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Boxing | International

No reason for Froch to fear Mack



It will take an adventurous punter to put money on Yusuf Mack beating Carl Froch on Saturday night.

Froch is set to make the first defence of his IBF super-middleweight title when he meets the American in Nottingham, England.

Fighting in his hometown, the Englishman faces a challenge from a 32-year-old opponent who is not even ranked in the IBF’s top 15.

Froch has a professional record of 29-2, with 21 knockouts. He is a two-time WBC super-middleweight champion and won the IBF super-middleweight belt when he knocked out Lucian Bute on May 26.

The 35-year-old Froch won his first WBC belt in December 2008 when he beat Jean Pascal on points. He retained it in defences against Jermain Taylor and Andre Dirrell before losing the belt to Mikkel Kessler on points in October 2009.

However, seven months later he regained the title when he beat Arthur Abraham. He made one defence, against Glen Johnson, before losing it to Andre Ward.

Mack, who has a record of 31-4-2, including 17 knockouts, has fought mostly at light-heavyweight. He has not fought at super-middleweight since 2007. Johnson stopped him in the sixth round in an IBF eliminator in February 2010.

The Philadelphian won the USBA light-heavyweight title when he beat Otis Griffin on a split decision in March last year. In June 2011 he lost on an eighth-round technical knockout against Tavoris Cloud in a challenge for the IBF light-heavyweight belt.

Early this year he retained the USBA title against Omar Sheika (32-11) and in July he outpointed Sabou Ballogou (8-5) over six rounds.

VILORIA AND MARQUEZ IN UNIFICATION CLASH

In Los Angeles, WBO flyweight champion Brian Viloria takes a record of 31-3; 18 into his unification bout against WBA champion Hernan Marquez, who stands at 34-2; 25.

Viloria, 31 and nicknamed the Hawaiian Punch, could find it a tough assignment against the 24-year-old Mexican, who has won seven fights – five inside the distance – since he was stopped by Nonito Donaire in 2010.

Marquez won the WBA belt in April last year and has made successful defences against Edrin Dapudong, who fought Gideon Buthelezi in South Africa last weekend, and Luis Concepcion.

Viloria is unbeaten in the past two years and is on a five-fight winning streak.

On the same card, 24-year-old Roman Gonzalez is scheduled to defend his WBA junior flyweight title against Juan Francisco Estrada, a 22-year-old Mexican.

Gonzales, who has a record of 33-0, with 28 knockouts, is from Nicaragua.

Estrada, who stands at 22-1; 18, suffered his only loss when Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr beat him on points over eight rounds in May last year.

He has won four fights since then and will now fight outside his own country for the first time.



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