BOXING has been in need of some good news of late and it got just the shot-in-the-arm it needs with Carl Froch’s dazzling, destructive performance in beating Lucian Bute to take the IBF super-middleweight title in front of his home fans at Nottingham.
Froch is a ring warrior in every sense of the word – in performing at the highest level, and testing himself to the limit, he seldom, if ever, opts for the easy option, and there were many prepared to write him off after his comprehensive loss to the superb Andre Ward on his last outing in the United States.
But British boxing has had fewer more determined, committed fighters than Froch and it is not over-stating the case to say that the manner of his systematic demolition of Bute must rank in the all-time list of best-ever, domestic performances.
Credit too must go to Robert McCracken, who not only looks after Froch, but is preparing British boxers – male and female – for this summer’s Olympics.
McCracken, no mean performer in the ring himself at top level, is already one of the country’s leading sports coaches.
Medal success at London 2012 will only enhance what is a considerable reputation.
n IN an uplifting week for the sport thanks to Froch’s milestone win, there came the dark side from the United States with the news that three-weight former world champion Johnny Tapia had died at the age of just 45.
It was hardly the biggest surprise in the world, given his often crazed life-style, which saw home beset by drug abuse, depression and being caught on the wrong side of the law.
The ring was his domain – outside it lurked only the potential for disaster and self-destruction.
But how can you have any remote chance of being a reasonably formed human being when, as Tapia’s case, his mother was murdered when he was eight and his father was reportedly killed before the boxer was born?