Carl Froch must be wary of American Mack's talents
Carl Froch must be wary when he defends his IBF super-middleweight title against Yusaf Mack, writes Ray Yeomans.
ANYONE who thinks Carl Froch is in for an easy night at the Capital FM Arena against Yusaf Mack tonight doesn't know anything about boxing.
Mack, who is dropping down from light-heavyweight, doesn't bring a title to the table. He doesn't even boast an unbeaten record and has lost to Glen Johnson who Froch handled comfortably in America.
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But Mack has only lost to quality opposition and is the epitome of a hungry fighter.
He has come up the hard way on the tough streets of Philadelphia.
His brother was killed by a mugger, his father drank himself into an early grave and seven of his mates were shot dead.
Mack, who became a father for the first time at the age of 14, has to put food on the table for nine children back home.
Taking the world title back to America would change his life dramatically. It is one hell of an incentive.
"I ain't coming to lie down," insists Mack, who doesn't fear fighting in front of Froch's home-town fans.
"The fire that comes from his fans will fuel my fire."
Mack is a man of few words, but the inference is that he is willing to die in the ring to get his hands on Froch's belt.
The Froch camp apparently thought long and hard before taking the Mack fight.
The Cobra is due a mandatory title defence against No.1 contender Adonis Stevenson, but that will have to wait, as will the anticipated returns against Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward.
Unfortunately for Mack, he is meeting Froch at the peak of his powers.
He has trained meticulously for this one . . . as usual. No stone will be left unturned by top trainer Robert McCracken . . . as usual.
"As a champion you cannot let your guard down for a second," says Froch. " I have prepared hard for this fight, as I did in my previous eight world title fights.
"If I come unstuck in this fight, everything I have achieved in the last few years will be wasted.
"This guy is dangerous and he wants to shock the boxing world by taking my belt, in my home-town.
"He will be bringing light-heavyweight power down to super-middle but I am convinced he will not be able to match me for heart, punching power, desire and skill."
Froch, learning from past experience, is careful not to predict a round for the punters, in case he gets in trouble with the authorities.
But look for him to turn up the power around round five (if Mack is still in there) and go for the early stoppage that he has promised the fans.
The undercard is headed by Froch's sparring partner, Tony Bellew, who meets Roberto Feliciano Bolonti for the vacant WNC silver light-heavyweight title.
Former Phoenix amateur Leigh Wood has his fifth pro fight against experienced Welshman Dai Davies, while more local interest is supplied by Tyan Booth v Ryan Aston.
It will be a good learning fight for confident Wood, who will have over 400 fans shouting him on.
Nottingham-born Booth, who has only been in action once since 2009, faces a tricky opponent in Aston.
Aston had an impressive stoppage on the last Froch bill, but then lost his unbeaten record when he was stopped in two by another Nottingham boxer, big-punching Curtis Valentine.
The big question is: How will Aston react to that?
The rest of the undercard showcases unbeaten prospect Khalid Yafai, who should be too strong for Italian Pio Antonio Nettuno in the first televised action, while light-welterweight prospect Scott Cardle takes on Joe Elfidh. The action starts at 5.45pm with Konrad Dabrowski v Kristian Laight.
Other fights on card: Kerry Hope v Norbert Szekeres, Callum Smith v James Tucker; Martin Joseph Ward v Dan Carr.