fighter. I think Pavlik took it from him. Froch can have success against Arbraham if he stays busy and leanrs to use his feet when Abraham fights in spurts. Let's be realistic though; Froch won't use his feet to his advantage anytime in his career let alone a HUGE fight like this. AA takes his fighting spirit away with a hard fought KO in the 9th rd.

1:10 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Good observations Troy.

1:17 PM  

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