The decision by Carl Froch to break with tradition and defend his World Boxing Council super-middleweight title away from home and against a hard opponent was only to be expected from the maverick fighter.
Froch has played very few of modern boxing's games during a seven-year career that has been frustrating to watch at times. Tonight, at Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut, Froch meets former middleweight world champion Jermain Taylor and the British fighter, who will be making his first defence, starts as a betting underdog and, more disturbingly, is considered the unknown boxer.
"I could have gone for an easy defence in front of my devoted fans in Nottingham," said Froch. "But I'm in a hurry for respect and I'm not interested in making up the numbers – I want to show what I'm capable of."
Taylor is younger, taller, has the advantage in reach and has been in with six former or present world champions in his last eight fights. He is perhaps best known for back-to-back wins against Bernard Hopkins four years ago and also for two defeats to Kelly Pavlik in the last 20 months.
Both Pavlik and Hopkins operate at a totally different level to any of the fighters that Froch has faced during his run of 24 fights without defeat. However, Froch is young in boxing years and Taylor's recent fights have taken a toll.
Taylor and his people have clearly underestimated Froch after watching the slugfest last December when he won the title against Canadian Jean Pascal. It is not the type of performance that Froch will want to repeat tonight if he is to pull off a mild shock.