Note: Scott also previewed the fight in this week's podcast.
I expect Froch to simply be too young and too good for Johnson, who deserves all the respect in the world, but at 42 is definitely not getting any younger or better, and hasn't beaten anyone as good as Froch in years. Last year's wins over Allan Green and Yusaf Mack were impressive for what they were, but he also got outhustled in a good, close fight by Tavoris Cloud, and I expect Froch is better than Cloud, though not stylistically the same. What really sells me on Froch here is that he is good at adapting, and can fight effectively in many different ways -- he can pressure, he can brawl, he can box from the outside. I figure he does a little of everything and holds off a game "Road Warrior" in this one by convincing scores in a clear victory, lining himself up for Andre Ward later this year in what could be an exceptional matchup.
Johnson's still a capable fighter, but he's slipped a little over the last couple years, and it's hard to see him bringing enough consistent pressure to pull the upset. Also, his energy levels looked a little off against Green, perhaps due to making 168, and that will likely be a factor tonight as well.
Froch should be able to score frequently with the jab and keep the fight at his preferred distance. I'll take him by 117-111, 116-112 type scores.
Froch is a flawed enough boxer that Johnson has a chance, but as much as I wish it weren't the case (I'm a big GJ fan), odds are Froch's youth and chutzpah will see him through. This isn't like Hopkins vs. Pascal II, where a master of mindgames was facing a fighter whose formula he had already puzzled out. And while Johnson's conditioning is remarkable for a man his age, I just don't see him bringing the same mental energy and drive that Bernard did a couple weeks ago. Johnson will make it interesting early, but Froch's aggression will ultimately push him back in reasonably close but nonetheless clear UD.
This should be an entertaining fight, Froch is almost robotic in the way he keeps on going after an opponent, whilst Johnson always comes to fight. The manner of Johnson's win over Allan Green impressed me, he looked comfortable at the weight (having come down from light-heavy) and is clearly in fantastic shape for a 42 year old. Although, it has to be said that Green was a disappointment.
Froch was in imperious form last time out against Arthur Abraham and will be itching to build on that victory. They're very close in terms of boxing ability but Froch's freshness, fitness and desire should prove to be decisive factors. I also believe that Froch can change tactics and adapt to different styles better than Johnson, whose characteristic head down and come forward approach can be easy to read.
Johnson will always put up a great effort and force his opponents to work hard throughout a fight, but I believe Froch is a level above him at this stage of their careers. The first four rounds will be close, the middle four will be Froch's and the final four rounds may prove to be the hardest of Johnson's career.
I'm going for Froch by UD, around the 117-111 mark. A late stoppage wouldn't be surprising though.
If Glen Johnson hasn't fallen off since we saw him last, this could be the most difficult fight of Carl Froch's career. I think it's a very interesting style match-up because they are two skilled fighters who are not afraid to mix it up. From range you have to think Froch will use his long jab and educated feet to control things, but Johnson is quite good at presenting a small target while pressuring with a high guard, so I'm not sure the champ will find it easy to land clean punches from there. Johnson should be able to find the target from mid-range with his long arms on a fighter who gets touched up in there. I'm not sure who will get the better of things inside, but there's no question who wants to be there.
I'm gonna go with Froch because he's in his prime and is a proven champion, but he's in for a hard night's work against the old guy.
Froch by close unanimous decision.