SAVED FROM SHAQTIN’ By Arthur George-Special to BASN JaVale McGee is reclaiming...
In the opening bout, Mikkel Kessler fought a warm up fight against Mehdi Bouadla. Bouadla pressed the action against the accomplished Kessler but halfway through the round, Kessler used his jab to set up combinations. Bouadla own jabs penetrated Kessler own defense as he kept the round close.
Bouadla defense made it difficult for Kessler in the second round as Kessler’s jab often fell short and when he got closer; he got counter by a Bouadla left hook. Kessler fought a better third round as ring rust from 14 months layoff started to evaporate and a Kessler right sent Bouadla down for an eight count. Bouadla spit his mouthpiece out to gain more time and the referee gave him a point deduction for delaying the fight. Kessler continued his assault with multiple combinations.
Kessler began the fourth round by unleashing combinations and found a home with his right hand as Bouadla took some big shots as he tried to survive the round but with ten seconds left, another Kessler right sent Bouadla down, but Bouadla got up and wobbled back to his corner.
As the sixth round began, the first question was how did Bouadla survive to get his far as he got pasted over the past three rounds. With a minute left, a Kessler left hook hurt Bouadla and this was followed by a second left hook along with a nasty right hand that sent Bouadla a third time. Kessler finished up Bouadla with another combination and after hitting the canvas for the fourth time, Bouadla was finished. Kessler won impressively and set himself for another big fight; maybe against Lucian Bute.
Meanwhile in Atlantic City, Froch and Glen Johnson fought a tactical first round as they decided to figure what each other had. The second round saw Glen Johnson move closer to Froch as Froch attempted to jab as mean to keep distance. Glen Johnson stalked Froch and invading Froch’s space as Froch attempted use angle to avoid Johnson’s rushes. Froch managed to land jabs and more punches but the best punch was a Glen Johnson right over the Froch’s left in the third rond.
If Johnson could land rights, Froch punches were more effective as he countered Johnson effectively and Johnson looked just a half a step slower to Froch plus he was not cutting the ring off. This continued through the fourth and fifth round as Froch movement bothered Johnson and Froch right hand proved to be the decisive punch in the fifth round.
Near the end of the sixth round told the story of the first half of the fight as Johnson finally connected on a solid right but Froch came back with a left hook and solid combination as he build up a big lead on the score card.
Johnson finally got inside and fought a portion of the seventh round off Froch’s chest and this allowed him to connect two straight chopping right hands. Eighth round was an explosive round as Johnson connected on two rights and added a double left hook but Froch came back in the last thirty seconds after being rocked with some Johnson’s solid punches.
In the tenth round, Johnson once again landed some nasty right hands, but after the second right hand, Froch came back with a combination to neutralize the Johnson’s charge. In the eleventh round was similar to the tenth as Johnson was able to connect with solid rights but Froch was able to counter quickly as Johnson could not hurt Froch with those right hands.
In the final round, Froch started out the round by unleashing combinations as he control the distance as he did early in the fight while Johnson was hoping to land one big punch but that one punch never came. Johnson showed his heart but at times in the fight, he showed his age as he had trouble closing the distance with Froch using angles to win the distance.
Froch is now set to fight Andre Ward in what should be a classic fight as both fighters showed improvement over the past two years in the Super Six tournament. Ward went undefeated in the tournament while Froch lost one fight to Kessler, but beating Andre Dirrell, Arthur Abraham and Glen Johnson.