Boxing: Froch finds punch to capture title

It took the best performance of his career for Carl Froch to win the Commonwealth super-middleweight title last night in a brilliant fight against Ghana's Charles Adamu at Nottingham Arena last night.

Froch was having just his 12th fight and in the first six rounds he struggled against an elusive and incredibly strong champion. However, in the eighth round, just when it looked as if Froch's chances were getting slimmer, he found a short right to drop Adamu and turn the fight around.

Froch then dominated the remainder of the fight and at the final bell he received a close but deserving points verdict. Had he failed to knock Adamu over in the eighth and had instead lost that round the final score would have been a draw. That would have meant that the Ghanaian would have retained his title.

It was the first time that Froch had been beyond eight rounds and in many ways it was a masterful performance even if it lacked some of his usual skills and power. Last night in front of 4,000 of his hometown fans, Froch finally found out what it is like to be a real professional boxer in a fight against an opponent he had not expected to face.

Adamu was a late replacement for the British super-middleweight champion, Tony Dodson, and there are now plans for Froch and Dodson to meet in the near future. In many ways a fight with Dodson will probably be easier than last night's gruelling 12-rounder against Adamu.

In the main supporting contest there was heartbreak for Herbie Hide in his supposedly routine eight-rounder against Lithuania's Mendauga Kulikauskas when the former world champion was ruled out after three rounds with a terrible cut above his left eye. The wound means that his eagerly anticipated showdown against his main rival Danny Williams will not take place on 23 April.

* Hasim Rahman, one of the few men to have beaten Lennox Lewis, won by unanimous decision over Al "Ice" Cole in Glen Burnie, Maryland, on Thursday, the first victory for the former world heavyweight champion in nearly three years.

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