By Lem Satterfield
On Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlanic City, WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch (28-1, 20 KOs) won a tought twelve round majority decision over former light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson (51-15-2, 35 KOs) in the seminfinals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. The scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 114-114. Both fighters spoke with Jim Gray in the aftermath to give their opinions on the fight and the scorecards.
JIM GRAY WITH CARL FROCH
Jim Gray: What's your assessment of the fight, this was a heckuva battle.
Carl Froch: "He's very tough and very durable. He's one of those guys who, when you hit them, if you can imagine sort of sparring an oak tree, that's the only way that I can put it into perspective. You hit him and he doesn't move. He's solid and he keeps coming forward. You don't feel like you want to throw the hard, hurtful shots, you just want to pick you shots and sort of get through the round."
"Then you get into a comfort zone, and you can't get out of the rhythm of just being steady and comfortable, which is what I was in. I stepped to him toward the end to make sure that won. I don't know what the 114-114 score was from the Japanese judge. That was a bad score. 117-112 was more realistic. But all credit to Glen Johnson. What a tough, strong durable man. I hit him with some big shots."
Jim Gray: "Were you ever hurt in this fight because he seemed like he was able to hit you with his right hand pretty regularly?"
Froch: "Hit hit me with a couple, but was it that regular, was it?"
Gray: "They seemed to be, but I wasn't the one receiving them."
Froch: "Well that's not good news. But he hit me with a couple of shots, yeah, with the right hand. No, they didn't bother me. They caught me off balance a little bit, to be fair. But obviously, you feel the shots through those little 10 ounce gloves, he' a big strong man and they hurt. So you feel it, but I'm known for having a good, strong chin. The only man to put me down on the floor was Jermain Taylor, and that was the accumulation of a couple of shots and the balance thing more than anything else. But I have a big strong chin."
Gray: Would you say that that's your best assest?"
Froch: "No, but it's an assett that is very valuable. But it's not my best assett because if it was my best assett then Glen Johnson would have won this evening because he's got the strongest jaw in the business."
JIM GRAY SPEAKING WITH JOHNSON
Glen Johnson: "I felt that I was in it, and when it's close like that, you really don't know. My corner was telling me to pick it up because I was falling behind. So I was believing what they were telling me, so I tried to pick it up. But he kind of took me out of my game plan a little bit because I would get in there and start to rip hard shots, and I was able to allow him to come back with quick counter punches while I was on the inside."
"I started out boxing properly, which is the way that I was supposed to fight the fight. I was supposed to fight the fight from that distance because I was faster than him and hit him at will. But when I was on the inside, trying to land the bigger punches, I kind of put him in the fight. He was able to come back with quick counter punches. I was blocking most of them, but you know when you do stuff like that, the judges are going to give him credit just for effort."
Jim Gray to Johnson: You came in at 166, and you've come down in weight, was that a factor in this fight and your power despite your hitting him with your right hand? Did it affect your ability to knock him out?
Johnson: "I don't believe so. I don't believe so. In my heart, I don't think so. But who knows. But I don't really believe that. I was fine. I felt strong. I just felt like I kind of fell into his fight plan a little bit more than sticking with mine just because I got a little greedy."
Gray: At this age, 42, what will you do, going forward?
Johnson: You tell me. Did you like the way that I represented myself tonight?
Johnson: Do you think that I should move forward?
Gray: I believe so, but I'm not the one who is taking the blows and I'm not the one doing the training.
Johnson: You work for one of the best networks in boxing, and if you want to see me again, that means that your network should want to see me again, and that means that the people should want to see me again. So I'm still in it."
Gray: I believe that the people will want to see you again, Thanks, Glen