Boxing: Froch earns place in final with champion's true grit

Carl Froch beat Glen Johnson to retain his World Boxing Council super-middleweight title on Saturday and reach the final of the Super Six tournament in the type of fight that leaves both fans and critics claiming victory.

Johnson is 42 and fought most of the 12 rounds from behind the dubious safety of a high guard and at a slow and calculating pace. Froch was wide-open to almost every single Johnson right, looked troubled by short lefts to the ribs and needed a serious talking-to in the corner on several occasions.

However, Johnson is a bigger man and during the last decade has mixed with distinction with at least 23 world-class fighters. Froch was having his sixth consecutive tough outing in a sequence of fights that should in reality make him the envy of most present and past British world champions. It was certainly a fight of two halves, two interpretations and thankfully only one possible outcome in a sterile ballroom in Atlantic City.

At the end Johnson accepted defeat for the 15th time in his long and distinguished career; Froch was unusually subdued when his hand was raised after the calculations of two wise judges and a comic act from Japan. The Japanese judge scored it a draw, meaning he was four and six rounds away from his two fellow judges; a miscalculation that should guarantee he never works ringside at a world-title fight again.

Froch opted to keep the action at a sensible distance in the opening half of the fight but was guilty of going missing for large sections of rounds when Johnson pushed him back. Froch was not in trouble, never worried or desperate but he needed to adjust, counter with power and hurt Johnson. It is not a tickling contest, as Ricky Hatton often said. Johnson lost his chance to win the fight by not forcing the pace more in the first six rounds. Alternatively, Froch never gave him the space or angles to push on.

"He put me off my plan, he made me change and that cost me the fight," admitted Johnson, who did enough in the opening rounds to make a mockery of the oddsmakers in America's second city of gambling.

Froch moved his feet less and moved his fists more as rounds seven, eight and nine ticked by and he moved clear of his fading assailant. He had the lead by round nine and romped home as Johnson suddenly started to move and look like a 42-year-old veteran; one who had been spotted jogging on the beach a few days before the fight with a towel wrapped round his neck.

"This has been a hard series of fights. I just hope people realise that before judging me," said Froch. "It's the final now and that will be a big night for me and for British boxing."

Froch now meets unbeaten 2004 Olympic gold medal winner Andre Ward in the Super Six final in November at a venue in Los Angeles or Las Vegas. Ward's three fights in the Super Six have all been in America, including two in his hometown, and Froch, who has fought four times inside the tournament, has had three on the road. It is not fair and Froch's only complaint has been in the form of an apology to his loyal travelling fans in such tough financial times. On Saturday night Froch put in a champion's performance in a fight where he looked slightly off his best against a quality boxer, but he was still far too good.

He won, it was not a classic, but he still left the ring with the belt and that is what real champions do again and again and again.

* Christy Martin returned to the ring six months after a brutal attack on Saturday, losing in Los Angeles to Dakota Stone after breaking her right hand. Martin was winning on all three scorecards when the ring doctor stopped the fight in the sixth and final round. Jim Martin, her husband and long-time trainer, is charged with attacking Martin at their home in Florida.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little