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Boxing: Magee makes Froch work hard to retain title

It took Carl Froch less than two minutes to knock Brian Magee down but it took 11 rounds to stop him.

Froch retained both his British and Commonwealth Super-Middleweight titles last night at York Hall with the best performance of his career in the most difficult fight of his career.

Magee entered the ring as the underdog but his two defeats in 27 fights were against genuine world-class fighters and Froch has yet to prove that he can move in that company.

Last night Froch connected with a short right uppercut in round one and as Magee sank to his knees it looked like the fight was destined to end quickly.

However, not only did Magee regain his feet but from that point until the end he turned the so-called one-sided fight into a gruelling affair.

The end, when it came, was sudden and sickening and once again it was Froch's short right uppercut which connected cleanly with Magee's chin and sent him face first to the canvass. The referee, Richie Davies, never bothered with the count and Magee was attended to by the ringside doctor and given oxygen as a safety precaution.

It was Froch's 19th win in the fourth year of his professional career and there were signs that he is still some way from being a genuine fighter of world class but, equally, there were things he did which only highlight his talent.

The final punch, coming after four or five rounds of rough and often brutal exchanges, was perfect and, more importantly, it was not a fluke. Any fighter who can find a punch like that in round 11 of a championship contest is special.