Froch battles his way into Super Six final
Carl Froch has set up a blockbuster pay-day against Andre Ward in the Super Six final after winning a majority decision against tough veteran Glen Johnson in Atlantic City.
The Nottingham fighter had to take some big shots from the 42-year-old but produced the busier and more varied work on the night to take it on the scorecards with two judges having him winning clearly 117-111 and 116-112; while one judge from Japan surprisingly scored it a 114-114 draw.
Eurosport Yahoo! scored the fight 117-111 to Froch.
The victory also means that Froch defends his WBC super-middleweight title which he will put on the line against WBA champion Ward later this year.
Froch looked awkward in the first-half of the fight as he struggled to find fluidity while being forced on the back foot by Johnson who was always looking to come forward.
The 'Cobra' was still doing enough to pinch rounds though as he gradually used his slick right hand to complement the leading left jab that so dominated Arthur Abraham in his previous fight.
Round eight was a tough one for Froch though as he had to take a big right hand shot from Johnson and it was not the first, or indeed the last time, in the fight that Froch needed his famous granite chin to keep himself from seriously rocking.
Indeed, Froch often produced his best work immediately after being hit by Johnson as his greater hand speed allowed him to land more punches whenever the two fighters stood toe-to-toe.
In the later stages Froch started to pull away on the scorecards as Johnson, unsurprisingly, began to get heavy-legged, and by the time they came out for the last round the Jamaican must have known he needed a knock-out.
There was never any danger of that though, as Froch stayed out of trouble in the final three minutes, and went back to the jab to ice the fight by taking the final round.
However, the more skilful Ward is sure to prove a much sterner test for Froch in the final.
The American is unbeaten in 24 fights and is known for his speed and elusiveness, which could cause Froch problems.
Ward also has a victory to his name against Mikkel Kessler – the only man who has ever beaten Froch – and interestingly Kessler also fought on Saturday night for the first time since beating Froch 14 months ago.
The Dane was hugely impressive in a six round stoppage against France's Mehdi Bouadla in Copenhagen as he recovered from the eye injury that forced him to withdraw from the Super Six competition after his fights with Ward and Froch.
Also watching at ringside was Romanian-Canadian Lucian Bute who many feel is the best super-middleweight in the world but who did not compete in the Super Six tournament due to television contractual reasons.
However, with so many top quality fighters hanging around the division, the often overlooked Froch could be in-line for a series of mega-fights, especially if he can beat Ward later this year.