(Carl Froch, right; Yusaf Mack, left)
Carl Froch gave Philadelphia’s Yusaf Mack a taste of the Lucian Bute treatment Saturday at the Capital FM Arena. “The Cobra” dropped Mack in the opening round, stunned him umpteen times throughout the course of the contest, and then crumpled him to the mat in round 3 with a ferocious body assault punctuated by a perfunctory left hook to the head.
It was as if Froch, 30-2 (22), had to rein himself in from embarking upon the type of hell-for-leather melee that had done in Bute back in May. Mack, though, offered little in terms of attacking threat and so the hammer-fisted favourite quickly lost patience with him and began wailing away to devastating effect.
A left hook towards the end of round 1 had Mack, 31-5-2 (17), clinging to Froch for dear life and a follow-up left smash and skimming right hand found the 32 year-old American squared up and off-balance. It took little more than a nudge with Froch’s left to bundle the visitor over onto his backside. Up quickly and sporting a sheepish grin, Mack fielded a two-fisted barrage that had his eyes popping out of his head as he slumped down onto his stool.
Round 2 resembled little more than a jabbing contest until Froch cracked home a chopping right to pave the way for a blistering surge up against the ropes. Keen to put his man out of his misery, Froch unleashed a stabbing right into Mack’s flank in the 3rd that caused him to wilt. Missing with a pair of instinctive follow-up shots, Froch slammed home a beastly looking left hook to the ribcage and while Mack attempted to retaliate with a left hook of his own he was already on his way down. Froch gave him another left hook in the face to remind him to stay there when he landed and Mack took the full count on all fours at the 2:30 mark.
At 35, Froch looks to have hit his peak, yet his promotional team need to plot his next move with care. A Bute return looks utterly redundant at this present moment and while Eddie Hearn spoke about kowtowing to the alphabets by shipping in the Haitian-born Canadian puncher Adonis Stevenson, rematches with either the Dane Mikkel Kessler or Oakland ring mechanic Andre Ward are about as hot right now as they’re likely to get. At home and in this form, Froch would prove a handful for both.
Things never quite go according to plan for Liverpool light heavyweight Tony Bellew. Desperate to put on a destructive display against Argentinean import Roberto Bolonti, “Bomber” Bellew, 29, looked to be on course after flattening his elusive opponent with a chopping right behind the ear in round 1 and then repeating the trick with a left hook in round 3. The popular scouser was thwarted, though, when a counter left hook from his cornered foe ripped open a horrid gash across his right eye.
Thankfully for Bellew he’d had the foresight to hire cutman extraordinaire, Mick “The Rub” Williamson, who set about stemming a potential fight-ending injury that resembled a crescent moon tilted over onto its side. Unsure whether to stick or twist as blood teemed down his face, Bellew wisely reverted to what he does best, boxing from range to win a unanimous decision via scores of 120-106, 119-107 and 120-106.
Bellew, 19-1 (12), is improving with each fight. He showed a nice feint before he jabbed and, although he still smothers his own work on the inside, his body punching is becoming an excellent weapon. Bolonti, 30-2 (19), was savvy and showed balls yet the 33 year-old produced hardly anything going forward and so can have few grumbles about the result.
Television: Sky Sports (U.K.), Wealth TV (U.S.)