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Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 13:24 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, live video at www.omnisport.tv (pay-per-view)

By Robin Chipperfield
BBC Radio Nottingham

Carl Froch
His family arrived and he became a different person, suddenly Froch looked at ease

BBC man Robin Chipperfield

I have to be honest, I was not convinced how calm and relaxed Carl Froch was earlier in the week.

On the surface, he appeared content with life in the middle of nowhere and was focused on the fight at the weekend. And he kept saying he was.

There was just something nagging at the back of my mind that he was not quite the Carl Froch that I have got to know over the past few years. I could not work out what it was until yesterday.

But then it became clear. His family arrived and he became a different person. He gathered around a roulette table with his mum, step-dad and brothers, as well as girlfriend Rachael, and suddenly Froch looked at ease.

He told me later in the day that "he felt as though he was in Nottingham, because all of the people he cared about were with him now".

Froch comes face to face with Taylor

Not the usual kind of thing you would hear from a hard-nosed, battle-worn boxer, but the evidence suggested that he was not saying it for effect.

He genuinely meant it. He was content. And that can only be a good thing for his prospects at the weekend.

Also today, I got to see the arena in which Froch will defend his title. It is not the usual kind of set-up you would expect for most fights.

The ring is not in the middle of the room for starters! The MGM Grand is a fully-operational theatre, with two tiers of steeply banked seating.

But the ring has been positioned where the stage would otherwise be, which means that the people who are at the front of the top tier may almost feel as though they are on top of the action.

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It also means that there are not too many seats 'behind' the ring. But I actually think with the acoustics of a theatre and a crowd of more than 3,000, the atmosphere could actually be pretty special inside.

The fight is getting ever closer. Boxing people from all around the world are beginning to arrive here in Connecticut. The weigh-in is at 2100 BST on Friday and I am expecting a few fireworks to set things up nicely for Saturday night.

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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