Fight ire with fire
Johnny Nelson says Carl Froch must meet Glen Johnson head on in the Super Six semi-final.
Last Updated: 03/06/11 1:38pm
Carl Froch always puts his heart on the line.
This kid has never been gun-shy but always wants a war - an attitude that means he can mix it with the elite and one that will serve him well in Saturday's Super Six semi-final against Glen Johnson.
I find it staggering that Carl has slipped under the radar in recent years because he is an outstanding fighter with a track record to match.
He has boxed the best in the world fight-after-fight, which is unprecedented in modern-day boxing.
The only guy to have beaten him, Mikkel Kessler, was himself an incredible champion.
The Dane pushed Joe Calzaghe to the limit in November 2007 giving him plenty of scares along the way before losing on points; the same fate befell Froch when he fought Kessler in April 2010.
Froch always gives value for money which is why I'm massively looking forward to Saturday's fight.
'The Cobra' has improved massively since he first claimed the world super-middleweight title crown in late 2008, not just physically but mentally and emotionally.
There are only a handful of fighters with the tag of world champion that actually believe they are the best on the planet; Froch is one of those.
You can tell that from the way he talks, walks and carries himself when he gets into the ring. He has pushed himself hard and that shines through in his performances.
Even though Johnson, aged 42, is considerably older than him this won't be an easy fight for the Nottingham man.
Johnson has been in a world pool of top-class fighters for many years now and his experience alone makes him a genuine threat. Just ask Allan Green.
The Jamaican will try to bully Froch and roughen him up; my advice is to fight fire with fire.
Clinton Woods said as much on Ringside; the one time he beat Johnson in three fights was when he took the fight to his opponent.
Trying to get out of the way and being elusive is not the way to go. Froch will be much better off meeting him in the centre of the ring and, as the rounds pass, Johnson's age should start to catch up with him.
I don't want to underestimate him but age must count for something.
There are freaks in boxing like Bernard Hopkins, who pick the right fights and come up with a performance; but he can only box certain fighters at his age.
Johnson is getting closer to that point. If he's going to do it he has got to do it now because time is not on his side.
Building pressure remains his main attribute, and that takes sustained power and stamina, but Johnson is wrongly perceived as a fighter who only wants to come and give you war.
Once he has you under pressure, he is more than capable of pulling something out of the bag and boxing you; he'll start using the jab, using his ring craft.
Froch will have done his homework but I wonder how aware Johnson is of his opponent?
I believe that the only knowledge he'll have of Froch is through the Super Six so I don't think he'll have that much respect for him. That could be his downfall. It's far more likely that Johnson will underestimate Froch than the other way around.
Froch has done the right thing by going out to train in the humid conditions of New York before switching to Atlantic City.
Fighting abroad has been the making of him. Walking into the lion's den brings out the best in you because you rely on yourself, your instincts as a fighter and the work you've put in rather than the crowd and some of Froch's best performances have come abroad.
I just hope his recent split from promoter Mick Hennessy hasn't distracted him. Things have changed but he's got to keep his mind on his business, the fighting, and leave everything else to Eddie Hearn.
Saturday's fight isn't going to be easy; it will be close, tight and go down to the wire. But I'm backing Froch to nick it on a narrow decision and advance to what should be a cracking final against Andre Ward.