Froch Stops Taylor in Dramatic Fashion!
Remains Undefeated With Improbable Come From Behind Victory!
By: Billy "Loops" Luppert and
Alex Dombroff at ringside
Photography by Emily Harney
Coming into Saturday night's fight against former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, there were three things that Carl Froch had never accomplished in his career. He never headlined a card in America , never defended a world title, and had never tasted the canvas both as an amateur or professional. Now he can add all three of these to his resume.
Froch got up from a third round knockdown to score the biggest win of his career with a late twelfth round technical knockout over Taylor in dramatic fashion. He needed a knockout going into the final round and got exactly that as Froch knocked Taylor down late.
Froch then pinned him against the ropes to finish him off as referee Michael Ortega waived off the bout with just 14 seconds left. With the win, Froch defended his WBC 168 lb. title for the first time after he won the vacant belt back in December with a points win over Jean Pascal.
For Taylor , the fight may have felt for him like he experienced déjà vu, as there are several similarities from his first fight with Kelly Pavlik. Here he was again, facing a younger, undefeated opponent who boasted a high knockout percentage, but was also relatively untested.
Taylor was supposed to be the better fighter, the favorite, the one who has been there and done that. Both times he knocked the younger opponent down early. Both times he was the better fighter for the majority of the fight. Both times he was ahead on the scorecards. Both times however, he simply couldn't finish the job, and because of that, he's now been knocked out twice.
It was an electric atmosphere inside of the MGM Grand Theater inside of the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket , CT with the mostly pro-Taylor crowd as they screamed their chants of " USA ! USA !"
Early on it was Taylor who got the better of Froch as he preferred to fight with his hands by his side and hide behind his left shoulder. This style, while it allowed punches to come in from awkward angles, it also allowed the faster Taylor to counter his right hand over the top of Froch's jab.
Froch in his own right, was able to let his hands go, but had a hard time finding success in landing anything solid, as Taylor was able to block most of the punches.
Taylor settled into counter punch mode for the first three rounds, and landed a big counter right hand, that while landing flush, had Froch smiling at Taylor . That smile would be short lived however as Froch walked right into a right hand and found himself on the canvas for the first time in his life, but was never in any serious trouble.
For the rest of the first half of the fight, Taylor was seemingly in control with his defense and counter punching. Froch however, stood in there and did find success on occasion with his punches.
In round eight, Taylor drilled Froch with an uppercut that snapped Froch's head straight back, and while at that point, it was maybe the hardest punch landed in the fight. Froch showed the heart, will, and determination of a champion while he was able to keep his legs under him as he benefited from the bell sounding just a few second later to end the round.
Going into the tenth round, Taylor seemed to slow down his pace just a little bit. His counter punches didn't seem as sharp and his defense was slipping just a bit. Froch was able to take advantage of that as he began to pressure Taylor and landed some hard shots of his own.
The eleventh round was a good round for both fighters, as Taylor was able to land a big left hand and a big uppercut combination. Froch however was able to come right back and land a big right hand of his own. The two combatants continued to trade punches as the enthusiastic crowd, that had been loud all night, grew even louder.
When the final round began, it was assumed that Froch was behind on the scorecards and would need a knockout to keep his green belt. He was in fact behind by four points on two of the scorecards, and ahead by four on the other.
Froch came out and kept the pressure on Taylor . After two brutal right hands, Taylor was down on his back and he looked up at referee Michael Ortega as he began to administer a count.
Taylor got up and beat the count, but soon after, Froch had Taylor pinned up against the ropes, as he unloaded a bunch of unanswered punches. This caused Ortega to waive off the fight with just 14 seconds to go, capping off the improbable victory for Froch.
Had Taylor taken a knee and the eight count that would follow, he would have gone on and claimed a split decision win. However, Taylor later said that his corner told him he needed to win the last two rounds of the fight in order to win the fight, and wanted to avoid a 10-7 round.
In what was a spectacular fight, and surely one that will be considered a candidate for fight of the year honors, fans in the United States were able to enjoy watching the fight live on Showtime.
In Froch's home country of England however, the fight was not picked up by any live TV and was instead being shown the next day on tape delay, thus, depriving the large following of fans that Froch has of seeing one of the most dramatic endings to a fight since Diego Corrales knocked out Jose Luis Castillo, as it unfolded. Perhaps after this fight, British television stations will reconsider in the future.
After the fight, Froch gave his respect to Taylor , and said, "I thought Jermain was a little tired, that's why I put the pressure on. Jermain is an unbelievable fighter, he's a warrior." When asked about the stoppage he said, “I thought the ref did the right thing. You're supposed to protect yourself at all times, somebody could've gotten hurt."
Taylor himself praised Froch for his effort and acknowledged he just couldn't seal the deal. "Carl is a great fighter and I give him all the respect. I just couldn't close the fight. I wanted to take my time and get him into the later rounds, but I just couldn't get it done."
Froch, of Nottingham England , improves to (25-0, 20 KOs) while Taylor of Little Rock, AK, now just (3-3-1) in his last seven fights, drops to (28-3-1, 17 KOs ). The sold out seven bout fight card was promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Hennessy Sports. – Billy “Loops” Luppert
Green TKOs DeLeon, Jr.!
Allan Green got the televised portion of the show off with a bang.
Actually, four bangs.
Green (28-1, 20 KOs) knocked down Carlos DeLeon, Jr. four times in the second round before referee Joe Lupino had finally seen enough.
The first round was fought on even terms, and DeLeon Jr. (21-3-2, 14 KOs ) actually had his best moments in the closing moments of the round. But in the early going of round two, Green landed a left hook that dropped DeLeon Jr. hard.
DeLeon Jr. rose, but Green wasted no time taking advantage of DeLeon’s shaky legs, dropping him seconds later with an overhand right. The scene repeated itself twice more, with overhand rights sending DeLeon Jr. to the deck before it was waved off.
“He kept throwing long lefts to the body,” said Green. “I knew I would catch him with the left hook. I knew it wouldn’t go past four.”
The win revives the career of Green, which sputtered in 2007 after a lopsided defeat at the hands of Edison Miranda.
With the big win, a nationally televised one at that under his belt along with a sense of rejuvenation, Green was not afraid to call out the big names.
“I want to the winner of the Jermain Taylor-Carl Froch fight,” said Green, who then played the role of Nostradamus in his prognostication. “I think Carl has the upper hand, and has a bit more momentum.” – Alex Dombroff
Malignaggi Decisions Fernandez!
Former title-holder Paulie "Magic Man" Malignaggi, fought for the first time since being stopped by Ricky Hatton five months ago as he scored a lopsided unanimous decision over Chris Fernandez.
For the most part the fight went as expected as Malignaggi (26-2, 5 KOs ) used the quick tactical skills that briefly made him a world champion at junior welterweight.
However, there was a tenuous moment towards the end of round six, when Fernandez(16-7-1, 9 KOs), who spent much
of the fight punching air, finally connected and rocked Malignaggi against the ropes.
Malignaggi regrouped in between rounds and cruised to a 79-73 decision on all three official scorecards. – Alex Dombroff
Guinn Knocks Out White!
Veteran heavyweight Dominick Guinn scored a mild upset as he knocked out Johnnie White, handing him his first professional defeat, in the first round of a scheduled ten round bout.
Guinn (31-6, 21 KOs ) floored White early in the fight and although hurt was able to beat referee Eddie Claudio's count. He then jumped all over White and again dropped him with a flush left hand to the jaw.
White (21-1, 18 KOs ) was again able to beat the count, but as soon as the fight was allowed to continue, Guinn nailed him with a barrage of punches, all of which landed cleanly. This prompted referee Claudio to stop the fight at 2:01 of the opening round. – Billy “Loops” Luppert
Ali Decisions Abraham!
Unbeaten 2008 Olympian Sadam Ali scored an easy four round unanimous over Bryan Abraham. All three judges scored the bout 40-35.
Ali controlled the bout from the onset as he utilized his jab by using his superior speed to keep the game Abraham off balance. He was able to drop Abraham in the third round with a hard left hand, but Abraham was able to get up and beat the count.
Abraham to his credit was able to land some solid punches, but Ali shook them off, even flashing a couple smiles in Abraham's direction.
Ali, of Brooklyn , NY improves to (3-0, 2KOs), while Abraham of Schenectady , NY drops to (1-1-1, 1 KO). – Billy “Loops” Luppert
O'Connor Defeats Hartman on Points!
Southpaw prospect Danny O'Connor had an easy day at the office as he dropped Travis Hartman twice en route to a clear cut four round decision.
O'Connor (6-0, 2 KOs ) dropped Hartman in the opening moments of the fight with a straight left hand. Hartman (9-12-1, 7 KOs ) spent the majority of the next three rounds backpedaling as O'Connor stalked.
In round four, O'Connor dropped Hartman again, this time with a series of body punches. When Hartman rose, he was quickly met by O'Connor who muscled his opponent onto the ropes. Referee Joe Lupino appeared moments from stopping the bout when the final bell did that for him. All three judges scored the fight 40-34 in O'Connor's favor. – Alex Dombroff
Nelson Decisions Caminero!
In the opener Jonathan Nelson, nephew of Jermain Taylor trainer Ozell Nelson, scored a unanimous decision over Eddie Caminero. Nelson (9-0, 4 KOs) out worked Caminero (5-1, 5 KOs ), stunning the previously undefeated fighter several times with overhand rights. Scores were 59-55 and 58-56 twice for Nelson. – Alex Dombroff