It took Carl Froch less than a minute to find his rhythm and the remaining 35 minutes to deliver a flawless, punch-perfect masterclass in old-fashioned boxing skills here on Saturday night to leave Arthur Abraham bruised, confused and battered.
Froch regained his cherished World Boxing Council super-middleweight title and secured a place in the Super Six semi-finals with a beautiful display against the Armenian-German favourite. At the end, Abraham turned to his corner, his head bowed and his eyes still on the canvas, when the scores were delivered to confirm his pain.
"I said that after four months of training and tactics that I could make this fight easy and I did," said Froch, who improved his record to 27 wins from 28 fights. "It was about control in the ring and also keeping my emotions under control – it was about boxing like a champion and hopefully this will convince people that I'm a great fighter."
The win over Abraham completes the finest five-fight sequence in British boxing history and is vastly superior to any of the runs achieved by modern boxers Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe, Naseem Hamed and even the regal Lennox Lewis. On Saturday Froch was a delight to watch and it is rare that a British boxer gives such a lesson in a world title fight. It will change the way he is viewed in Britain and more importantly inside the international boxing community because he is now one of the world's top fighters.