The remarkable career of the Nottingham fighter Carl Froch continues tonight when he meets Germany's Arthur Abraham in Helsinki for the vacant World Boxing Council super-middleweight title.
Froch has arguably been British boxing's most daring world champion and is certainly the most neglected – but there are signs now that his maverick stance has finally impressed both fans and boxing insiders.
There is not another Briton in the record books with Froch's credentials in consecutive world-title fights and he has proved himself a true throwback boxer: he has simply refused to take easy fights to make easy money.
This will be Froch's fifth important bout in a row and it is also the third instalment of the unique and draining Super Six league, which started in 2009 but has stalled through injuries and withdrawals among the half-dozen original members. "The Super Six is hard and we are all suffering and that is why boxers have pulled out," said Froch. "I know I could have taken the easy route, filled arenas against inferior opponents and run up a load of rubbish defences. That's just not me, never will be."
Froch lost his unbeaten record and his WBC super-middleweight title in April when he dropped a narrow decision to Mikkel Kessler in Denmark as part of the Super Six. Kessler, by the way, has a long-term eye injury and has been forced to vacate tonight's title and pull out of the Super Six. A month earlier Abraham travelled to Detroit and lost his unbeaten record when he was disqualified in the 11th round against Andre Dirrell in the Super Six.
Abraham had previously made 10 defences of his International Boxing Federation middleweight title and, as well as being on first-name terms with Chancellor Angela Merkel, was also a contestant on the German version of Strictly Come Dancing. Froch was never going to fight Abraham in Germany, hence neutral Helsinki tonight.
Abraham is not the intimidating force he was at middleweight but he is skilled, can put brain before brawn, and will push the bigger and taller Froch. But the Briton will get his title back if he can box better than he can fight – and then roll on the Super Six semi-finals.Reuse content