Bunce on Boxing: Give tired Froch a break, he's earned rest from the road


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The Independent Online

Carl Froch needs a rest and any talk of tough fights in 2012 is stupid. Froch was bemused and easily beaten at the weekend by the American Andre Ward in his seventh consecutive 12-round world title fight. He looked slow, confirmed by Ward, distracted, confirmed by his trainer of 10 years, Robert McCracken, and naive at times, confirmed by the result.

Any attempt to push him back in a world title fight against the Canadian-based Romanian Lucian Bute, who is unbeaten, in Montreal in April in a crack at Bute's IBF super-middleweight title would be a terrible move. Froch has been on the road in five of his last seven world title fights and deserves an easier homecoming and not another trip overseas.

Froch's new promoter, Eddie Hearn, insists he will have to travel now because he has lost his WBC title. True, but what about the last two fights in America and away from Nottingham since Hearn took over as promoter from Mick Hennessy? Froch was world champion and still had to travel. Before Hearn inherited Froch, under Hennessy's guidance he had just completed fights in Denmark and Finland.

The Nottingham boxer surely needs to put his passport away. The people surrounding him need to take a step back and look at how jaded he was on Saturday in Atlantic City, and find something easier. It is ridiculous that Froch has been on the road so much and to talk enthusiastically about more of it, especially against a tough fighter like Bute.

Perhaps Hearn should grab a coffee with his dad, Barry, who guided Chris Eubank through some terrible world title fights and kept him as far as possible from any of the American champions who held versions of the world title at the time. Froch deserves a rest and an easier homecoming, it's really that simple.


Tyson and the over-40s

Mike Tyson was at his most emotional and tearful last week in Las Vegas when he was presented with a championship belt to replace the one stolen from him in 1986, which is odd as I've been at about a dozen dinners where Tyson has sat smiling as his old WBC belts have been auctioned off!

Tyson once again denied all rumours that he is about to make a return to the ring at a venue in China, Dubai or Russia. However, he did suggest that all the best fortysomething heavyweights in the world should fight in a tournament. "It would work because guys over 40 can't compete with the best heavyweights but they could fight each other," suggested Tyson. "The fights could be over eight rounds and that would give the old guys a chance to stay fresh against each other."

Earlier this month the American Cedric Boswell was easily knocked out in a world title fight by Alexander Povetkin. Boswell is 42. Last weekend Riddick Bowe announced his desire to fight one of the Klitschko brothers when and if he can get a licence. Bowe is 43.

Evander Holyfield remains one of the most marketable American heavyweights and he is 49. Oliver McCall has won a bogus heavyweight belt but is still just a win from a genuine world-title fight and he is 46. There are a dozen other former champions or challengers or faded names who are just 40, just about to turn 40 or comfortably moving closer to 50, and all would dust off their old jockstraps for a shot at Tyson's over-40 championship.