There is good reason for former undisputed middleweight king Jermaine Taylor to utter the words "Carl who?". While Bad Intentions was mixing with, and beating legends like Bernard Hopkins, Froch was scrapping with domestic nobodys. Taylor has pedigree and commands an imperious resume, whilst the Nottingham banger has a large pile of domestic KO's as his collectables. He always said he was heading for the top and now he is finally mixing in the world class a the age of 31, following his gutsy victory over the previously unbeaten Jean Pascal.
One fundamental question hanging over the Cobra now is: will his thunderous punch carry in the world class as it did against the average collection of Brits and Europeans he left in his wake? If he has dynamite, he has a chance because Jermaine Taylor was left in a crumpled heap by Kelly Pavlik's right hand. Yet in the second fight, Taylor's more measured approach almost nicked him a win over Pavlik, whose right hand was starved of chances to connect with Taylors jaw. Taylor at his best is a classy fighter, with a level of power and speed which make him a fearsome opponent for anyone. That is a genuine concern for Froch, who shipped a frightening amount of heavy shots against Pascal. He took them like a warrior, without a flinch, but Taylor will hurt Froch without question if he lands with the regularity that Pascal did.
However, Froch has a unique style that Taylor may struggle to deal with. With his left arm by his side, invitingly, the Cobra hovers just outside his foe's range, waiting for them to open up before striking venomously from obscure angles. He conserves his energy well, likes to slow the pace down, before unloading a barrage of shots at close range. Froch controls fights with his power and he has thus far, always stifled his opponents with his power. Even Jean Pascal, who stood up to Froch throughout the entire fight, tired in the second half and didn't stay as busy. If Froch can earn Taylor's respect the way Pavlik did, forcing Bad Intentions into a more defensive retreat - this fight can belong to the Cobra. If Froch is careless, which he often is, in taking too much punishment, he may come undone against Taylor, who has too much power and snap in his shots to be taking in abundance.
Froch may be right in saying that he is in his prime, but at 31, he does not have the time to be making comebacks. This is it for the Cobra. A noteable fact is that Taylor has looked jaded since his second victory over B-Hop in 2005. Could it be that Froch is facing him at the right time in his career? Using his fights against Winky Wright and Cory Spinks (where he struggled) in this analysis may be irrelevant because they are crafty, defensive opponents who can make it difficult to look good. But Pavlik's dominance over Taylor is a useful blueprint because it showed that Bad Intentions can be bullied into retreat. Let's remember that Taylor is a natural middleweight and used to fighting smaller fighters than Froch.
Froch has rarely fought outside the comfort of Nottingham, but I think he's made for the world stage and will relish this moment. I see the Cobra stunning Taylor early on and Taylor will be faced with the question: to trade or not to trade? Taylor's pride will dictate him and he will be drawn into the Cobra's battlezone, exchanging bombs before being halted around the 10th by a swarm of stinging blows. Froch will announce himself to the world and be lined up for potential mega-fights with the likes of Pavlik, Mikkel Kessler and Arthur Abraham - all of whom are likely to be fighting in the 167lb division.