ITV.COM - Carl Froch ended years of frustration in exhilarating fashion in Nottingham on Saturday night when he claimed the WBC super-middleweight title in a manner which will stand comparison with some of Britain's 12-stone greats.Memories of ring wars involving the likes of Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank came flooding back as Froch pounded out a unanimous 118-110, 117-111, 116-112 victory over brave Canadian Jean Pascal.From the first bell to the last the Nottingham 31-year-old threw caution to the wind and teed off on his previously unbeaten opponent, who replied with right hands at will in a contest where the pace never let up.While Froch stepped up the pace in the later rounds to make his scorecard victory seem a formality, the reality was that he had had to remain on his guard for every second to secure his stunning win.Froch had opened the fight in front of 6,000 partisan home fans by blasting Pascal back into a neutral corner and also had him in trouble in rounds five and nine to name but two.But Pascal frequently drew gasps from the fans by reacting to moments of danger by coming out swinging, landing his right hand all night long, and he continued to do so until the crowd rose to acclaim the action at the final bell.Froch's searing talent had been much in evidence during his previous 23 consecutive victories but all he had lacked was the suitable big stage on which to impress his credentials.For two years he had called out Joe Calzaghe to little effect and was delivered a snub prior to being matched with Pascal when former middleweight king Jermain Taylor shrugged off the notion of a clash with the Nottingham man.Taylor may be forced to think differently with Froch now the proud holder of the most prestigious 12-stone title and a showdown at Madison Square Garden next summer now already being mooted.Suddenly Froch's career is no longer a hard-luck story of beating the best available contenders like Brian Magee and Robin Reid to little fanfare and struggling to set up the meaningful bouts to make him a star.The millions of viewers on terrestrial television cannot fail to have been impressed by the manner of Froch's victory and it is to be hoped he can now go on to carve out his own niche in Britain's proud 12-stone history.Pascal, a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist, had certainly come with classy credentials having scored 19 consecutive wins of his own, and he was cheered into the ring by a double-figure entourage.The Canadian was reknowned as a slick counter-puncher with the capability to give Froch the toughest night of his career and he certainly looked confident as he awaited the pre-fight introductions.Pascal settled after the high-octane start but with Froch's shots carrying much more venom it was the Nottingham man who seized the initiative and clearly went on the hunt for an early finish.The slower pace of the third suited Pascal, who landed with two big looping rights, but the Canadian's chin was not in question after he shrugged off a Froch right early in round four.Froch troubled the Canadian again early in the fifth but the round ended in drama when Pascal teed up another big right and sparked a furious exchange which the referee had trouble separating when the bell sounded.By the half-way stage it was Froch who looked like he had the edge and a big right hand clearly hurt Pascal for the first time in the sixth round, and a follow-up uppercut had the Canadian holding on again.But Froch's eagerness to grab a stunning win meant he neglected the jab which was scoring him plenty of success, and by the end of the ninth round he had a small nick around his left eye for his troubles.Froch continued bombing away in the final rounds but Pascal, who surely knew he needed a knockout to win, swung with increasing desperation as they headed into the 12th.Pascal remained confident right until the verdict was announced. But that was unmistakably a night for Froch to impress himself onto the world scene and he did it in a classic fashion which will linger long in the memory.
Think I'll have a wank over these tomorrow.
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