By Jake Donovan
A rabid crowd was on hand Friday afternoon in Nottingham for the weigh-in to Saturday’s super middleweight title fight between hometown favorite Carl Froch and Yusaf Mack of the United States.
Both fighters were fighting fit in making weight, though Mack was forced to strip to his birthday suit in order to come in at the 168 lb. limit on a second try. The Philly native came in slightly over the limit before removing his undergarments and remounting the scale while a towel was held up to shield his private parts.
Froch (29-2, 21KO) came in at 167.5 lb for the first defense of his third reign as an alphabet titlist. The brash Brit reentered the title picture in May with a brutal 5th round knockout of previously unbeaten Lucian Bute. The bout also took place in his Nottingham hometown, as per the terms of a two-fight agreement that guarantees Bute a rematch in his adopted Canada homeland.
The one-sided nature of their first fight postponed plans for a rematch, with each fighter instead agreeing to interim bouts. Bute barely held up his end of the bargain, braving a tough challenge from previously unbeaten light heavyweight prospect Denis Grachev to take a 12-round points win earlier this month.
Froch isn’t believed to endure as great of a challenge, as he is a massive favorite and for good reason.
Mack (31-4-2, 17KO) attempts a second crack at a major title. The 32-year old was granted a title shot against Tavoris Cloud last summer, falling way short as he was drilled inside of eight rounds. The loss was typical of his career, as all four of his losses have come inside the distance, each occurring whenever he elected to step up in class.
This weekend’s fight – which airs live on Sky Sports in the UK and via Integrated Sports PPV in the United States (3PM ET/12PM PT) – is rumored to be Froch’s last ever showing in his hometown. The Super Six finalist has aspirations of avenging past losses to Mikkel Kessler and lineal super middleweight king Andre Ward.
Road trips are most likely required in order to make either fight happen, in addition to his planned trek to Canada for a rematch with Bute next year.
Results of today’s weigh-in
Carl Froch – 167.5 vs. Yusaf Mack – 168
Tony Bellew – 174.5 vs. Roberto Bolonti – 173