BBC man on Froch-watch

WBC SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE: CARL FROCH v GLEN JOHNSON

Venue:
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Date:
Sunday, 5 June
Start time:
Approx 0200 BST
Coverage:
Report and reaction on BBC Sport website

Just a few hundred yards away, the billboards screamed out what they had to offer.

The bright lights of the scrolling adverts in Times Square demanded that you consider buying a ticket for a musical, or a beefburger with cheese. It is a very blatant way of advertising their virtues.

But tucked away in a glitzy, low-lit ballroom, where some of the bulbs from Times Square might not have gone amiss, the world super-middleweight champion was showing us what he had to offer in a far less obvious way.

Both Froch and Glen Johnson were surrounded by their promoters and trainers, but it was the Nottingham man who stole the show with his understated display which gently ribbed the Johnson team for their thanks and adulation towards each other.

He certainly gave the impression that he was someone entirely comfortable in his surroundings.

At 33, Froch is nine years younger than his opponent, and their verbal sparring showed a good deal of maturity, with plenty of respect for each other clearly evident. Understandably though, both men felt they were bound to win their WBC world super-middleweight title fight.

"Not only will Johnson not win the fight, he won't win a round," said Froch in an unmenacing yet forceful way.

"I have a lot of respect for Froch. I'll wait until Saturday night for the rest of the conversation," mused the 42-year old Jamaican.

After the press conference, both boxers broke up to hold interviews and chats with the media and both seemed content and relaxed in the company of the press from both sides of the Atlantic.

Johnson revealed he had spotted weaknesses in Froch, but refused to reveal what they were.

Froch then made the two-hour journey south to Atlantic City, where the fight takes place at the weekend. He'll be joined on Thursday by his girlfriend Rachael and mother Carol - as well as other members of his family - and having been around him on previous overseas adventures, it will be then that the two-time world champion will feel most comfortable ahead of the fight.

It is fair to say that the meeting between American businessman Donald Trump and Republican former Alaska governor Sarah Palin attracted more journalists, flash-bulbs and idle speculation - and captured more headlines in New York this week - than a pizzaless gathering between Froch and Johnson a block or two away.

But the Englishman has safely negotiated another step towards retaining his title at the weekend.

Robin Chipperfield will be writing regular reports on the Froch fight for bbc.co.uk/nottingham

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