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Froch wins thriller to take title

By Ben Dirs

Carl Froch (left) and Jean Pascal
Froch (left) found Pascal an obdurate opponent

Carl Froch claimed the WBC super-middleweight title with a thrilling points victory over Canada's Jean Pascal in his home town of Nottingham.

After one of the finest world title contests ever seen in Britain, Froch was awarded the fight 118-110, 117-111, 116-112 by the three judges.

Both men showed tremendous punch resistance and Pascal had plenty of success with his overhand right.

But Froch slowly wore Pascal down with his jab and ended up a clear winner.

Froch, 31, charged from his corner on hearing the opening bell and had Pascal sagging on the ropes and covering up with a two-fisted attack.

However, the 26-year-old Pascal gathered himself and stunned Froch with a big right before skimming the Englishman's whiskers with a wild left hook.

Froch stiffened Pascal with a right cross just before the bell, but Pascal came roaring back in round two, getting through his opponent's defences with some solid left-right combinations.

Both men were swinging away when the bell sounded and round three continued in the same vein, with Froch discovering his jab and rocking Pascal with a big left hook.

However, it was becoming clear that the tank-like Pascal was in for the long haul, and after a quiet opening to the fourth both men engaged in a wild exchange, landing with lefts and rights at will.

With Froch's left hand slung low by his waste, Pascal continued to get through with combinations in round five and connected with a huge right after the bell, which incensed Froch's promoter Mick Hennessy.

However, the referee declined to deduct a point and Pascal landed with a big left hook at the start of the sixth, followed by a booming right.

Froch got back in the round with the use of his jab and he shook the Montreal native with a left-right combination.

Pascal suddenly looked tired in round seven, with Froch slowly breaking his resistance with his stiff jab and granite-like chin.

BBC Sport's Nabil Hassan
Froch pierced Pascal's guard with a big uppercut and opened up towards the end of the round as his opponent flagged, strafing Pascal with lightning lefts and rights.

Pascal's work was looking more and more desperate in round eight, with the Canadian throwing wild, single shots, although he did manage to open up a cut under Froch's left eye.

Pascal hurt Froch with a peach of a left hook at the start of round nine, but Froch had his rival hanging onto his waste at the bell.

With both men nearly spent, the final three rounds descended into something of a slugfest, but Froch's chin held up and it was Pascal who looked close to disintegration.

But the tremendously-game visitor hung on to the final bell, only for the judges to award the fight to Froch by a wide margin.

Froch, a former British and Commonwealth champion, is now unbeaten in 24 pro fights with 19 knockouts, while Pascal falls to 21 wins and one defeat.

The nature of Froch's victory, shown on terrestrial television, could make Joe Calzaghe, a former owner of the WBC super-middleweight belt, consider a match-up next summer.

see also
Big time beckons for Froch
02 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Froch keen on Calzaghe & Taylor
04 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Froch gearing up for title shot
19 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Froch eyes world scene
08 Jun 04 |  Boxing
Froch claims title
12 Mar 04 |  Boxing
Calzaghe dismisses Froch
28 Sep 04 |  Boxing
Froch seals first belt
28 Nov 03 |  Boxing

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