Carl Froch faces Yusaf Mack tomorrow in Nottingham. Will it truly be a tune-up, or does the American have a surprise in store for the celebrated hometown hero?
I don't really see any reason Froch doesn't roll here. This is the type of fight that has to happen in this sport, but that doesn't mean I have to be excited to watch it. Froch by stoppage if he feels like it, wide decision if he doesn't.
Froch has over the years become one of my favorite fighters. So much so that I read his book, and I usually loathe reading a book from anyone who is mid-career in any sport. He is still nothing special to look at, really. He's slow, he lumbers about the ring, and he has no great physical advantages over anyone. But he's triple-tough, he's there to fight every time out, he's always in great shape, and he's crafty. Froch is a thinking man's fighter in his strange way, which explains why he has only been truly and clearly beaten by Andre Ward, who is one of the smartest and best fighters out there. Ward was the sort of guy who could think with Froch, and also physically beat him. There aren't many of those. In a way -- and I know the comparison will probably be shrugged off or condemned -- Froch reminds me of Bernard Hopkins.
All that is my way of saying that while Yusaf Mack is in fact a very talented fighter, he's got no real hope against Carl Froch. Mack is as predictable as he is skilled, and in his last two really notable fights, he's been broken down by both Glen Johnson and Tavoris Cloud. Librado Andrade and Alejandro Berrio did similar numbers. He's been stopped in all four of his losses.
Don't take Mack lightly in terms of ability, but given that Froch insists he's prepared for this the same way he has every bigger fight of his career, it's easy to dismiss Mack's chances. He's a pretty good fighter, but Carl Froch is really good, and is all wrong for Mack. Carl Froch TKO-5.
If there's any fighter out there that you wouldn't begrudge picking an opponent they really should beat comfortably, it's Carl Froch. The problem, at least for Yusaf Mack, is that I don't think Froch knows the meaning of the term 'tune-up', and the titleholder almost certainly won't change his approach here.
Based on what we know of him, it's very hard to make a case for Mack to win this fight. His power is respectable, but he's not likely to be able to really shake up an opponent who's as tough - both mentally and physically - as they come. He can box, and may stake a claim for a few of the early rounds, but it seems inevitable that he'll be drawn into Froch's kind of fight, probably sooner rather than later.
Four knockout defeats in four overall losses tells the story, and sharing a ring with Carl Froch, in Nottingham, isn't an ideal place for a fighter with a tendency to gas and wilt under pressure. I don't think Froch will go about his work with quite the same urgency we saw in the Bute demolition job, but the end result will be much the same, give or take a round. Froch KO-6.
This is basically a stay-busy fight for Froch, especially considering his usual quality of opposition. I think it will be good and close early, though Froch begins to break him down as the evening wears on. Mack will land a few shots, and be competitive for a while. But, eventually, Froch turns it up and wears him down. Froch by clear decision in a good fight.
Final Tally: Carl Froch 4, Yusaf Mack 0.