By Jake Donovan
Carl Froch entered Saturday’s showdown with Yusaf Mack well aware that it could be the very last time he plays to his hometown crowd in Nottingham, England.
While recently claiming that he can fight for another 4-5 more years, the 35-year old Froch envisions a future that could have him hitting the road for his remaining time in the game.
With that in mind, the three-time super middleweight titlist made the most of his homecoming. Mack never stood a chance – not on paper and even less so in reality – as Froch (29-2, 22KO) scored a pair of knockdowns en route to a 3rd round knockout at Capital FM Arena in Nottingham.
Froch was relentless from the opening bell and never let up – which makes his post-fight comments regarding his final pre-fight moments a bit startling.
“My spirits were a little low earlier,” Froch admitted, perhaps just anxious to get over with the fight. “I got my adrenaline going and pumped my legs. As soon as those doors opened (to walk to the ring), my adrenaline got going and I was ready to go.
“I warmed up earlier and re-warmed up before the fight. I was a bit cautious early on and then found my range. I did what I had to do.”
It was good enough to put Mack on the deck early in the fight when a right hand forced the American to crash hard. He managed to beat the count, but didn’t accomplish beyond lasting two more rounds.
Froch closed the show strong in the third. A volley of punches caused Mack to cover up, until a vicious body shot forced him to drop to his knees in pain.
Referee Phil Edwards issued the full ten count, bringing an end to the fight at 2:30 of round three.
The feat marked Froch’s quickest win in more than five years. It was a result he expected, confident that all of the work in the gym would prove more difficult than the fight itself.
“Yusaf Mack didn’t have much of a chance. When I’m on fire like I was in the last two fights, I think I’m unbeatable. I make sure every time I step through those ropes that I’m in top condition.”
Froch entered the fight on the heels of arguably the toughest stretch of any fighter in recent memory. Dating back to his 1st super middleweight title, Froch’s last eight opponents have held a major belt at some point in their career prior to the granted layup against Mack.
If he has his way, then his next three fights will be a return to that insanely high level of competition.
The next 12 months may or may not begin with a rematch against Lucian Bute, whom Froch thrashed in five rounds in May to hand the long-reigning titlist his first loss. Should Bute elect to make that his first fight of 2013, the show will take place in Canada. The location is guaranteed as per the terms of the two-fight agreement signed prior to the first fight, which took place in Nottingham.
“Contractually we’re obliged to go over there,” stated Eddie Hearn, Froch’s promoter.
Assuming Froch is able to repeat, the rest of his year – and perhaps career – will be spent further updating his passport, attempting to avenge the lone two losses of his career.
“There’s not one super middleweight in the world – Andre Ward included – who can beat him in Nottingham, so we’ll go to them,” Hearn insists. “2013 will be the year of the rematch – Bute, Kessler, and Ward.”
Froch is fine with that game plan. At age 35, the confident Brit isn’t getting older; he’s getting better.
“I know physically I’m at my best. Mentally, I know now how to deal with these opponents.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox