Karl Froch regained the WBC super-middleweight title with a scintillating display of boxing skills to defeat the German based Armenian, Arthur Abraham in Helsinki last night.
Not only did Froch win, but he did so with style and verve to clinch an overwhelming points victory. He won every round on the cards of two of the American ringside judges while a third had Abraham winning one. It was hard to see how that third judge could have found a round that Froch lost, such was his total dominance from the very start.
This was a night not only of reclamation but of redemption, for it was everything that the Haye-Harrison farce wasn't, full of passion and perfectly picked punches from Froch. It surely was the most masterful, one-sided exhibition of technique since one of his predecessors Joe Calzaghe, wrecked the career of the American Jeff Lacy.
Froch is now in the semi-finals of the Super-six series, a round-robin tournament where ironically he faces Abraham again. Moreover, it was a night of celebration as he now joins Haye, Amir Khan and Ricky Burns as Britons who rule the boxing world.
Froch made a brisk and business-like start, easily winning the first three rounds with tactics that were punch-perfect, keeping Abraham at the end of the snake-like left jab which has earned him his Cobra nickname. He was piercing through Abraham's high guard and the tough guy from Berlin was feeling the effect of these prodding punches that were piling up the points for the Nottingham man.
A notoriously slow starter, Abraham came more into the fight in the fourth, swinging clubbing blows but Froch continued to keep his cool against one of the ring's hard men.
Froch, well ahead at the half way stage, began to mix his repertoire, frustrating Abraham and hurting him with a series of left hooks and his favourite upper-cut.
By the eighth Abraham was being completely outclassed for the first time in his 32-bout career. In the ninth Abraham's legs buckled under a left-right combination and his spirit was visibly draining from him. Everything Abraham tried Froch, looking as fresh as he was at the first bell, countered.
Abraham complained of a low blow in the 11th and a disqualification – which he had suffered himself in his previous bout – seemed the only route to victory. But the American referee, Frank Garza was having none of it.
In the last round Abraham did manage to catch Froch with a right hand but Froch is one of those fortunate fighters with a granite chin. The interruption did not disturb Froch's rhythm and he continued to box brilliantly to a comprehensive victory.