By T.K. Stewart
Undefeated WBC super middleweight titlist Carl “The Cobra” Froch and Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor along with their respective promoters and others associated with the bout, spoke on Tuesday afternoon during an international conference call about their upcoming title fight on April 25th at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods.
The fight will be televised by Showtime and what became clear right away is that Froch, with a record of 24-0 (19KO), is a supremely confident fighter who has such a manner about him that there doesn’t seem to be one iota of self doubt in his mind that he will prove victorious over former middleweight champion Taylor, 28-2-1 (17KO).
Froch spoke clearly and confidently during the call and said it was of no consequence to him whatsoever as to where the fight took place after there was some back and forth between the two camps over the venue and whether the fight should have taken place in Froch’s native England - or whether the United States was the better selection.
Ultimately, Taylor’s promoter Lou DiBella said the fight made more financial sense to be in the United States as more money was available through American television than what would have been the case had the fight been in England. Froch said he took DiBella “at your word” that he was telling the truth regarding the fact that more money was available with the fight being in the States.
But Froch wanted it known that it didn’t matter to him where the fight happens. He went into detail about the many places he has fought during his amateur and professional careers including an April 2005 appearance at The Avalon in Hollywood, California in which he scored an eighth round stoppage over Henry Porras.
Froch said that, “I am the larger man and the stronger man,” in regards to how he matched up with Taylor. Froch took a shot at Taylor when he said Jermain “got tired” and “took a lot of punches against Kelly Pavlik” to whom Taylor has lost twice against and was knocked out when he fought him the first time.
Froch also pointed out - and accurately so - that Taylor hadn’t “knocked out an opponent in four years” so he found it somewhat surprising that Taylor was predicting a knockout against him.
When I asked Froch how he would describe his own fighting style he said that he could basically implement any style he needed to at any given time. But he characterized himself as “rangy” and “powerful” and said that he got hit more than he should have in his win against Jean Pascal to win the title but that was simply because he was so excited to fight for the WBC belt.
Froch said he won’t settle on any one style ahead of the fight but will instead be like “Bruce Lee” and “lay 100 hurts” on Taylor. Froch claimed he’s going to wait and see what the former middleweight champ can bring to the table when the two meet in the ring face-to-face and then go from there.
For his part, Taylor was not much for words and he sounded in a somewhat surly mood. Asked to introduce himself to the international group of reporters and say a few words, Taylor said he was “ready to fight” and “that’s about all I have to say.”
However, Taylor did open up later on and he said that he has been watching tapes of Froch and he called him “slow” and felt as though he won’t have much of a time finding his chin. Taylor said he “didn’t even know who Carl Froch was” up until recently and that when people asked him who he was fighting next he was “embarrassed” to say it was Carl Froch. Taylor said that Froch’s opposition “was not strong” and that he barely recognized any of the names on his record.
Once Taylor got a little warmed up, he seemed to lose patience with Froch dominating the call and then claimed the only reason Froch is even part of his plans is because Froch holds the WBC title belt. The Little Rock, Arkansas native said that any other fight - unless it is for one of the title belts - “is just another fight” and as far as he was concerned “didn’t mean nothing.”
Both men promised to bring their best and both claimed they were going to beat the other.
The odds on the fight just went up last night on several on-line sportsbooks and at this point Taylor is the ever so slight favorite to win. That fact came as somewhat of a surprise to Froch who claimed that his undefeated record should mean something and that he was not coming all the way from Nottingham to lose and that he would be taking his championship belt “back to England.”
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