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Boxing | International

Carl Froch (L) and Yusaf Mack © Action Images

Stark naked Mack makes weight



Yusaf Mack stripped naked on Friday to make weight for his super-middleweight title fight against Carl Froch.

After weighing in just over the limit, Mack removed his underpants to make the 76.2kg mark. Only a towel held by his trainer shielded the challenger at the official weigh-in in Nottingham.

Mack has moved down from light-heavyweight to fight Froch, who is the big favourite. However, Mack said: "I am ready to rumble. I've been the underdog all my life. He says he is fit, but I am fitter and stronger."

Sapa-AFP reports that Froch is looking ahead to what could lie in store for him after his IBF super-middleweight title defence against Mack on Saturday night.

Froch makes the first defence of the belt in front of his home fans in Nottingham. If he wins, a rematch against Lucian Bute is set for March 30.

Froch, in his third reign as champion, relieved Bute of the IBF belt last May, overwhelming the Canada-based Romanian in five rounds.

Under the terms of their contract, Froch is obliged to give Bute a rematch on his adopted home soil. Froch's promoter, Eddie Hearn, expects the pair to clash again in Montreal.

But it is not only Bute that Froch has in his sights in 2013. He is desperate to avenge the two blemishes on his 31-fight professional record after losing on points to Denmark's Mikkel Kessler in 2010 and on points to American Andre Ward last year.

The 35-year-old Froch believes a rematch with Ward, the WBC champion and rated as No 1 in the world, is the more likely, provided he gets past Mack and Bute.

"There is a quick turn-around after this fight for the Bute rematch and then there is potentially a huge fight later next year against either Ward or Kessler," Froch said on Thursday.

"I spoke to Kessler on the phone recently and he sounded like a man who doesn't want to fight. He wasn't saying 'let's do it in the summer' and if a fight isn't a necessity and he's not a mandatory challenger, it won't happen.

"He's thinking 'why fight Froch?' after seeing what I did to Bute, when he could earn a load of money by fighting the likes of Brian Magee in Denmark.

"But the Ward fight will happen because he's got nowhere to go and Ward will be confident taking the re-match."

Despite appearing to have his future mapped out, former WBC champion Froch insists he is not overlooking the task against Mack, who last year was stopped by fellow American Tavoris Cloud in a challenge for the IBF light-heavyweight title.

"Mack has fast hands and looks for counter-punches," said Froch. "He has got range and good boxing ability.

"He's looking to win the fight on the outside and I will have to close him down to land my shots but not get caught.

"I need to put pressure on him and walk him down without getting caught by silly shots, especially early on, which would give him confidence.

"He's not a big and tall light-heavyweight, so he could be better at super-middleweight. I'm not taking anything for granted and I am making sure that I do my work right, and that will be enough to defend my title in style."

Mack, 32, has been taunting Froch by claiming the champion is not as good as his fellow Briton Joe Calzaghe, the former world No 1 who retired without boxing Froch.

"He wants to be Calzaghe and do all the moves but he is a fake Calzaghe," said Mack. "I got under his skin with the Calzaghe comment and I hope that's to my advantage on the night.

"He's said he's going to knock me out so the pressure is on him to do that. When I'm still standing there after the sixth round, when people think I'm going to tire, what's he going to do? I don't fade and he can't beat me."



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