NOTTINGHAM - Carl Froch made a successful first defence of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-middleweight title with a third round knockout of Yusaf Mack in Nottingham, central England, on Saturday.
The British champion is now expected to move on to a rematch with Canada-based Romanian Lucian Bute -- whom he overpowered in five rounds to win the IBF belt in May -- after another impressive demolition job in his home city. Froch, 35, improved his professional record to 30 wins -- 22 by stoppage -- with two defeats on points by Mikkel Kessler, of Denmark, and Mack's fellow American Andre Ward. Saturday's bout saw Mack suffer his fifth stoppage defeat in 38 contests. It was a one sided contest that Froch, who is in his third stint as a world champion, looked destined to win on a stoppage right from the early moments. The 32-year-old Mack could not live with Froch, who floored him in the first round and from then an early finish always seemed inevitable.
Froch sent Mack sprawling from a left to the jaw and Mack, stopped by fellow American Tavoris Cloud in a shot at the world light-heavyweight title last year, looked in danger of being beaten inside the first round as Froch unloaded two successive rights. The challenger was grateful to hear the belland Froch was not as dangerous in the second round until he landed a heavy right towards the end that shook Mack.
Froch, the former World Boxing Council (WBC) champion, piled on the pressure from early in the third round and Mack had no answer to the Englishman's power. The champion winded Mack with a right to the body before following up with a left hook to the temple that left Mack bent over on his knees.
Mack, who appeared to be in agony from the body shot, failed to move as referee Phil Edwards counted him out with 30 seconds of the third round left. Afterwards Eddie Hearn, Froch's promoter, spoke of a rematch with Bute, possibly in Montreal on March 30.
Froch also hopes to be granted a rematch with Ward, the WBC and WBA (World Boxing Association) champion, next year in what would be a world title unification clash.