IBR on The Cruelest Sport


“Froch is, in many ways, a cliché: he is a man’s man, a warrior, tough as nails; however lazy the use of such terms may be. There are exceptions to every rule, however—is that not itself a cliché?—and Froch, an exception to many a prizefighting rule, is perhaps an exception to the rules of good writing as well. Calling Froch a real fighter, reducing whatever he brings to a prizefight—be it textbook or unorthodox, familiar or idiosyncratic—to a handful of overused phrases does not diminish the praise. What he has accomplished over his 12 year career may not be legendary, but Froch makes fun fights against top competition, and it is no small criticism of the current state of boxing that this distinguishes him from his peers. Nor should boxing’s weak state diminish what he has accomplished: Froch is no less the fighter because general expectations are low.”

Read False Hopes: Carl Froch KO8 George Groves on The Cruelest Sport.


IBR on The Cruelest Sport


“Groves promised to meet Froch in the center of the ring, win the battle of the jab, and crack him with two right hands; two being sufficient proof he would land any number at will. Groves kept his word, punctuating a prophetic first round with a right hand that showed Froch the other side. It was an auspicious start for Groves: he understood his opponent, understood himself, and most importantly, understood what friction would transpire between the two. Keeping his own promise, one inherent in his own insolence, Froch came to and stopped Groves eight rounds later. Their sudden history has bound these men since then.”

Read No Better Path: Carl Froch-George Groves Preview on The Cruelest Sport.


IBR on The Cruelest Sport


Leading into their rematch at the O2 Arena in London, England, Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler appeared to be fighters on different trajectories. Since their first fight in 2010—which ended in a close unanimous decision for Kessler—Froch has continued to face the best opposition available. A loss to eventual Super Six Tournament winner Andre Ward was mitigated some by defeating Arthur Abraham, outworking Glenn Johnson in the rugged Jamaican’s last quality performance, and savaging Lucien Bute in five lopsided rounds. With his flattened nose, insolent sneer, and belligerent casualness, Froch is proof that a loss is not the death-knell of a career. Froch overcame defeats by refusing to deviate from the same gauntlet that caused him to stumble. Kessler, on the other hand, spent nearly fourteen months out of the ring after beating Froch, recovering from an eye injury before feasting on three easy marks in re-acclimatizing to combat. Questions abounded regarding Kessler’s durability, his decline, even his zest for fighting when he said he would retire if he lost to Froch “fair and square.” After twelve fervent rounds before a raucous throng of over 18,000 spectators, Kessler indeed fell to Froch by unanimous decision in a performance that should quell the rumors of his demise for the time being.

Read “That Insolent Sneer: Carl Froch W12 Mikkel Kessler” on The Cruelest Sport.