Carl Froch connected cleanly with possibly the best punch thrown in a British ring all year to knock out Tony Dodson in round three at the Nottingham Arena last night.
Froch, 29, retained both his British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles, but there was far more involved in a fight that had slowly developed into a genuine grudge match.
Three times in 2004, Dodson withdrew with injury from planned fights, and last night, in front of 6,000 fans, Froch finally got to meet the man who had become his nemesis.
After a tense opening round and a much more relaxed second round, Froch eased into the fight and took control in round three. With 15 seconds left before the bell, a stunning short left to the stomach dropped Dodson for the full count of 10, and he required several minutes after the minute was officially declared over to regain his feet and find his breath.
A delighted Froch said: "It was very satisfying, not 100% satisfying because I did want a few more rounds but I've been working so well in the gym. The body shot - I don't remember throwing it but it was on the button and it did the damage."
Now Froch will concentrate on finally moving clear of the domestic scene, and his promoter, Mick Hennessy, is confident that by this time next year the Nottingham boxer will be the World Boxing Council super-middleweight champion. "There are a lot of politics to be dealt with, but I know I can deliver a title for Carl, and when I do, he will win it," said Hennessy.Reuse content