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Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 15:48 UK

BBC man on Froch-watch

CARL FROCH V JERMAIN TAYLOR
Venue: Mashantucket, Connecticut Date: Sunday 26 April Start: Approx. 0300 BST Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Nottingham

By Robin Chipperfield
BBC Radio Nottingham

Carl Froch
Froch wanted to make his first title defence outside his home city

Watching Carl Froch's first fight more than six years ago, I could not have dreamed it would lead to this.

I'm still pinching myself at the thought of travelling to the USA to watch the Nottingham super-middleweight defend his WBC belt.

Froch had five fights before he fought in his home city against Valery Odin, a journeyman fighter who hailed from Guadeloupe.

He looked convincing that night and there was a stir among some of the journalists that Froch could develop into something big.

I was wary of this, because in my previous job I'd covered a feisty light-welterweight called Georgie Smith. He'd won his first 13 fights and was set to go on to big things. Sadly, as is usually the case in sport, he didn't.

I've always been wary of the boxing hype. But Froch certainly looked impressive that night against Odin, and the next couple of times I saw him.

He demolished fellow Nottingham fighter Michael Monaghan and won his first title, the English belt, in November 2003.

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Soon, others were beginning to flock to Froch. His supporter base in the city began to grow, and his association with Nottingham Forest helped that grow more quickly.

An extraordinary display against Derby's Damon Hague cemented his place in the hearts of the Nottingham public, and Froch continued to be cute in the way he built a following.

He has become a bigger and bigger name in the city as his achievements have grown, and seven years after his first fight, you sense Froch is exactly where he wants to be.

Defending his title on the other side of the Atlantic would have seemed a long way away from that first win over Michael Pinnock.

Jermaine Taylor
Taylor is a former middleweight world champion

But having moved onto another level with that extraordinary and gutsy success over Jean Pascal, Froch could move onto another level again if he impresses against Jermain Taylor, a tainted fighter but still a marquee name.

Over the next few days, I'll attempt to bring you a flavour of the build-up in the USA, as well as bring you news of what the boxers are saying ahead of Saturday night's contest.

It is extraordinary that Britain's only current world boxing champion is not being screened in his home country, he deserves better.

Robin Chipperfield will be covering Froch's fight for BBC Radio Nottingham, and will be writing regular reports for bbc.co.uk/nottingham



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