THE COBRA GOES FOR A MACK ATTACK ON HOME SOIL
By: Peter Mann, Head UK & Eire Editor
Put the date and venue in your diaries. November 17th 2012 will see that of Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch defend his IBF Super Middleweight crown against the American, Yusaf ‘Mack Attack’ Mack. The venue is to be that of Froch’s home town of Nottingham at the Capital FM Arena.
Mack, fighting with an orthodox stance, goes in against Froch with a fight record of 31-4-2 (17ko) but is seen as being very much the underdog for this bout. Is he a soft touch then? Not likely, especially in the eyes of Froch. The defending champion is well aware of both the size and threat his opponent poses and will be very much at his usual best. More so considering the calibre of some Mack’s past opponents, Johnson and Cloud included.
Froch though remained unfazed and retorted to the Philadelphia born, 32 year old in saying that “well they are big, strong, light heavyweight fighters which I’ve said earlier and they don’t come much tougher than Glen Johnson, and Tavoris Cloud is a very big, strong light heavyweight.”
Froch, as the elder statesman at 35 years going into the Mack bout, has a 29-2 (21ko) record and goes into this on the back of a more than successful Super Six tournament, where he, along with Andre Ward, solidified themselves as two of the best fighters of the modern age. Froch defeating that of Andre Direll, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham and of course Glenn Johnson, before losing to Ward in the final.
Then, earlier in 2012, Froch took on the challenge and successfully wrested the Super Middleweight belt from then undefeated Canadian, Lucian Bute. The bout as intense, with Froch putting in the performance of his life and in doing so created one of the great nights in British boxing. Success, with a fifth round TKO stunned the boxing world and was the perfect display by the Cobra.
Mack on the other hand, even though there is that of Johnson and Cloud on his CV, has been fighting on a more local scene, leading some people to claim that he doesn’t deserve this shot. The last two bouts which Mack has had were against Omar Sheika (W UD12 in April) and Sabou Ballogou (W UD6 in July). The bout with Froch will be a challenge and a step into the unknown for Mack.
Mack is aware of the negativity that he is receiving and said that “I’m real excited and I know they doubt me, because I saw the interview online today when they asked Froch why he’s fighting me, and all the press in London spoke their mind that I shouldn’t be fighting him.
“I’m going to work my ass off for this fight and leave everything in the gym. I think Johnson and Cloud are tougher than Froch, all day. I was the first person to ever drop Librado Andrade. I know everyone has me fading in the sixth or seventh rounds. But my last big fight, I dropped Omar Sheika in the 12th round. I like being underestimated. When I’m in shape, I don’t think anyone can beat me.”
Froch’s response to this was somewhat a philosophical one when he said to Sky Sports that
“It is what it is and people have got very mixed views on boxing. It’s a very subjective sport and styles make fights. I’m just looking forward to defending my World title against a credible opponent and doing the best job I can.
“I know it’s not going to be easy because you fight anybody in the top ten and you have to remember that Yusaf Mack is fighting Carl Froch, he’s fighting me. So he’s going to turn up 25% better than when he’s fighting anybody else because he’s got to come to my back yard and it’s his world title fight.
“He’s going to make sure he’s in the best possible shape, get his diet right and he’s going to have to turn up and give a career best performance. He’s fighting for his life. I have to get myself in the same shape as I was when I faced Lucian Bute.
“It’s a tough, tough challenge. I’ve got to make sure I prepare meticulously.”
“Mack is a very big, strong guy. I didn’t realise he’s ranked number four. I think he may have dropped to number six in the world so it’s a top world ranked opponent but he’s ranked as a Light Heavyweight so he’s going to be big and strong and provide a different kind of test for me.
“Lucian Bute, the guy I won the title off. He’s fighting in early November. He’s also fighting a Light Heavyweight so it’s important for us to show that we are still keen for the rematch if he wants to execute the rematch in the New Year.
“Also to fight a world ranked opponent that offers a different type of threat. This guy is big and strong and he can punch so it’s a great defence for me in front of my home crowd again in Nottingham which is fantastic.”
Both fighters claim they are who they say they are and this bout will go some way into showing either how far Yusaf Mack has either come, or needs to go, in order to be at the of the game. Froch will do everything he can to stop him, and fast. When The Cobra struck, Bute fell. What sort of defence will Mack therefore be able to bring to the table? And can he really pur the Cobra to sleep? Time will tell, especially with this one because, as we all know, fights can be predictable at the best of times.
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